Moab Rocks: Stage 1

Canadians Geoff Kabush and Catherine Pendrel Take Stage 1 at Moab Rocks

Written by: Shannon Boffeli and Marlee Dixon

After a year hiatus, the Moab Rocks stage race made a triumphant return to the race schedule. Organizers made the switch from the usual October date to March with great success. This year the fields ballooned from just 70 to 80 riders to a fully sold-out 150 riders.

The full field was a buzz on the start line rolling out from downtown Moab and heading out Sand Flats road past the famed Slickrock trail before cresting the climb up to the Upper Porcupine Singletrack and descending the way back down to the finish. Riders were challenged by about 4,200 feet of climbing, almost all of which was in the first hour-long climb, and 27 miles of riding on one of the most iconic trails in all of Moab.

Taylor Lideen descending Porcupine Rim.

Open Men

Racers started at 8:30am with a mass start rolling through town and out Sand Flats road. The first selection started early with about 30 riders staying together past Slickrock trail. Slowly the pack thinned as they passed Lower Porcupine hitting the steepest slopes just after. Nick Gould (Ska Brewing/Zia Tacoria) and Payson McElveen (RideBiker) started to dial it up, pulling Geoff Kabush (Scott), Taylor Lideen (Pivot/Industry Nine/Infinit), Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX),  Chris Baddick (Boulder Cyclesport), and Ben Sonntag (Team Clif Bar).

This group of four took control of things up front with Kabush eventually putting some sunlight between himself and the three chasers just before the singletrack started.

Now on the Upper Porcupine descent Lideen took up lead chasing duties finally bridging the gap to Kabush who had to stop for a dropped chain. Shortly after, Chris Baddick flatted, ending his shot at a race win.

Once again the group of four descended the hard-pounding drops of Lower Porcupine. Almost in sight of the finish it was Lideen’s chance to drop his chain producing the final selection of the day as the three leaders stayed wheel-to-wheel until the finish line.

In the end Kabush crossed first followed by Sonntag and Lindine. Lideen regrouped to finish fourth.

Almost without exception all riders enjoyed the day riding classic Moab trails. As usual Porcupine Rim produced enough carnage to end some rider’s day and pushing everyone to their limit.

Stage 1 winner Geoff Kabush

Open Women

There was a fast group of female racers at the start line for Moab Rocks this year including Canadian and American Olympians Catherine Pendrel (Luna) and Lea Davison (Luna).

Once past the neutral roll out the women started to spread out with Pendrel, and Jena Greaser taking the lead.

Not far behind were a handful of strong women all racing close to each other pushing hard up the 15-mile climb.

The road includes some rolling sections at the beginning and not too far into it Marlee Dixon (Pivot/DNA Cycling) caught Pendrel and Greaser.

The three of them climbed together for most of the road with Dixon making a move to the front in the second half.  Pendrel caught up and rode with her and Jena right behind.

Once off the main road climb, Dixon tried to widen her gap on the singletrack, losing her chain twice, she was caught by Jena Greaser.

However, being unfamiliar with the course, Jena was off her bike and Dixon again moved into the lead.

Porcupine Rim is a technical, pedally descent going from smooth dirt to sand to gnarly rocks to drops.

Pendrel passed Jenna not too far into the descent and then five miles from the finish caught and passed Dixon as Dixon endo’ed over her bike.

Pendrel took the win; showing her strong technical skills and speed on the most technical stage of the race.

Stage 1 starts with a long road climb testing racers fitness then moves into a rocky, chundry descent where anything can happen.  For racers this is probably one of the most technical trails to race on.

For stage 1, Pendrel took the win, followed by Dixon and then Greaser.  For the 3 day overall, Pendrel is only racing one day so Dixon takes the overall followed by Jena Greaser and Maghalie Rochette (Luna) in 3rd.

Sparky Moir Sears (Pivot) finished fourth followed by Jenny Smith (Kenda/NoTubes) in fifth.

Tomorrow’s stage changes things up with more trail and a hefty dose of slickrock as riders tackle the Klondike Bluffs trail area with another 27 miles and just 2,800 feet of climbing.

Check in tomorrow for full coverage on MTB Race News.

Click Here for full results from all categories

Thaw Massacre – Moab, Utah

Justin Lindine and Joey Lythgoe Take the Inaugural Thaw Massacre

written by: Shannon Boffeli

The Thaw Massacre, Utah’s newest mountain bike race, launched yesterday in Moab, Utah. Starting at the Bar M trailhead, just north of town, riders tested their early-season fitness on a technically challenging and sometimes bone-rattling 40-mile course.

The ride included trails that tested every rider’s bike handling skills including Deadman’s Ridge and Long Branch and others like Rockin’ A and Circle O determined who had been doing their core workouts over the winter. Each 20-mile lap sprinkled in just enough fast, flowing singletrack to keep racers smiling.

Justin Lindine solos his way to a win in Moab - photo by Angie Harker

Justin Lindine solos his way to a win in Moab – photo by Angie Harker

Despite the difficult terrain riders still turned in crazy-fast lap times with Competitive Cyclist rider Justin Lindine throwing down the fastest time of the day at just 3 hours 7 minutes.

Lindine powered away from the Colorado duo of Bryan Alders (Training Peaks/Yeti) and Chris Baddick (Boulder Cycle Sport).

Together for most of the race, Alders and Baddick were finally separated on their second trip through the unrelenting slickrock of Circle O. Baddick inched just far enough out front that Alders was unable to make contact before the finish.

The slickrock also determined the final podium spots for the men as fifth-placed rider John Osguthorpe (Endurance 360) surged past Drew Free (Revolution/Peak Fasteners) on the unforgiving bumps and drops of Circle O.

The top pro men, women, and semi-pros took home stacks of cash - photo by Shannon Boffeli

The top pro men, women, and semi-pros took home stacks of cash – photo by Shannon Boffeli

The women’s race featured an impressive group of Utah’s toughest female riders. Each one experienced at hammering tough desert racecourses.

Off the start it was Joey Lythgoe (Kuhl) moving off the front in typical fashion. Unlike previous races she wasn’t alone as Jen Hanks (Pivot/Epic Brewing) stayed close behind finally making contact in the rock-crawling sections of Deadman’s Ridge.

The gap stayed small throughout the opening lap as Lythgoe held just a 90-second advantage at the end of lap one.

The Kuhl rider’s elite-level fitness took over at this point as Lythgoe continued to power through her second 20-mile lap increasing her advantage with every mile.

She crossed the line with just over 6 minutes advantage on an exhausted Jen Hanks. Lythgoe was the only women to finish the race under 4 hours at 3 hours 56 minutes.

Hanks took second, tired but happy with her performance.

KC Holley (Kuhl) finished third turning in a strong performance in her favorite riding environment. Debbie Mortensen (Diamond Peak) finished fourth.

Thaw Massacre represented the opening round of the 4-race endurance series hosted by the Intermountain Cup. The next race on the endurance calendar is a two-day stage race, the Stan Crane Memorial, in Draper, Utah, May 23rd and 25th. Click here for more information or the entire Intermountain Cup schedule



Pro Men

1, Justin Lindine Competitive Cyclist 3.07.02
2, Chris Baddick Boulder Cycle Sport 3.13.19
3, Bryan Alders Training Peaks/Yeti 3.18.00
4, John Osguthorpe Endurance 360 3.26.11
5, Drew Free Revolution/Peak Fasteners 3.26.45
6, Justin Desilets Revolution/Peak Fasteners 3.32.03
7, Dan Sturm 3.33.30
8, Samuel Dolzani 3.37.08
9, Kris Ochs 3.40.25
10, Jason Hilimire FasCat 3.48.07
11, Ty Hansen Revolution/Peak Fasteners 3.50.28
12, Matthew Turner Summit Bike Club


Pro Women

1, Joey Lythgoe Kuhl 3.56.15
2, Jen Hanks Pivot/Epic Brewing 4.03.45
3, KC Holley Kuhl 4.07.15
4, Debbie Mortensen Diamond Peak


Semi-Pro Men

1, Dennis Barrett Bountiful Bicycles 3.33.40
2, Ryan Blaney Kuhl 3.37.54
3, Stewart Goodwin Kuhl 3.38.21
4, Bob Saffell Revolution/Peak Fasteners 3.53.50
5, Justin Healy 3.57.33
6, Mitt Stewart 3.58.44
7, Josh Mortensen Diamond Peak 4.07.25