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Grand Junction Off-Road: Day 3

Young Blood Infuses The Inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road

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Young Cyclists Make a Huge Impression on the Future of Mountain Biking

 (Grand Junction, CO) September 1, 2013 –

Grand Junction’s Main Street was abuzz early Sunday morning with talk of the 41 pro riders, 18 women and 23 men, that were about to battle it out for the $20,000 cash purse. The inaugural event posed an uncharted challenge for the pro riders. Welcomed cloud cover kept the morning cool as riders pushed their limits across the challenging 40 Grand course. The field was close with Ben Sonntag (Cannondale, Shimano, American Interbanc) and Sepp Kuss (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Specialized, SRAM) leading the pack for a large portion and battling it out for most of the event, while Pua Mata (Cannondale, Sho-Air), Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers, Scott, Momentum Endurance), and Erin Huck (Tokyo Joes, Trek, Clif) went neck-in-neck for the Women’s Endurance XC win. In the end Ben Sonntag came roaring across the finish line in just over 3 hours with 18 year old Sepp Kuss hot on his heels just over a minute later. Pua Mata was able to pull away and take the win for the Women’s category with a finishing time of 3 hours and 36 minutes and Erin Huck hightailing it in for second place with a time of 3 hours and 45 minutes. Continue Reading →

Mongolia Bike Challenge: Stage 1

Wallace and Williamson take Stage One of the
GENCO Mongolia Bike Challenge presented by Orbea

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Stage One of the GENCO Mongolia Bike Challenge presented by Orbea was a 120 kilometers loop from the Genghis Khan Statue in Tuv Province with 3,000 meters of climbing. The heat of the Mongolian sun combined with the seemingly endless short steep climbing sections challenged the pros and age-groupers alike. Continue Reading →

Grand Junction Off-Road: Day 2

Inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road Raises The bar For XC Racing

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Mountain Bikers Meet the Challenging Grand Course Head On

(Grand Junction, CO) August 31, 2013 –

Saturday brought moderate morning temperatures, cheering spectators, and riders that were anxious to take to the Grand Junction Off-Road course. Escorted by the City of Grand Junction Police Department, participants in both the 30 and 40 Grand took over Main Street en route to the world class Lunch Loops trail system. Although the trail proved to be challenging, the finishing times were impressively fast. Evan Ross of Crested Butte, Colorado was the first to cross the finish in the Men’s Open category with a blistering time of 3 hours and 30 minutes while Kenny Wehn, and Vince Anderson were only minutes behind.  In the Women’s Open Amy Nolan claimed first place with a time of 4 hours and 34 minutes as Tiffany Ballew, and Bethany Elson captured second and third place.  A full day of legitimate cross country riding was brought to a close with the Scott Sports Amateur Awards Ceremony held on the concert stage located in the DT Swiss Event Hub. Energy was high and the podiums were filled with exceptional talent. Epic Rides presented customized wine bottles from Two Rivers Winery (Grand Junction, CO) to the top five finishers in all categories.

Click here for complete results in both the Men’s and Women’s amateur categories.

Continue Reading →

Grand Junction Off-Road: Day 1

Inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road Infuses
New Energy Into Grand Junction

Camaraderie and Shenanigans Bond Mountain Bikers from Across the Country

(Grand Junction, CO) August 31, 2013

The Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office joined forces with Epic Rides to host a unique event that traverses the world class Lunch Loops trail system while highlighting a geologically unique environment that is home to the delicate cryptobiotic soil, a living soil that is composed of algae, lichen, and moss. This fragile and special soil is found mainly in arid environments compliments the lunarscape that makes the Grand Junction Off-Road course special.

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Sunny skies and warm weather welcomed nearly 30 vendors to the Hi-Health Bike and Wellness Expo situated in the heart of downtown Grand Junction. The first day of the inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road was a sight to behold. Highly noted industry leaders like Shimano, Scott-Sports and DT Swiss lined Main Street while participants and spectators arrived from over twenty states in anticipation of a long weekend of world class riding and #GrandShenanigans. The day ended with an estimated 2,000 visitors that congregated at the DT Swiss Event Hub.

Riders of all ages opened the event with the 15 Grand, or 15 mile, Fun Ride. Although the turnout for the ride was intimate, the participants were strong and rose to the challenge without issue.  As luck would have it, the intense afternoon sun was shaded by cloudy skies and cooler temperatures just in time for the riders to take to the course.

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Late afternoon brought the first ever Epic Rides’ Clunker Crit. This whimsical lead in to the Pro Fat Tire Crit had an outstanding presence with a cast of characters that merrily played to cheering and cowbell ringing crowd that could be heard throughout the downtown area.  Creating a lively audience in preparation for the Pros to take the stage, the transition between events was seamless as the pro women took to the pavement with the men following shortly thereafter. The pros were primed and the competition was stiff in both categories. In the end Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) prevailed in the women’s category with Erin Huck (Tokyo Joes) and Pua Mata (Team Sho-Air) close behind; while Troy Wells (Clif Bar) battled it out for first with Ben Sonntag (American Interbank/Cannondale) and Brian Matter (RACC ProGold Lubricants) closing in on second and third. Complete results for the Pro Fat Tire Crit can be found here.

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The City of Grand Junction welcomes mountain bikers from across the country with open arms. The local mountain biking community mingled with visitors of the like-minded while doing what all mountain biking communities do best, have fun and spread enthusiasm for cycling. It was an outpouring of camaraderie as the critical mass took to the streets and trails.

Photos: Devon Balet Photo