World’s Most Prestigious Mountain Bike Team Relay
RealTime™ online results

Specialized fastest team, Juarez, Stevenson top solo riders.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 20, 2003
Primary contact: Elizabeth Gillespie tel: 304 259 5533 (WV HQ)

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Lap-by-lap results for this event are rendered by the RealTime™ scoring system giving live updates online.

MOAB, Utah – The desert resounded with the cheers and ‘waytogoes’ of mountain biking, October 18-19, when The 9th Annual Honda 24 Hours of Moab, one of mountain biking’s largest, oldest and most prestigious team relay races, was contested by 483 teams adding up to 1759 competitors. They raced their hearts out, while fun times and the team spirit reigned throughout the weekend at one of the toughest cycling events of the year.

Competitors raced in 17 classes, from 12-year-old Jozephine Gessner (Dillon, CO) in the Junior Women’s class, all the way to 248lb Bryon Wright in the Clydesdale class. The range of experience ran from mid-level amateurs up to Olympians. And while most of those competing rode on amateur teams— this is practically the ultimate weekend warrior event — leading pro riders competed in the Coed Pro/Am and Duo Pro classes, and were also present among the hardy extreme 70 athletes in the Men’s and Women’s solo classes.

Notable among the pro entrants were stars of the road racing scene Danny Pate (Colorado Springs, CO / Prime Alliance) and Michael Creed (Boulder, CO / Rollin’ Thunder) of the Prime Alliance professional road team.

With stunning rocky outcrops rising out of the desert ground, riders with time to admire the scenery had world class views to look at. Hot temperatures, which rendered the 14.9 mile loop dry and dusty, and a windless high of 79F on race day, which made conditions harder than usual. Yet the upside of the energy-sapping desert daytime heat was warmer temperatures during the night. And a new record of total miles ridden was set at 65,235 ¾ equal to two-and-a-half times around Earth ¾ and with 1300 feet of climbing a lap, the aggregate of height gained by riders in the race was 1084 miles!

Of the teams, the elite Specialized squad of Jay Henry (Avon, CO), Jimi Mortenson (Eagle, CO), Kelli Emmett (Colorado Springs, CO) and Suzy Pryde (Auckland, NZ), emerged supreme, winning the Coed Pro/Am class and finishing fastest overall. Yet it was not a clean run for them. Team captain, Henry, 28, broke his chain only five minutes into the race, and suddenly the pressure was on. “You know something like that may happen in such a long race, but you hope it won’t happen in the first five minutes,” said Henry. He made a hurried repair and ultimately managed to complete the first lap only a minute behind his main rivals from the Luna Chix/WTB team of Mark Weir (Novato, CA), Glenn Fant (Santa Rosa, CA), Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, CO) and Marla Streb (Los Osos, CA), who finished the race in second place. Third place in the Coed Pro/Am class went to the SoBe-Cannondale team of Kyle Gillespie (Provo, UT), Todd Tanner (Herriman, UT), Kathy G Sherwin (Heber City, UT), and Judy L
Freeman (Durango, CO).

Although he made up good time following his repair, Henry was still about seven minutes slower on Lap One than the fastest riders, who included the Expert class Joe’s Wingmen team comprising Jason Lapointe (Snowmass, CO), Joel Mischke (Aspen, CO), Joe Wheadon (Aspen, CO), and Wade Newsom (Basalt, CO). The Specialized number two rider, Jimi Mortenson, 28, made up much of this difference on Lap Two by riding the fastest lap of the race in 59 minutes, 32 seconds. Mortenson scored again when he took the Specialized team into the overall race lead on the final, 20th lap, passing Mischke, of Joe’s Wingmen, who had stopped to repair a flat tire. The Joe’s Wingmen team won the Expert class.

In the solo class, Tinker Juarez (Downey, CA/ Siemens Mobile - Cannondale) and 24-hour first-timer Trisha Stevenson (Carrboro, NC / SoBe-Cannondale) became AMTRI world champions with victory in the Men’s and Women’s categories respectively. “This was the hardest course I’ve ridden this year,” commented an exhausted Juarez, 42, who is a veteran of the 24-hour racing circuit. Juarez completed an impressive 17 laps, amounting to 253 miles, and stopped only to briefly nibble a burrito during his epic ride. According to his support crew, most of his calories and nutrients were in liquid form.

Juarez reported suffering in the desert heat during the first four hours of the race. “I considered quitting,” he said after the race. Challenges came early in the race from Cameron Chambers, 22, (Great Bend, KS / Gary Fisher) and Mike Janelle (Avon, CO / Tokyo Joes). During the night Janelle crashed hard and was taken to hospital with a badly bruised hip. Chambers went on to finish a comfortable second place, with 16 laps. Nat Ross (Vail, CO / Subaru-Gary Fisher) finished third with 15 laps.

Arguably the most impressive performance was the spectacular entry to 24-hour racing by Trisha Stevenson, 34, who beat established names like Jenna Woodbury and Christina Begy. Although an accomplished performer in 100-mile mountain bike racing, it was thought the 24-hour discipline would take Stevenson more time to adjust. She went into an early lead and held it for the entirety of her 13 laps. Misinformation from Stevenson’s support crew with two laps to go put chaser Jenna Woodbury at only 20 minutes back, when in fact the gap was about twice that. Stevenson put on a burst of speed that exhausted her, and was almost unable to complete the last lap. “I’ve never felt so depleted in my life, I’m physically tapped,” said Stevenson at the awards ceremony. Delighted with her success, she admitted that “Given the stiff competition, I was hoping for maybe a podium place, but I had aspirations of winning as a secret fantasy.” Second-placed Woodbury completed 12 laps, 10 minutes ahe
ad of third-placed Kelley Mattingly (Basalt, CO). Pre-race favorite Christina Begy (Denver, CO / Spot) had what must have been a disappointing ride and completed only six laps.

Event director Laird Knight said of the event “I am extremely happy. It was by far the biggest and best event we have ever produced. Everything ran smoothly and the racers appreciated all we did for them. I’m blessed with one of the best operations crews in mountain biking.”

About the Honda Element
Honda is proud to return to Moab as the title sponsor of the event for the second year in a row. A Pilot, CR-V and Element were on display in the Honda Base Camp. The Element delivers unparalleled functionality and features side cargo doors, available 4-wheel drive, and a large, highly adaptable interior with wipe-down seats and floors and removable flip-up rear seats.

About Granny Gear
Team relay racing is the fastest growing genre of mountain bike racing in the world. Granny Gear Productions Inc. is the founder of the 12-, 18- and 24-hour mountain bike team relay formats, having started with the original 24 Hours of Canaan (WV) in 1992. Other Granny Gear Productions events include: the 24 Hours of Temecula (CA); 24 Hours of Snowshoe (WV); 24 Hours of Tahoe (CA); and 24 Hours of Moab (UT). Granny Gear Productions events are sanctioned by the Association of Mountain Bike Team Racing International (AMTRI).

2004 24 Hour Race Series Dates:
The 2nd Annual 24 Hours of Temecula
April 24th & 25th, 2004
Vail Lake Village & Resort
Temecula, CA

The 13th Annual 24 Hours of Snowshoe
June 26th & 27th, 2004
Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Snowshoe, WV

The 7th Annual 24 Hours of Tahoe
August 28th& 29th, 2004
Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort
Lake Tahoe, CA

*The 9th Annual 24 Hours of Moab
October 16th & 17th, 2004
Moab, UT
*AMTRI World Championships