24 Hours of Moab Ė Moab, Utah
Jacques-Mayne Take Solo Titles
The 16th annual 24 Hours of Moab took place this
weekend and holding true to form it was as much a battle against the conditions
as a race against the competition.
After a week of rain and below normal temperatures the
racecourse, located just south of town on the Behind-The-Rocks trail, was hard packed
and fast eliminating many of the power-sucking sand pits typically speckled
around the course. The temperatures stayed cold though as temps over night
dropped down to just 26 degrees. Thatís cold.
As the race started with the standard long run across the
Moab sand the rain had stopped but temperatures hung in the mid-fifties. The first round of riders turned out a lap
just over the one-hour mark. It wasnít until lap two that Honey Stinger rider
John Gaston would burn the fastest lap of the day with 57:24. Lap three is when
Heidrun Kubiessa (Bada Boom) clocked the fastest womenís lap time with a
By this time the solo racers were already starting to shape
up. Womenís solo rider Jill Hueckman of Morrison, Colorado, was already
establishing herself as the lady to beat. With steady day time laps of 90
minutes and night laps around 2 hours Hueckman pulled clear of the field and
never gave anyone a chance to catch up. In the end she took the win with 11 laps
Kiki Hutchins of Salt Lake City took second with 9 laps while Ellen Patten took third.
The menís race was much closer with Mike Midlarsky taking
the early lead before being overtaken by road racing professional Andy
Jacques-Mayne (Bissell) and 24 hour specialist Ernesto Marenchin (Pivot).
These two traded first place back and forth with
Jacques-Mayne taking a several minute cushion into the night laps. Marenchin
stayed close and challenged for the lead when Jacques-Mayne posted close to a
3-hour lap early in the morning.
Jacques-Mayne wasnít about to throw in the towel as the sun
came out and he started bring his laps down into the 1:20s.
That was enough to assure him the win as the experienced
road racer finished with 16 laps completed. Marenchin came in second with Midlarsky holding on for third.
The Honey Stinger Bee Team of John Gaston, Pete Gaston,
Colin Osborn, and Len Zanni completed the highest total number of laps with 21.
That equals 313 miles. The Honey Stinger team finished just in front of Coed
Pro/Am team The Fantastic 4, which included Utah racers Chris and KC Holley,
Josh Wolfe, and Matt Harding.
Longtime 24 Hours of Moab race promoter Laird Knight indicated
prior to the race that this yearís event may be the last. Siting low racer
turnout Knight says the Moab event struggling to make a profit. Prior to the
race Knight indicated at least 330 registered teams are required to make the
Moab race profitable. Review of their results page shows 216 teams registered
for this yearís race.
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