Kabush Repeats as Jenny Smith Takes Her First Stage at Moab Rocks
Get ready for a completely different racecourse in Stage 2 (Klondike Bluffs) of Moab Rocks!
The day started out similar to day 1- a beautifully cool, slightly overcast morning as racers warmed up for the day. At 8:28 the now familiar “Highway to Hell” rif blasted from the sound system and at 8:30 the shot rang signaling the start.
But today racers took off from the start, climbing quickly up the first 4 miles of rolling dirt road as each person was chomping at the bit to be first on the singletrack.
It’s a fast rolling climb up the road before racers cross onto a double track and into the trail system. Once in the trail system, racers are heading up the rocks on rugged one track. The Klondike Bluffs trail system is marked by paint spots on the rocks and although the rocks are gigantic and can be ridden in numerous directions, the painted trail markings keep cyclists from getting lost and off unrideable terrain.
Today’s course was filled with punchy climbs/descents, technical rocky areas, loose dirt and is overall a cross country racers favorite course. With 3,000’ of elevation in 25 miles, today was a challenging course that tested fitness and technical skills.
For the pro men Jeff Kabush (Yeti/Maxxis) led the men for most of the race. With him was Payson McElveen (Orange Seal), Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX) and Chris Baddick (Boulder Cycle Sport). Thirty minutes into the race Baddick fell back and the top three men rode together for the entire race.
In the final push, Kabush (1:50:29) and McElveen (1:50:32) rode ahead finishing 3 seconds apart with Lindine another thirty seconds back (1:51:09). For the overall, Kabush remains 1st (3:29:23) with McElveen nine seconds back (3:29:32) and Lindine moves into third (3:31:05).
For the pro women Jenny Smith (Kenda/Cannondale) took the lead on the road climb followed by Marlee Dixon (Pearl Izumi/Pivot) and Sparky Sears (Pivot/MRP). A few miles into the trail system, Sears moved up, passing Dixon and challenging Smith.
Smith and Sears rode the remainder of the race together until Smith took off in the last 5 miles for the win finishing in 2:19:04. Sears finished 2nd (2:20:07) and Dixon in 3rd (2:24:07). For the overall Sears remains first (4:24:12), Smith moves into 2nd (4:31:24) and Dixon in 3rd (4:32:40).