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El Paso Puzzler Endurance MTB Event - NE

El Paso, Texas, February 7, 2009

2008 Results   Results    

Local female pro wins overall Endurance MTB Event

Jennifer Tribe-Wilson (Titus/WTB) exits the west side of the range with a two minute lead
Photo ©: David Wilson
(Click for larger image)

The second El Paso Puzzler mountain bike event saw almost 60 riders line up for what turned out to be a much longer event than anticipated. The Puzzler, in its second year, circumnavigated the northern portion of the Franklin Mountains with a 35-mile loop plus another extra 15 miles of rocky singletrack on the west side of the mountains. Most of the race's trails were located in the Franklin Mountain State Park, the largest urban state park in the United States.

Local Titus/WTB pro Jennifer Tribe-Wilson met her goal of a sub-six hour finish and en route defeated all of the other men and women in the race. Many were pulled from the course at several check points, and the final finisher came in after over eight hours of riding. Due to the tough course, Wilson rode a 27-pound full suspension bike despite the fact that she only weighs 120 pounds.

"This course demands it," said Tribe-Wilson. "You've got to be able to relax on endurance courses, but this course is so damn rocky you can't settle in to a groove without a big bike."

Tribe-Wilson rode the first 27 miles in third or fourth place overall, about five minutes behind eventual fourth place men's Category 1 finisher and local El Paso roadie hard man Henry Swinty (Rica Burger), who traded licks on the first lap with eventual Category 1 men's winner Keith Ashmore. Tribe-Wilson, who usually hits the big climb on her training rides at least once a week, reeled in the two leaders up Mundy's Gap. Swinty cracked during the singletrack climbing, and Ashmore had trouble maintaining traction at the bottom of the steep jeep road climb to the top.

Men's winner Keith Ashmore exits the dirt for the last mile and half
Photo ©: David Wilson
(Click for larger image)

The course had a total of 8,000 feet of climbing with an agonizingly slow 1,600-foot grind to the top of Mundy's Gap to cross back over the range.

Race director David Wilson (Tribe-Wilson's husband) called the Puzzler course the most difficult 50-mile course in the country. "Having ridden a couple hundred milers, countless traditional cross country courses including Snowshoe, West Virginia, in axle-deep mud, and trails all over North America, I'm pretty confident that this is the toughest marathon length course currently available in the US.

"Canada might have some tougher stuff, and there are some courses that get tough when they get muddy, but we never get mud and our riding season is best during the winter," said Wilson who conjured up the event with his wife several years ago, but could never get enough people interested in riding some of the trails circumnavigating El Paso's Franklin Mountains until last year.

The top three in each category walked home with a Paris-Roubaix style trophy consisting of a jagged piece of "Franklin Red"…the granite rock characteristic of the course.

The event served as the main fundraiser for the Borderland Mountain Bike Association.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by David Wilson

Images by Priscilla Rossen


50 mile event

Elite women

1 Jennifer Tribe-Wilson (Titus/WTB)      5.58.00
Men Category 1

1 Keith Ashmore                          6.12.00
2 Mike Rossen (The Bicycle Co.)            12.00
3 Ryan Cody                                14.00
4 Henry Swinty (Rica Burger)               17.00
5 Jan Bear (Team Santa Fe)                 36.00
6 Juan Hernandez                           47.00
7 Michael Mangan (Big Wheel Racing)        58.00
8 Dave Kraig (Rattle yer Dags)           1.03.00
DNS Alan Rishel (Zia Velo)                      
Women category 1

1 Kim Bear (Team Santa Fe)               8.16.00
DNS Karen Rishel (Zia Velo)                     
Men category 2

1 Brent Sanders                          6.25.00
2 Juan Salaynadia                          44.00
3 Luis Gutierrez (Team Intense Chih)       45.00
4 Ediberto Legaspy (Team Intense Chih)     46.00
5 Gustavo Fierro                         1.02.00
6 Richard Rose (Terminator)              1.29.00
7 Erling Brabaek                         1.42.00
8 Logan Ross                             1.47.00
9 Raymond Padilla (Dirt Bitch)           1.50.00
10 Cameron Bailey                        1.58.00
DNF Jorge Sandoval                              
DNF Ayden Hibner-Hereford (Active Knowledge)    
DNF Andre Graefe                                
DNF Yonathan Hernandez                          
DNF James Inzer                                 
DNF Michael Orendorff                           
DNF Javier Soliz                                
DNF Bruce Wacker                                
DNF Kareem Hager                                
DNF Jaime Kuehnel                               
DNF Abram Diaz                                  
DNF Alfredo Nunez                               
DNS Jose Molina                                 

Women Cat 2                                   
1 Susanne Rasmussen                      6.29.00
2 Ciara Cusack                           1.12.00

Unknown category

1 Chris Hereford (Big Wheel Racing)      7.00.00
2 Matt Killeen                           1.18.00
35 mile

Men category 3

1 Blain Freestone                        5.17.00
2 Patrick Amy                               3.00
3 Felix Hernando                           26.00
4 Mike Johnson                             27.00
5 John Duffy                               28.00
6 Bobby Weathersby                         36.00
7 Jaime Midez                              43.00
8 Luis Martinez                          1.06.00
9 Cole Phillips                          1.14.00
10 Joel Delgado (Ciclismo Juarez)        1.18.00
11 Joze Gonzalez (Satelite Team)         2.02.00
12 Manuel Pardo                          2.08.00
13 Syed Yusoof                           2.09.00
14 Tom Benson                            2.38.00
14 Adrian Urias                                 
15 Luis Dominguez                        2.40.00
DNF Martin Sotero                               
DNF David Villegas                              
DNF Marcus Brown                                
DNF Jeff Bero                                   
DNF Jesus Palma                                 
DNS David Steyer                                
DNF Roberto Abbud                               
DNF Humberto Gonzalez                           
DNS Joe Oker                                    
DNF Ana Paulo Duran