Earning Turns at the Whiskey Off-Road

May 2, 2016
by Epic Rides  
Riding mountain bikes is fun. Whether you fancy going down hills, up hills, around hills, or Nate Hills, one thing this tribe can agree on is that life is better when the rubber meets dirt. The 13th Annual Whiskey Off-Road came to a close yesterday, leaving nearly 1800 mountain bikers with a lasting grin on their face, and some sore legs to boot.

Epic Rides' slogan is ...a good day on the bike. The essence of an Off-Road Series event (Whiskey Off-Road, Grand Junction Off-Road, Carson City Off-Road) keys on showcasing some of the country's finest singletrack while preserving a few of mountain biking's lasting traditions: ride bikes, drink cold beverages and celebrate.

The start of the 50 Proof saw almost 400 riders Saturday.
Saturday's 50 Proof riders make the short pedal from downtown Prescott to the fine singletrack offerings of the Prescott National Forest.

Fifty-proof riders top out at Jack PineRoad Saturday
A 50 Proof rider tops out on Jack Pine Road.

An overwhelming amount of positive feedback toward the course changes, which included segments of the Prescott Circle Trail and two bonus mile options allowed riders to choose their own adventure along the route, resulting in zero reported bottlenecks, an issue of years past.

The 30-Proof leaders duke it out Saturday.
30 Proof riders duked it out up the newly added and scenic Wolverton Trail.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 1
With numerous creek crossings, Trail 392 is affectionately known as the 'Garden Grove' trail and is a bomber way to end a ride!

A 50-proof finisher crosses the line Saturday.
In spite of a couple minor drizzles throughout the day, riders were all smiles upon reaching the finish line, especially this guy, Christopher Beardsley, who earned himself a podium spot with a blazing fast time of 3 hours and 49 minutes.

Black Joe Lewis performs Saturday.

Because a good day on the bike deserves a party of epic proportions, Austin, TX-based Black Joe Lewis fueled a banger within the western confines of Whiskey Row's Matt's Saloon.

Sunday Pro Events

The men s field climbs out of Prescott on pavement.
A stacked professional men's field jockey for position on Senator Highway prior to hitting the dirt.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 3
Todd Wells (SRAM TLD Scott) leads Cameron Jette (Scott, CRCS DKI) and Howard Grotts (Specialized) on an early climb.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 3
Jack Pine Road, known as 'The Wall' split the group early on.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 3
Even as weather builds in the distance, Tiziana Dehorney (Stan's NoTubes / Pivot Cycles) is all smiles up the Wolverton climb.

Todd Wells leads the men s pack near Skull Valley.
Todd Wells was on the front of the men's pack near Skull Valley.

Howard Grotts breaks away from the pack not he climb out of Skull Valley.
Then Howard Grotts kicked it into high gear and broke away en-route to a solo victory.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 3
Stan's NoTubes / Pivot Cycles, Shimano teammates; Chloe Woodruff and Rose Grant lead LUNA Pro Team rider Maghalie Rochette up Copper Basin Road.

Chloe Woodruff leads Rose Grant and Mahgalie Rochelle on single track.
Working together on tacky dirt, Chloe Woodruff, and Rose Grant continue to lead Maghalie Rochette in the late stages of the race.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 3
Friday evenings Women's Fat Tire Crit champion, Evelyn Dong (Cannondale 360 Fly Sugoi) put in a late push to grab 2nd place with a time of 3 hours and 53 minutes.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 3
Rose Grant (Stan's NoTubes / Pivot) finished alone and took the win at the 2016 Whiskey Off-Road.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 3
Howard Grotts (Specialized) reigned supreme for the second year in a row, winning by a margin of nearly four minutes.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 3
The women's podium displaying their equal share of the $30,000 cash purse.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016
Top 10 Women.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016 Day 3
The men's podium all smiles after a successful bout at the first stop in the Off-Road Series.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016
Top 10 Men.

Link to full results

With $60,000 total in event cash purse still on the line + $10,000 to the overall series winners (lowest cumulative time), Benjamin Sonntag (Clif Bar, Niner Bikes, SRAM) and Rose Grant (Stan's NoTubes / Pivot Cycles, Shimano) lead in the standings for riders committed to all three Off-Road Series events with Todd Wells behind by 1 minute and Maghalie Rochette (LUNA Pro Team (Clif Bar), Shimano, Fox) trailing by 5:35 respectively.


The singletrack superstar of the weekend went to Logan Blanchard. The 11-year-old backcountry shredder rode in the Whiskey Off-Road 50 Proof. When asked what he thought of the course he replied with a huge smile, "I can't wait to do it again next year". Maxxis Tires was so impressed with Logan’s super-human level of endurance they gave him a set of 29” Ardent tires to help make his next backcountry singletrack ride an even better experience.

Whiskey Off-Road 2016
Colby from CamelBak was jamming on course all weekend dishing out hand ups to the thirsty amateurs and pro's because well, they #GotYourBak.

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This Train's a Rollin'

With two more stops in the queue, Epic Rides is stoked to invite mountain bikers of all disciplines to Grand Junction, CO and Carson City, NV. Each event has a unique story and world class trail system that will draw mountain bikers from around the globe to enjoy an authentic backcountry experience featuring sustained burly climbs, real techy sections, and long G out downhills. Winners of the pro or amateur ranks will be proficient on the mountain bike in all terrains; being just a strong roadie will not suffice. And regardless of one's finishing position, all walk away from the weekend proud to be a bonafide mountain biker.

Up Next:

May 20th - 22nd: 4th Annual Grand Junction Off-Road

Views: 3,440    Faves: 5    Comments: 0

June 17th - 19th: Inaugural Carson City Off-Road

Views: 382    Faves: 0    Comments: 0

See ya trailside.

MENTIONS: @epic-rides


  • + 14
 There must be something in water in Duragno.
  • + 7
 Or NOT in the air...
  • + 10
 yup, cadmium & lead.
  • + 7
 There is definitely something in the Animas River.....
  • + 2
 @HaydenBeck: how's that going over there? Last I heard they said it has settled into the silt in the river bottom. So what happens now when the snowpack thaws and disturbs all the rock/sand?
  • + 2
 @yeti951SD: Increased stream flow each spring will simultaneously move the effect sediment downstream and bury it in new sediment. Once metals like that settle out of the water, it's damn near impossible to get them out.
  • + 1
 @PAmtbiker: So sad. I went up to Durango in 2009 did some riding and took the train up to Silverton definitely one of the most beautiful places to ride/hike/explore.
  • + 1
 @yeti951SD: Did you hit up Ouray? Its not the best for riding, but an incredible mountain town for sure.
  • + 7
 Great articles with wonderful pics. And who doesn't like it when a kid gets prize swag! Keep it up guys
  • + 4
 If you take a look at the course map (Google 'Prescott Whisky' or something like that) the race starts in downtown Prescott and goes up a highway to get to the trails. This is actually better than in years past as far as the amount of pavement at the start of the race goes.

I'm not an event organizer and I don't play one on TV but having the start/finish in downtown Prescott is desirable in order to go with the event and the atmosphere of an event.
  • + 3
 It was awesome! So much support from the towns people lining the streets. The start allowed enough time to get position before pivotal singletrack section. I started well back from the lead corral and was able to work my way into a decent position.
  • + 5
 29" tires for an 11 year old? He won't be able to ride those for a few more years! Nice gesture though Maxxis. Damn kid, that is impressive.
  • + 5
 Equal payout to men and women pros. Got to love Epic Rides for spearheading that movement!
  • + 3
 I love seeing Tinker still mixing it up with the fast kids. Dude still rips!
  • + 1
 Nothing about single speed category?
  • + 3
 Sorry for that...Nate Miller took it for the men with a crazy fast time of 3:50 and Kaitlyn Boyle took the win for the women with an equally impressive time of 4:38. Both are heading to SSWC in Melbourne, Australia this October courtesy of Tucson, AZ's Fairwheel Bikes.
  • + 1
 Colby looks a little young to be working at camelbak....
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