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.Saturday's 50 Proof riders make the short pedal from downtown Prescott to the fine singletrack offerings of the Prescott National Forest.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.30 Proof riders duked it out up the newly added and scenic Wolverton Trail. With numerous creek crossings, Trail 392 is affectionately known as the 'Garden Grove' trail and is a bomber way to end a ride!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.
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 EventsA stacked professional men's field jockey for position on Senator Highway prior to hitting the dirt.Todd Wells (SRAM TLD Scott) leads Cameron Jette (Scott, CRCS DKI) and Howard Grotts (Specialized) on an early climb
.Jack Pine Road, known as 'The Wall' split the group early on.Even as weather builds in the distance, Tiziana Dehorney (Stan's NoTubes / Pivot Cycles) is all smiles up the Wolverton climb
.Todd Wells was on the front of the men's pack near Skull Valley.Then Howard Grotts kicked it into high gear and broke away en-route to a solo victory. Stan's NoTubes / Pivot Cycles, Shimano teammates; Chloe Woodruff and Rose Grant lead LUNA Pro Team rider Maghalie Rochette up Copper Basin Road.Working together on tacky dirt, Chloe Woodruff, and Rose Grant continue to lead Maghalie Rochette in the late stages of the race
.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.Rose Grant (Stan's NoTubes / Pivot) finished alone and took the win at the 2016 Whiskey Off-Road.Howard Grotts (Specialized) reigned supreme for the second year in a row, winning by a margin of nearly four minutes.The women's podium displaying their equal share of the $30,000 cash purse.Top 10 Women.The men's podium all smiles after a successful bout at the first stop in the Off-Road Series.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. Notables
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.Colby from CamelBak was jamming on course all weekend dishing out hand ups to the thirsty amateurs and pro's because well, they #GotYourBak.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
June 17th - 19th: Inaugural Carson City Off-Road
See ya trailside.