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October 19/04 9:08 am - Herald Sun Tour: Stage 7, 24 Hours of Moab, Birthday


Posted by Editoress on 10/19/04
 

Herald Sun Tour Australia

Stage 7: Creswick to Daylesford, 154.8 km

1. Jonas Ljungbald (Swe) Europcar - Pelaco, 3:37:44
2. Ben Brooks (Aus) McGee - NSW Institute Of Sport, at 0:17
3. Glen Mitchell (NZl) Active For Life
4. David McKenzie (Aus) Bicycle Superstore
5. Luke Roberts (Aus) Latrobe City
6. Kristian House (GBr) Bendigo
7. Scott Guyton (NZl) Bicycle Superstore
8. Timo Scholz (Ger) Malaysia Airlines
9. Ruber Marin (Col) Subaru
10. Rob Sharman (GBr) Sungold Milk - Warrnambool

16. Dominique Perras (Can) Active For Life, all s.t.
25. Eric Wohlberg (Can) Active For Life, 3:42


GC
1. Karl Menzies (Aus) Bicycle Superstore, 15:59:33
2. David McKenzie (Aus) Bicycle Superstore, at 0:09
3. Jonas Ljungbald (Swe) Europcar - Pelaco, 0:46
4. Luke Roberts (Aus) Latrobe City, 0:50
5. Ben Brooks (Aus) McGee - NSW Institute Of Sport, 1:26
6. Dominique Perras (Can) Active For Life, , 1:45
7. Glen Mitchell (NZl) Active For Life, , 2:07
8. Scott Guyton (NZl) Bicycle Superstore, 2:29
9. Kristian House (GBr) Bendigo, 2:32
10. Kieran Page (GBr) Bendigo, 2:34

20. Eric Wohlberg (Can) Active For Life, 5:43


24 Hours of Moab MOAB, Utah, October 17
Courtesy Granny Gear Productions

Ross, Emmett Take Top Honors at 10th Annual 24 Hours of Moab
Bontrager Masters 50th 24-hour Race

Nat Ross (Subaru/Gary Fisher) and Kelli Emmett (Specialized) rode a collective 450 miles with 40,800 vertical feet of climbing to claim respective wins in the Men's and Women's Solo categories this past weekend at the 10th Annual 24 Hours of Moab. Solo vet Ross arrived in the red rock desert south of Moab with a goal to win while Emmett's decision to enter the race was arrived at less than 48 hours before the race started.

"I've never ridden my bike for longer than eight hours," said an anxious Emmett in a pre race interview. "For me it was just the mental challenge of getting out there and just seeing if I can do this."

With a Men's Solo field eight times the size of the Women's Solo field, a spectrum of challengers descended upon Moab to match skills with Ross, whose cycling resume is already studded with multiple podium finishes in the solo category. But experience with 24-hour racing is hard earned, yet Ross willingly shared some advice on how to grapple with a 24-hour race.

"You've got to go out hard and settle into a pace," explained Ross. "You're never going to be faster than you are at the beginning of the race╉then you'll see what to settle into pace-wise."

Ross crossed the finish line at 12:01:05 p.m. He finished 16 laps on the 15-mile, technical course with a total time of 24:01:05.

Second place women's soloist, Moab resident Jenna Woodbury, applied pressure to Emmett's podium pursuit by allowing Emmett at most, a 20-minute lead on each lap. Doubtful at one point that she would make it to the end, Emmett suffered her hardest moment when her lights quit on a precipitous descent.

"Around 4 a.m. I was going down a descent and my lights went out but Jay (Henry) came up behind me about five minutes later and gave me his helmet light so I was able to keep on riding."

Specialized riders Emmett, Jay Henry, and Jimi Mortenson outpaced their lighting systems during this year's race and crew members expressed difficulties in keeping batteries charged to keep up with the racers' quick laps. Emmett earned her first 24-hour solo win for completing 14 laps in 24:43:48. Henry and Mortenson rode to victory in the Duo Pro category with 21 laps completed in 24:43:39.

Keith Bontrager came early and will stay late at this year's 24 Hours of Moab. Bontrager, who turns 50 this December, realized earlier this year that he could finish his 50th 24-hour race at Moab and pressures to perform brought him to the course a week prior to the race for a few practice laps. His desire to learn every detail about the course proved worth it since he succeeded in lowering nearly every lap time from his 2003 24 Hours of Moab by five minutes. However, the "50 by 50" goal burdened Bontrager with some unwelcome anxiety.

"My first lap I was nervous and was affected by the drama and meaning of the event more than ever before," Bontrager said. "I missed lines and felt tied up with nervous energy and that cost me a lot."

Despite his careful planning and faster lap times, a first place finish in the Men's Master category evaded the Bontrager Masters team. Team Colorado Alliance from Breckenridge, Colo. sustained a slim lead over the Bontrager Master's throughout the entire race with time gaps often measuring in the single digits. In the end, Colorado Alliance added up a 54 minute lead to win the category. Inspired by second place and unwilling to call it quits after 50 races, Bontrager is already looking ahead to 2005.

"This is the kind of thing that encourages me to race faster," said Bontrager. "There will be a point when you're just losing ground, you can't improve. This race verified that I can go faster; that's good news."

The Bontrager Masters completed 18 laps in 24:54:34.

Moab-based women's Team Dirt Flirts, led by Kirstin Peterson, swapped the lead with Team Sugar/Calendar Girls from Park City throughout Saturday and into Sunday morning. The Women's Sport category snagged the attention of fans when the two teams volleyed the lead like a game of pedal pong. Start-line jitters were stomped out on the trail with both teams confident they could nudge the other out of contention. The thrilling finish forecasted by the mighty efforts of each team ended when Jean Carlan of Team Sugar/Calendar Girls suffered a broken collarbone from a crash on Sunday morning. The local Dirt Flirts maintained their lead over runner up, Bush against Bush, to win the category with 15 laps in 24:54:30.

24 Hours of Moab's triumvirate of excellent weather conditions, world-class racing and a coveted venue in the desert south of Moab celebrated a decade of 24-hour racing this past weekend. Mountain bikers from all over the globe convened for the annual event that has become the official grand finale to the 24-hour racing season. See you in 2005!

Quotes:Nat Ross, Men's Solo, 16 laps, 24:01:05"There's actually a lot of strategy and stealth to racing for 24-hours'‰you don't want to give anything up to your opponents. It's definitely a sneak mission out there."

"You've got to go out hard and settle into a pace. You're never going to be faster than you are at the beginning of the race - then you'll see what to settle into pace wise."

"I definitely came here to win."

Kelli Emmett, Women's Solo, 14 laps, 24:43:48"My biggest goal was to stay as steady as I could. On the downhill I just let it go and let my speed carry me through and on the climbs I switched to a high cadence and spun it through."

"I asked Nat (Ross) and Mike (Janelle) and they said to go out hard - not full on - just strong enough to settle into a good pace. After that it just becomes endurance. If you can mentally handle it then you can stay within yourself and just keep going."

"Around 4 a.m. I was going down a descent and my lights went out but Jay (Henry) came up behind me in about five minutes and gave me his helmet light so I was able to keep on riding."

"For me, having to go and suffer for five hours seems tougher. This kind of race is tough but in a different way, you have to pace yourself both mentally and physically."

Keith Bontrager, Men's Masters, 18 laps, 24:54:34"What worked in this race was coming out here early and training before this. I went five minutes faster per lap - almost every lap - than in 2003."

"The course wasn't that different from last year. It was very sandy. The things that change affect the difficulty of the course - sand is the key. If it rains late in the week and packs the sand; that makes it a lot easier to ride."

"My first lap I was nervous and was affected by the drama and meaning of the event more than ever before. I missed lines and felt tied up with nervous energy and that cost me a lot."

"This is the kind of thing that encourages me to race faster. There will be a point when you're just losing ground, you can't improve. This race verified that I can go faster; that's good news."

Kirstin Peterson, Women's Sport, 15 laps, 24:54:30"The first lap is always the hardest. My first lap I was dreaming of sleeping and then you're just too nervous to ride and your legs seize up."

"The night laps were the best because the conditions were good. You never really get to stand out in your yard and watch the weather for 24 hours and we had great weather this year."

Chris Bowman, Single/Rigid Open, 15 laps, 24:16:20"The first lap wasn't sandy at all. It made for a really fast course and I passed a lot of people there plus being on a single-speed with a big gear, I could just power through the sand."

"The single-speed is a bike that I never really ride. Around here you just want as much suspension as possible; that makes riding easier."

"I definitely enjoy night riding more. There are times when you get out there and there's nobody out on the trail except for you and that piece of light in front of you- I enjoy that very much."

The largest mountain bike race west of the Mississippi, a weekend of world-class competition and fat tire camaraderie, and an opportunity to race on some of the most stunning terrain in the U.S. earns The 24 Hours of Moab its status as one of the most celebrated mountain bike races in the world. Supporting Sponsors include NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems, BIKE Magazine, VeloWear.com, and The American Lung Association. Contributing sponsors include Shimano USA and East-West Printing.

Granny Gear Productions, a sports marketing and event production company, has earned a reputation as the industry's most innovative and successful event organizer. With more than 22 years as a mountain bike race organizer, Granny Gear President and CEO, Laird Knight, created the 24-hour racing format in 1991. In 2001, Knight became West Virginia Tourism's Person-of-the-Year and in 2002, Knight was inducted into The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

For full results or more information, visit: www.grannygear.com


Happy Birthday to.... Matt Hansen. Celebrating today.

 


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