Posted by Editoress on 04/17/18
The 3rd and final day of Moab Rocks was as exhilarating as it was exhausting. After two days of physical XC racing, most racers woke up tired; their bodies aching. The Stage 3 course wasn't going to provide any relief as it was just as challenging and demanding as the previous two days. At 8:30 AM the shot went off and competitors headed out toward the Magnificent 7 trails.
The starting pace was mellower due to a stiff headwind on the road. The final stage is the day to finalize positions with most people looking to push hard to try and move up. The lead men waited until off of the first flat road and onto the steep climb to make their attack. From there everyone spread out, pushing as hard as they could up the first 500' climb. Next was a loose quick dirt road descent followed by a fast flat road before climbing back up again. After the first 6 miles of dirt road; the course veered onto the Getaway singletrack, a moderately technical climb with some flowy dirt single track. It was a six mile climb up Getaway and then everyone was rewarded with the screaming descent; Bull Run. It's rocky, it's fast and it makes the climb worth it. The descending continued after Bull Run with more rocky, adrenaline-charged trail on Great Escape.
After descending what felt like forever, the course turned back on Gemini Bridges road where riders climbed up and over the 500' hill before sprinting down to the finish. Today's course was a tough 2500' of climbing over 28 miles. Almost all of the climbing takes place in the first 15 miles making the rest of the course pure joy. If you haven't fallen in love with the trails in Moab yet, Stage 3 today left riders smiling ear to ear. Moab Rocks encompasses three very different trail systems, each with their own unique challenges and rewards. It's a perfect start to the race season as you're sure to leave Moab tired and sore, with memories and experiences you won't forget.
Coming into day 3, Geoff Kabush (Yeti/Maxxis) had a 9 second overall lead over 2nd place Payson McElveen (Orange Seal off road). 3rd place Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX) was only 30 seconds back. Racers started off cautious on the flat windy road, but once on the singletrack, McElveen attacked and right behind him was Kabush. McElveen pushed the pace the entire first half of the race, maintaining a 30 second lead heading into Bull Run. Once on the descent, Kabush was able to make up time. On the final road, McElveen again pushed ahead but was only able to get a 5 second lead on Kabush. McElveen won Stage 3 in a time of 1:57:26 but Kabush keeps the overall GC by 4 seconds with a 3 day ride time of 5:26:59. McElveen finishes 2nd overall (5:26:55) and in 3rd is Justine Lindine (Apex/NBX) (5:30:34).
For the women's pro race, Sparky Sears (Pivot/MRP) was in the lead to start. She pushed the pace up the road trying to distance herself from her competition. Not far back was Jenny Smith (Kenda/Cannondale) and behind her, Marlee Dixon (Pivot/Pearl Izumi). Once on the singletrack climb, Smith caught Sears and the two rode together for a little while before Smith was able to gain the lead and distance herself. Smith won the stage in a time of 2:28:13 but it wasn't enough of a lead to win the overall. Sears wins the overall in a 3 day ride time of 6:54:44, followed by Smith in 2nd (6:59:38) and Dixon in 3rd (7:05:28).
Report courtesy MOAB Rocks
Final GC (brief)
|1 Geoff Kabush (Can) Yeti, Maxxis, Shimano, Fox, Stan's NoTubes, GU||5:26:55.6|
|2 Payson McElveen (USA) Orange Seal Off-road Team||5:26:59.0|
|3 Justin Lindine (USA) Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads||5:30:34.8|
|4 Chris Baddick (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport||5:34:01.1|
|5 Evan Guthrie (Can) RaceFace/Fox/Pivot-On The Edge||5:37:07.2|
|1 Sparky Moir Sears (USA) Pivot Cycles / MRP / Ergon||6:54:44.5|
|2 Jennifer Smith (USA) Women's Elite MTB Team/ Kenda/Cannondale||6:59:38.4|
|3 Marlee Dixon (USA) Pivot/ Pearl Izumi||7:05:28.4|
|4 Tamara Donelson (USA) The Cycle Effect||7:15:07.3|
|5 Liz Carrington (USA) Honey Stinger/Bontrager||7:22:37.6|
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