Canadians Dominate the Final Stage in Moab with Maghalie Rochette and Geoff Kabush Taking the 2017 Titles
Written by: Shannon Boffeli and Marlee Dixon
Cloudy and overcast skies with mild temperatures again greeted riders for the final stage of Moab Rocks. Starting at the Gemini Bridges parking lot. Riders attack a steep, Jeep road climb before entering the Magnificient 7 trail area. Moab Rocks promoters have connected a flowy loop to challenge riders including some of the best singletrack available including the Bull Run and Great Escape descents.
With just seconds separating the top riders going into stage three the open men’s race was sure to produce some major excitement.
A leisurely pace to the base of the first climb quickly changed as the leaders wound it up looking to decide who would become 2017 Moab Rocks champion.
At the start of the day Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX) was just 50 seconds out of first place and was looking to challenge Canadian superstar Geoff Kabush (Scott) for the lead. Ben Sonntag (Clif Bar) wasn’t far back either and the ever-aggressive Chris Baddick (Boulder Cyclesport) was looking to continue his climb up the leader board having moving into fifth with his efforts yesterday.
The lead group got away early in a stage that featured much more singletrack and tougher passing than the previous days.
Lindine indeed gave it his all throwing everything he could at Kabush but the lanky Canadian would not be shaken. Kabush’s combination of incredible fitness and outstanding skills on the bike once again proved too tough for the competition.
Although Lindine kept it close, Geoff Kabush took his third stage win of the race and the overall title finishing just nine seconds in front and adding to his endless list of victories on American soil.
Ben Sonntag capped off a consistent weekend taking third place on the day and third in the final GC.
This left the race for fourth overall to be decided between Baddick and Taylor Lideen (Pivot/Industry Nine/Infinit). Lideen struggled mightily with his injured thumb making it difficult for him to grip the bar with his left hand.
Baddick did his best to take advantage, pushing hard and dropping the Pivot rider. In the end he picked up over 2 minutes on Lideen but needed one more to takeover fourth in the GC.
Lideen managed just enough to keep his spot secure as Baddick finished fourth on the day but fifth in the stage race. Lideen rolled across the line seventh in today’s final stage.
Stage 3 of Moab Rocks was a mellow start with racers bunched together in a peloton for the first mile before hitting the steep loose dirt climb of Gemini Bridges Road.
From there Maghelie Rochette (Clif Bar) started to take the lead, pushing fast up the climb.
GC leader Jena Greaser was right behind with Marlee Dixon (Pivot Cycles/DNA) following closely.
Once over the opening road climb Greaser took off, blazing down the road followed by Rochette but once climbing started up the next steep climb of Gemini Bridges road Rochette made her intentions clear and started to put some space on her competitors.
Once the women hit singletrack, Lea Davison (Clif Bar) with Ksenia Lepikhina (Tokyo Joes) right on her wheel; passed Dixon.
Davison put some time on Lepikhina and caught up to Greaser who was having trouble maintaining her power and speed from the past few days.
Rochette continued to put the hammer down looking to put time on Greaser and steal the GC title on the last stage. She rode aggressively all the way to the finish.
Davison stayed in second position and although Greaser crashed, she held on for third for the day.
Lepikhina and Dixon bunny hopped each other at one point with Lepikhina finishing fourth followed by Dixon in fifth.
Rochette, having her strongest stage of the race, finished a full 5 minutes ahead of Greaser, taking the overall win.
Greaser dropped to second in the GC followed by Dixon in third, Davison in fourth and Lepikhina in fifth.
The women put on a great show at this year’s Moab Rocks. The extremely competitive group produced three different stage winners with a change in GC leader each day.
By any measure the 2017 Moab Rocks was a huge success: a sold out event, stacked fields with national and world champions, incredible trails, hard racing, exceptional camaraderie, and organization like a finely-tuned Swiss watch. The folks at TransRockies events know how to put on a first-class event and all those on hand hope this event continues for a long time to come.