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Moab Rocks MTB Stage Race: Magnificent 7 Stage - Moab, Utah

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |November 13, 2013 2:26 AM
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Moab Rocks MTB Stage Race: Magnificent 7 Stage - Moab, Utah

Finsterwald Caps of an Impressive Weekend with Stage and GC Win - Aardal Makes it 3 for 3 in Moab

Today's stage 3 featured the least amount of climbing at this year's Moab Rocks but the highest amount of singletrack. That combination gave the third and final stage a decidedly XC feel compared to the previous two stages.

Unfortunately for most riders, the pace set by Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing) and Kerry Werner (BMC Development) also had that leg-burning, quad-cramping feel of an XC race. Right from the gun the two cranked up and over the first climb. It was clear Werner was on a mission to get back the roughly 4 minutes he needed to move from fourth to second in the GC.

Josh Tostado (Bach Builders) and Travis Brown (Trek) were sitting in second and third overall and were most threatened Werner's attack. They could do little to keep the two leaders in sight as the two twenty-somethings distanced themselves on the rugged singletrack and steep short climbs of stage 3.

Well into the race it was obvious the two leaders were gone and most likely had the top two spots of the GC wrapped up. Tostado now had to worry about losing his GC position to Travis Brown. A broken rear derailleur cable left the Bach Builders rider with only two gear selections as he could only shift between the big and little ring with his front derailleur.

Meanwhile Finsterwald had broken away showing real skill and excellent fitness throughout his three days of racing in Moab. He would take today's stage win by just over two minutes.

Werner came in second having gained six and a half minutes on his nearest chaser. More than enough to take second in the overall classification.

Tostado was doing his best trying to limit that damage from this broken cable, struggling up the final climb swerving back and forth paperboy style just to stay on the bike. His efforts paid off as he crested the final climb and cruised down the descent to finish just 10 seconds behind Travis Brown who crossed the line in third.

Nick Gould (Ska/Zia/Trek) wrapped up his weekend taking fifth while keeping a close eye on his closest challenger Jonathon Firth (Honey Stinger/Planet Foods) who crossed the line just seconds behind him.

Kate Aardal (Ridley's Cycles) finished off her long weekend with another win making it 3 for 3 at the inaugural Moab Rocks. Aardal escaped early and rode a clean race staying smooth and efficient through the rocks and ledges that littered the racecourse.

In the end she finished almost five minutes up on second place Heidi Rentz (Ibis/Poison Spider). Rentz had a strong race crushing her hometown trails and finishing second each day of the race.

The real drama of the day came from Jennifer Moos (Rose Bandits) and Trish Grajczyk (Deadgoat Racing). Grajczyk and Moos had finished within seconds of each other on the first two stages and just 15 seconds separated the two with Grajczyk sitting in the third GC spot.

Stage three saw another hard-fought showdown between the two with Trish Grajczyk coming out on top taking third on the day and holding on to third in the overall classification by just over a minute.

In the end, the inaugural run of the Moab Rocks stage race was a unmitigated success. The combination of top-shelf organization by the Transrockies crew, amazing Moab scenery and trail selection, and 3 days of really hard racing should prove to be recipe for success going forward.

Brief Results

Stage 3

Open Men


Russell Finsterwald

Trek Factory Racing



Kerry Werner

BMC Development Team



Travis Brown




Josh Tostado

Bach Builders



Nick Gould




Jonathon Firth

Honey Stinger/Planet Foods



Drew Edsall




Aroussen Laflamme




Evan Ross

Griggs Orthopedics



Shannon Boffeli

Epic Brewing/



Chris Benson

Woodcock Cycleworks



Matt Duggan




Greg Gibson



Christian Gauvin

Rocky Mountain



Jonathan Nutbrown

Ridley’s Cycle


Open Women


Kate Aardal

Ridley’s Cycle



Heidi Rentz

Ibis/Poison Spider



Trish Grajczyk

Deadgoat Racing



Jennifer Moos

Rose Bandits



Wendy Lyall

Yeti Beti


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