Photo Epic: Keegan Swenson & Lael Wilcox Win the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo 2022

Feb 22, 2022
by Epic Rides  



24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is one of the premier 24-hour events in endurance racing. Celebrating 22 years of biking in the Sonoran Desert, the annual race, party, bike expo and all-around good time saw hundreds of racers laying down laps on fast singletrack. The 16-mile course has a reasonable 900 feet of climbing and mixes sections of two-track roads and narrow singletrack amongst cholla and prickly pear. Moderate temperatures hovering in the 70s during the day and mid-40’s at night made for great racing weather.

The top winners for the weekend were Keegan Swenson, the current XCO National Champion, who put down a record-breaking 21 laps in the Solo Male category and ultra endurance racer, Tour Divide and Baja Divide course record holder Lael Wilcox won the Solo Female division with 17 laps. Solo Singlespeed Male Gordan Wadsworth took first in that category with 19 laps while Clarice Sayle took first in the Solo Singlespeed category with 14 laps.

Leading up the race, all eyes were on the matchup between Swenson and Taylor Lideen. Lideen is an experienced 24-hour racer and this would be Swenson’s first 24-hour event. Lideen won the event in 2018 and finished second in 2020. As the race progressed Swenson pulled ahead of Lideen, who stopped racing after six laps. Timon Fish, who ended up placing second, was never very far behind but ultimately couldn't keep up with Swenson's consistently fast laps.

Racers pre-ride the course on Friday.
Racers pre-ride the Skip the Bitches section of the course on Friday.

Racers pre-ride the course on Friday.
Racers pre-ride the course on Friday.

Volunteers from Sonoran Desert Mountain Bikers serve up beers during the dedication event on Friday.
Volunteers from Sonoran Desert Mountain Bikers serve up beers during the dedication event on Friday.

A Bicycle Ranch tunes up a bike a the Expo.
A Bicycle Ranch mechanic tunes up a bike at the Expo on Friday.

The beer garden at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo.
The beer garden at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is always a hit.

Racers walk through the bike expo.
Racers walk through the bike expo on Friday.

A racer displays their 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo tattoo.
A racer displays their 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo tattoo.

Racers raise a beer to event dedicants June Johnson and Phil Nagle.
Racers raise a beer to event dedication recipients June Johnson and Phil Nagle.

A young racers tests the rock drop on Friday.
A young racer tests the rock drop on Friday.

The sun sets over 24-Hour town on Friday.
The sun sets over 24-Hour town on Friday.

Spectators gather at the Rock Drop on Friday.
Spectators gather at the Rock Drop on Friday.

Sunset at the rock drop is always a good option.
Sunset at the rock drop is always a good option.

The mountains surrounding the venue glow at sunset on Friday.
The mountains surrounding the venue glow at sunset on Friday.

Racers gather for the pre-race meeting on Saturday morning.
Racers gather for the pre-race meeting on Saturday morning.

The Le Mans style start makes for an interesting spectacle.
The Le Mans style start makes for an interesting spectacle.

Cholla and prickly peat cactus are plentiful on the course.
Cholla and prickly peat cactus are plentiful on the course.

A racer rides the first lap in un his underwear Saturday.
A racer rides the first lap in un his underwear Saturday.

A racer catches air in front of the beer garden on Saturday.
A racer catches air in front of the beer garden on Saturday.

The golden hour begin on Saturday.
The golden hour illuminates a colorful racer on Saturday.

A racer descends back to 24 Hour Town on Friday.
A racer descends back to 24 Hour Town as the sun sets on Saturday.

The last rays of sun catch a racer on the high point trail on Saturday.
The last rays of sun catch a racer on the high point trail on Saturday.

Racers on course on Saturday.
Racers speeding down the High Point trail Saturday.

Keegan Swenson catches air with a slice of pizza in his mouth on Saturday.
Keegan Swenson catches air with a slice of pizza in his mouth on Saturday.

A crowd gathers at the rock drop on Saturday
Cruising down the rock drop on Saturday.

A man cheers a racers coming back to 24 Hour Town on Saturday.
A man cheers racers coming back to 24 Hour Town on Saturday.

A sea of cactus surrounds racers on Saturday.
A sea of cholla, prickly pear and barrel cactus surrounds racers on Saturday.

The last rays of sun illuminate a racers dust trail on Saturday.
The last rays of sun illuminate a racers dust trail on Saturday.

Keegan Swenson leads Taylor Lidded and Timon Fish down the High Point trail on Saturday.
Keegan Swenson leads Taylor Lideen and Timon Fish down the High Point trail on Saturday.

A racer waits for an exchange on Saturday night.
A racer waits for an exchange on Saturday night.

The lights of racers glow on in the moonlight on Saturday.
The lights of racers glow on in the moonlight on Saturday.

The lights of 24 Hour Town are contrasted by the lights on Tucson in the background ob Saturday.
The lights of 24 Hour Town are contrasted by the lights on Tucson in the background ob Saturday.

Lael Wilcox rolls the rock drop at dawn on Sunday morning.
The glow of sunrise illuminates eventual women’s winner Lael Wilcox on the rock drop Sunday morning.

A volunteer directs racers at the exchange tent on Sunday morning.
A volunteer directs racers at the exchange tent on Sunday morning.

A young fan high-fives racers as they finish on Sunday morning.
A young fan high-fives racers as they finish on Sunday morning.

 Hit the kicker was a popular phrase heard at the rock drop on Sunday.
Hit the kicker! was a popular phrase heard at the rock drop on Sunday.

Racers line up to complete the race on Sunday afternoon.
Racers line up to complete the race on Sunday afternoon.

Racers lounge in the beer garden after the awards ceremony.
Racers lounge in the beer garden after the awards ceremony.

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo
Keegan Swenson stands on the podium after his record-breaking 21 laps on Sunday.


In partnership with Visit Tucson


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35 Comments

  • 78 1
 XC/endurance race with beer garden, pizza, rock kickers with complimentary heckle squad, and personalities crushing a lap in a speedo? (skin slowly morphing into lycra) Do I... Do I wanna race XC now??
  • 3 1
 Maybe this would tickle your fancy?

elynevada.net/fears-tears-and-beers
  • 6 0
 It was my first time this year and holy hell was it a blast. Great people, fun racing and lots of beer and whiskey.
  • 10 0
 XC has always been cool if you know what events to go to Razz
  • 53 0
 "Taylor Lindeen dropped after 6 laps" is a depressing way to say "Taylor Lindeen dropped after riding 96 miles".... And Keegan did 15 more laps than that lol. 340 miles in 24 hours on a mountain bike. Bonkers.
  • 23 0
 Only a 2 lap difference, over 24 hours, between overall winner and Single speed winner? Yea 32 miles but that is mind blowing.
  • 17 0
 SS is about the same on this course [My guess is Keegan could do 20.5 on an SS in the same time] Amazing effort by both Quadsworth & Keegan. Did 17 in 2020 SS and can't imagine doing 19, much less 21 geared!
  • 18 0
 21 laps around the course is equal to 336 miles and 18900 feet of climbing. Yikes.
  • 14 0
 Yes, if you go to Keegan Swensons Strava he completed 340 miles and just over 22,000 feet of climbing

www.strava.com/activities/6714068786
  • 10 0
 I've said it many times: Todd and the Epic Rides guys put on the absolute best events in the industry.

Not too late to sign up for the Whiskey in Prescott!
  • 1 0
 I love me some Prescott singletrack. I'd give anything to be there for this event:
epicrides.com/events/whiskey-off-road/event-guide
  • 13 3
 You had me at "Lael". Click.
  • 4 0
 Didn't see a pic of her?
  • 5 0
 Way cooler vibe here than any of the Canada cup / BC cup DH races i went to last summer. And things were happening before the next COVID wave rolled in so you can’t blame it on that. Generally speaking people need to party more at those events.
  • 5 0
 Can't agree more. Racing is cool, but the social aspect of these venues should be the central focus to grow the races.
  • 7 0
 These racing events always seem like so much fun! Shame that longer, endurance races are not as popular anymore in Canada
  • 5 0
 Okanagan24 is coming back this year and the organizer is trying for one at the Canmore centre as well, maybe it's happening.
  • 6 0
 Pretty sure the photo of "Lael" is not actually Lael. Looked like a rad event!
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I'm seeing factory orange instead of sid blue
  • 5 0
 I finally made it into a pinkbike article. Sponsors should be rolling in any minute...
  • 2 0
 I wasn't there this year (baby's due in a couple weeks) but heard there was a porta potty themed after Jon Bon Jovi. It was called Bon Jovi's Jon or something like that. Check out ig #24hopportaparty.

Idk, I just imagine myself after a few laps and a couple or more beers deep, stumbling around town munching edibles and what-have-you's, then nature calls. You randomly end up in Bon Jovi's Jon to poop. You're sitting there in your own private disco, Living On a Prayer blasting on some crappy speaker, poop literally streaming out your butt and all you can think about is sharing this experience with your friends and family back home. You realize in this moment you've totally made it, you hit the jack pot. In the moment. It's just so profound. You know you just cracked the code.

This is why 24hop is pretty neat. Whether you end up pooping in a party pooper, stumbling into a camp dishing out free lobster tail, meeting your to be husband/wife and not even knowing it, there's just so much magic shit that happens out there. highly recommend 10/10 a+

Leddy, good shots buddy, long live 24
  • 4 0
 Judging from this report,it seems that this was a beer party with some bikes on the side.
  • 3 0
 aka perfection.
  • 4 0
 How about the dude in cut-offs, riding a singlespeed gravel bike, blowing the doors off everyone?
  • 3 0
 I'll be see just how fast Keegan is in few weeks at the Cactus Cup. Thankfully I'm not racing against him.
  • 4 0
 Lael was apparently too fast for the marketing team.
  • 5 0
 #Where’sLaelTho?
  • 3 0
 Photo stories are my fav! Cool stuff from the Epic Rides team!
  • 3 1
 I'd have thought a little more coverage for Lael in the photo's would be great.
  • 2 1
 Keegan is so good! Imagine him and Blevins teaming up and crushing the euros in World Cup XC. ‘Merica!
  • 2 0
 Google had fun with the photo captions tup
  • 2 0
 So good to see 24 hour racing making a comeback.
  • 2 0
 I’d like to see a ProBike setup article for these winners bikes!

Hump
  • 2 0
 absolute machines!





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