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National Mountain Bike Series #2 (NMBS) - 2
Fountain Hills, Arizona, USA, April 4-6, 2008
Race 1 - April 4: NOVA Marathon (all categories)
Crampfest in the desert
By Dave McElwaine in Fountain Hills, Arizona
Liam Killeen (Specialized) dominated the men's field at McDowell Mountain Park with blazing speed despite challenging desert heat. Killeen finished the 75 mile race in four hours, followed five minutes later by a feisty Evan Plews (Scott USA). Tinker Juarez (Monavie) came home for third with Nat Ross (Suburu/Gary Fisher) close in fourth.
The temperature at the start of the race was 70 degrees F. but climbed to 85 degrees F. by race end. Riders had a difficult time with getting sufficient fluids, and many reported severe cramping during the race. The course used much of the Pemberton trail that consisted of a combination of single-track and sandy fire roads. Rather than the customary 62 miles racers did slightly over 75 miles.
The Pro Men's field had only 15 racers but was star studded with the likes of mountain biking legends Travis Brown (Trek/FRS) and David "Tinker" Juarez. Cody Peterson (Scott USA) made his debut to marathon racing with an impressive two laps but dropped out.
Hydration was the challenge of the day. "Every time I would stand up my legs would cramp so I couldn't do anything. Having just one water bottle cage and no support out there was not good" said Jaurez.
When asked about his race Nat Ross responded " The last lap was brutal and the second lap was brutal as well, a lot of cramping, after a first lap in the big chainring....It was a crampfest no matter what you did out there and it just kept getting hotter. I had 12 water bottles and they are all empty"...."You know who raced awesome was Evan Plews. He rose to the occasion, attacked, and it paid off".
When asked about his race tactics Killeen said "I just tried to keep the same tempo going. I really did not attack. The other guys got a bit tired and drifted back".
How it unfolded
The first lap was blistering fast with Killeen, Plews, and Peterson all taking turns at the front. Travis Brown could be seen dangling on and off the back of this elite group. Plews threw down a first lap attack but the group was able to respond.
By the second lap Brown had lost five minutes to the leaders who continued to hammer as if they were oblivious to the distance still to ride, or the rising temperature. Every rider in the group later reported cramping.
Despite giving Killeen all he could handle, Plews finally popped off the back on the final lap. Once Killeen was out of sight, Plews seemed to settle into his own comfortable pace. Juarez and Ross came through the last feed zone close to each other and the crowd at the finish line began to anticipate a sprint finish between the two. That was not to happen as Juarez was able to open a three second lead on the final climbs to the finish.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Dave McElwaine /www.trailwatch.net
Elite / Semi-pro men 1 Liam Killeen (Specialized) 4.00.44 2 Evan Plews (ScottUSA) 4.25 3 David (Tinker) Juarez (Monavie/Cannondale) 12.26 4 Nat Ross (Subaru-Gary Fisher) 12.30 5 Travis Brown (Trek/FRS) 30.18 6 Brad Pilling (Are You) 31.06 7 Cale Redpath (3D Racing) 31.16 8 Ben Thompson (Santiam) 32.45 9 Matt Ohran (Monaviecannondale) 39.00 10 David Wilson 40.29 11 Miles Venzara (Directory) 41.06 12 Kimo Seymour (Landis Cycles) 52.43 13 Chuck Wheeler 59.42 14 Brian Bennett (Pivot Cycles) 1.01.33 DNF Cody Peterson (Scott Bicycles) DNF Tim Bolton (Liqui-Serv.) Elite women 1 Sarah Kaufmann (Roaring) 5.14.53 2 Kristen Hayden Phillips (Red Rock) 55.03 3 Caroline Goulard (Sho-Air) 1.04.16 Expert men 19-29 1 Taylor Lideen (DP Air) 3.01.41 2 Sem Gallegos (Team Ortho.) 4.42 3 Brent Pontius 28.17 4 Jack Patton (Absolute) 46.56 Expert men 30-34 1 Clint Hosman (Evomo) 3.09.49 2 Jonathan Carnes (Ska Racing) 8.12 Expert men 35-39 1 Jamie Kilcoyne (Chipotle) 3.17.54 2 Matthew Duke (Pccc/661) 1.05 3 Myron Billy 12.34 4 Joe Roberts (Team Phoenix) 16.43 5 Eric Ivey 26.50 Expert men 40-49 1 Guy Sutton (Calcoast) 2.57.13 2 Mike Hogan (Chipotle) 0.00 3 Peter Tempest (Adventrure) 6.20 4 Trever Bushnell (Titus Cycles) 13.47 5 Thomas Dooley (Chipotle) 15.27 6 Arthur Macfarland (Procon Cycles) 15.58 7 Robert Laroche (Procon) 20.27 8 Drew Geer (Chipotle) 22.41 9 Eric Reichert (DNA Cycles) 28.11 10 Mike Hillenbrand (Hillenbran) 35.47 11 Joe Lozon (Phoenix) 44.52 Expert men 50+ 1 Rob Bernhard (Cal Coast) 3.29.21 Expert women 30-39 1 Windy Marks (Big Fish) 3.36.00 2 Irene Pang (Athletes) 36.29 Expert women 40+ 1 Lori Wheeler 3.49.57 2 Janet Kerby (Primus) 5.05 3 Sheri Wallace 48.05 DNF Margaret Grove (Absolute)