Moab Rocks: Stage 3

Kabush and Sears Win Moab Rocks with Payson McElveen and Jenny Smith Taking the Mag 7 Stage Win

 Written by: Marlee Dixon

The third and final day of Moab Rocks is as exhilarating as it is exhausting.  After two days of physical XC racing, most racers wake up tired; their bodies aching.  Todays’ course wasn’t going to provide any relief as it was just as challenging and demanding as the previous two days.

Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

At 8:30 the shot goes off and competitors head out onto Gemini Bridges road.  The starting pace was mellower this morning due to a stiff headwind on the road.  Today is the day to finalize positions with most people looking to push hard to try and gain position.  The lead men waited until off of the first flat road and onto the steep climb to make their attack.  From there everyone spread out, pushing as hard as they could up the first 500’ climb.  Next is a loose quick dirt road descent followed by a fast flat road before climbing up Gemini Bridges road.  After the first 6 miles of dirt road; the course veers onto the Getaway single track, a moderately technical climb with some flowy dirt single track.  It’s a six mile climb up Getaway and then everyone is rewarded with the screaming descent; Bull Run.  It’s rocky, it’s fast and it makes the climb worth it.  The descending continues after Bull Run with more rocky, adrenaline-charged singletrack including the trail, Great Escape.  After descending what feels like forever, the course turns back on Gemini Bridges road where riders climb up and over the 500’ hill before sprinting down to the start.  Today’s course is a tough 2500’ of climbing over 28 miles.

Payson McElveen doesn’t have much time to enjoy the view as he heads for a stage win. Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

Almost all of the climbing takes place in the first 15 miles making the rest of the course pure joy.  If you haven’t fallen in love with the trails in Moab yet, today will leave you smiling ear to ear as you remember the thrill of the course.  Moab Rocks encompasses three very different trail systems, each with their own unique challenges and rewards.  It’s a perfect start to the race season as you’re sure to leave Moab tired and sore, with memories and experiences you won’t forget.

Josiah Middaugh leads on the opening climb. Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

Coming into day 3, Geoff Kabush (Yeti/Maxxis) had a 9 second overall lead over 2nd place Payson McElveen (Orange Seal).  3rd place Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX) was only 30 seconds back.  Today all racers started off cautious on the flat windy road, but once off of the flat road, McElveen attacked and right behind him was Kabush.  McElveen pushed the pace the entire first half of the race, maintaining a 30 second lead on the climb.  Once on the single track descent, Kabushwas able to make up time and catch up to him.  On the final road, McElveen again pushed ahead but was only able to get a 5 second lead on Kabush.  McElveen won stage 3 in a time of 1:57:26 but Kabush keeps the overall GC by 4 seconds with a 3 day ride time of 5:26:59.  McElveen finishes 2nd overall (5:26:55) and in 3rd is Justine Lindine (Apex/NBX) (5:30:34).

Sparky Moir Sears takes second on the day but wins the GC. Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

For the women’s pro race, Sparky Sears (Pivot/MRP) was in the lead to start.  She pushed the pace up the road trying to distance herself from her competition.  Not far back was Jenny Smith (Kenda/Cannondale) and behind her, Marlee Dixon (Pivot/Pearl Izumi).  Once on the singletrack climb, Smith caught Sears and the two rode together for a little while before Smith was able to gain the lead and distance herself.  Smith won the stage in a time of 2:28:13 but it wasn’t enough of a lead to win the overall.  Sears wins the overall in a 3 day ride time of 6:54:44, followed by Smith in 2nd (6:59:38) and Dixon in 3rd (7:05:28).

Click Here for Full Results From All Stages 

Photo Gallery

Moab Rocks: Stage 3

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.

Geoff Kabush (#42) leads the first climb of Stage 3. He would go on to win the overall classification of Moab Rocks. Photo by: John Gibson

Open Men

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.

Justine Lindine (2nd overall) leads Geoff Kabush who eventually won Stage 3 and the overall general classification at Moab Rocks. Photo by: John Gibson

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.

Tokyo Joes rider feeling the flow in Mag 7. Photo by: Jean McAllister

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.

Maghalie Rochette of the Luna Team-1st on Stage 3 and 1st overall. Photo by: John Gibson

Open Women

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.

Ksenia Lepikhina leads Lea Davison in the single track. Photo by: Jean McAllister

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.

Jena Greaser-3rd on Stage 3 and 2nd overall. Photo by: Jean McAllister

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.

Although amazing scenery was all around riders had little time to enjoy the views on a fast stage through Mag 7. Photo by: Jean McAllister

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.

Click Here for Full Results From All Categories Including Final GC Standings 


Singletrack 6 – Stage 3 – Cranbrook, BC

Written by: Marlee Dixon

As Singletrack 6 moves locations for stage 3, it brings on a whole new type of racing with different geography. Stage 3 moves to Cranbrook, leaving behind the huge mountains of Fernie for a 26-mile course through small forested hills and fields.  The course starts in waves with the first group pinning it onto the course, up short hills and through flat fields to gain position.


The opening third of the race includes a lot of climbing with steep punchy climbs and steep short descents with loose dirt and rocks.  The course then moves into more flowy trail sections in the second half but doesn’t give racers much recovery in this very pedally up and down course.  Where the first two days of the race felt like endurance days, today was much more of a cross-country race. 28518832226_3b5ce332ef_b

For the pro men, Manuel Weissenbacher (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory team) won the race in 2:07:04 followed by Mathieu Belanger-Barrette (Pivot Cycles) in 2nd (2:09:27) and a sprint finish for 3rd between Andreas Hartmann (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory team) (2:10:29) and Patrick Chartrand (2:10:30). The top 4 guys and GC leader Rotem Ishay (Jamis Bikes) were together for the first several miles when Ishay fell back saying he hadn’t eaten enough calories and had a difficult time getting to his water bottle during the first sections of the race. Ishay would drop to 10th by the time he reached the finish line.

From the start of the timed descent, the top three men were in their respective positions with 3rd and 4th place sprinting at the end.

The men’s GC saw some big changes today with Weissenbacher, Belanger-Barrette, and Hartmann leap frogging Ishay who plummeted to 4th after his bad day. This was Weissenbacher’s second consecutive stage win at this year’s Singletrack 6.

Sonya Looney sharing a hug at the finish line.

Sonya Looney sharing a hug at the finish line.

For the pro women, Sonya Looney (FreakShow/Defeet) again charged ahead at the start and powered her way through the course for her second stage win. She went off course for a minute or so before back-tracking but otherwise she had a very strong race and never saw another female.

Kate Aardal moved into 2nd place a third of the way through the race and maintained her 2nd place standing, finishing in a time of 2:32:09.

In 3rd place was Kathryn McInerney, who started in the second wave of racers this morning and powered her way to beat the other two women in the first start group, almost taking 2nd place with a time of 2:32:26. Todays results are also the same for the overall with McInerney moving into 3rd.


Singletrack 6 is halfway over, with three hard days under their belts, racers head to Kimberley for a 22 mile course with 4000’ of elevation gain.

Click Here for full Stage 3 results

Click Here for full GC results following stage 3


Breck Epic Stage 3 – Mt. Guyot

Claes and Dong Conquer Mount Guyot Stage – Topeak/Ergon Wraps up Domination of Breck 3-Day

Written by: Marlee Dixon

Get ready to climb! Day 3 of the Breck Epic is the circumnavigation of Mount Guyot. It’s a BIG day with 6000’ of vertical and 38 miles including 2 mountain passes.

Day 3 starts in downtown Breckenridge and it’s a mile long neutral start out to the Wellington neighborhood before racers start climbing the dirt French Gulch Rd. to Minnie Mine trail. This beginning section of the race is a climb and racers head up Minnie Mine trail to Side door trail, a short breathier down Prospect hill rd. then it’s climbing up Lincoln Park road. Once up Lincoln Park rd. it’s onto the flat Little French Flume before heading down Little French trail back to French Gulch rd. again and Aid 1.

After Aid 1, racers start a mellow double track climb with some rocky and watery areas on the trail to a very steep single track and hike-a-bike (for most people) up French Gulch. This is the first mountain pass and although the hike-a-bike is brutal, if you have the time to look around, it’s absolutely stunning.

Carborocket owner Brad Keyes supplied the beer during stage 3. Photo by Liam Doran

Carborocket owner Brad Keyes supplied the beer during stage 3. Photo by Liam Doran

This is also where Jonathan Davis from Elevated Legs/9250 Cyclery, his son, Tanner and Brad from Carborocket hand out Skittles.

I wish I had a chance to grab some this year but I was too busy trying to motor on through to enjoy the rainbow.

Once over French Gulch, racers get a real backcountry epic descent down Michigan Creek trail into Aid 2. Then it’s back to climbing again as we head up Glacier Ridge road to the top of Georgia Pass; another beautiful mountain pass.

Carl Decker starts the Colorado trail descent. Photo by Eddie Clark

Carl Decker starts the Colorado trail descent. Photo by Eddie Clark

Again after the climb, racers are rewarded with some of the best singletrack as they cruise down the Colorado trail. The top part of this trail is a little rooty, but flowy and fast while the end section is rocky and very technical. All in all it’s a great backcountry trail. Then it’s a descent down the Middle fork road and Parkville rd. to the last aid station of the day.

One more aid station before the last big slug up American Gulch Rd. A long dirt road climb that gets steeper the closer you get to the top. Once up and over American Gulch Rd. it’s a fun descent down Lincoln Park rd., Side door and Minnie Mine trail. Then there’s one more up/down techy trail called Turks trail and finally B&B trail to the finish.

This year we got super lucky with the weather (it’s hailed on racers at the top of Georgia pass before, ouch!) and had cool perfect weather. The climbing in this stage is long and HARD but as one guy said today in the race at the end of the Colorado Trail, “I never thought I would get sick of descending”. It’s all worth it for the awesome trails we get to descend on.

Marathon World Champion Alban Lakata crests the days biggest climb. Photo by Eddie Clark

Marathon World Champion Alban Lakata crests the days biggest climb. Photo by Eddie Clark

For the Epic 3 day racers Pro Men, World Champion, Alban Lakata won the stage today in 3:00:18 and finished 2nd overall (total time 8:17:23) behind his Topeak-Ergon teammate Kristian Hynek. Kristian Hynek finished 2nd today less than a tenth of a second behind Alban Lakata in a time of 3:00:19. He won the overall in a total time of 8:16:54. In third today and overall was the third Topeak-Ergon racer, Jeremiah Bishop who finished in 3:05:46 (total time 8:30:25). These three racers crushed all the previous records and spectators said were incredible to watch, especially powering up French Gulch today.

For the Pro women 3 day, Sally Bigham (Topeak/Ergon) won the stage (3:41:14) and overall (10:16:59), followed in 2nd by Mayalen Noriega (Primaflor/Orbea) with a time of 4:47:17 (total time of 12:47:33) and in third was Kata Skaggs with a time of 5:12:29 (14:11:26).

For the Epic, 6 day race, for the pro men Frans Claes (Loving Hut) won again in a time of 3:12:11. He remains in the lead with a total time of 8:43:51. Ben Swanepoel (Squirt) was again in 2nd with a time of 3:14:03 and remains in 2nd overall at 8:53:17. Barry Wicks (Kona) took 3rd place today with a time of 3:13:52, but Bryan Dillon (Griggs Orthopedic) moves into the 3rd place overall with a total time of 9:00:36.

For the pro women today’s race seemed a little more spread out for the top 4 racers. Serena Gordon (Liv/Giant) started off strong and took a nice lead from the start of the race. Evelyn Dong (Shoair/Cannondale) , Kelly Boniface (Moots) and Marlee Dixon (Pivot/Epic Brewing) rode within eyesight for the first section and up French Gulch road where we were able to catch up and pass Gordon.

Evelyn Dong takes the lead for the day solidifying her lead in the GC. Photo by Eddie Clark

Evelyn Dong takes the lead for the day solidifying her lead in the GC. Photo by Eddie Clark

At this point Dong took off and pushed up the climb ahead of us. Getting up to the top of the pass, Boniface was in 2nd, Dixon in 3rd and Gordon in 4th.

Gordon and Dixon passed Boniface on the Michigan creek descent. Then Dixon remained in 2nd for the remainder of the race, never seeing the other girls despite being within 3-6 minutes apart.

Evelyn Dong won the stage in a time of 3:49:27 increasing her overall lead with a total time of 10:30:00. Dixon finished 2nd in a time of 3:53:41 and moved up to 3rd overall with a total time of 10:44:57. Serena Gordon took 3rd today with a time of 3:56:51 and remains in 2nd place with a total time of 10:44:13. Kelly Boniface finished in 4:00:10 and is now in 4th with a total time of 10:47:40. It’s been a close race for the top 4 women and it will be awesome to see how the rest of the stages go!


Click Here for full results from stage 3 as full GC results