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12 Hours of Mesa Verde

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |June 6, 2014 12:35 AM
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12 Hours of Mesa Verde 
Cortez, Colorado

Written by: Shannon Boffeli

In its eighth year the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde has officially reached mountain bike extravaganza status. This season saw a record 900-plus riders competing in the offroad event in southwestern Colorado. As always the majestic cliffs of Mesa Verde National Monument provided the background for 16 miles of singletrack goodness just outside Cortez, Colorado.

Among the 900-plus competitors on hand were endurance racing superstar Josh Tostado (Swiftwick/Santa Cruz) and 3-time solo Mesa Verde champion Jari Kirkland (Griggís Orthopedics), both competing in the solo competition. Kirkland was chasing her third consecutive win at the 12-hour event.

Things got started with a 7 AM LeMans start under blue skies and a light breeze. The powerful storm that dropped over a foot of snow in the mountains of Colorado just missed the 4-corners region and riders were treated to excellent racing conditions.

The first lap was a fast one with a lead group of three reaching the lap barn at the same time. Chris Holley (Kuhl), Kenny Wehn (Stanís NoTubes), and Kirby Bryant (Steamworks) hit the barn together.

Bryantís Steamworks team took the lead on lap two and proved the class of the field for the next 11 hours. The 3-person male team from Durango outpaced the rest of the riders and teams on course.  Finally finishing the race with 9 laps completed.

The solo contestants powered through lap after lap with over 100 riders competing in the solo categories.

As expected Josh Tostado took the early solo lead and cranked out crazy-fast laps staying just in front of 2013 solo champ Brian Bennett (Pivot). Tostado held onto the lead overcoming some difficulties of his own. A loose grip on his hard tail forced a bike change to his dualie. After a lap on the full-suspension a faulty dropper post forced him back on the hard tail. It would take more than bike trouble to stop Tostado however. Despite a few SNAFUs the Swiftwick/Santa Cruz rider stayed strong finishing first by over 40 minutes.

Brian Bennett produced a solid 12 hours of riding taking second just 4 minutes in front of Mike McCauley.

The womenís solo race quickly turned into a battle between an experienced winner and a solo-racing newcomer or Jari Kirkland vs. Marlee Dixon (Epic Brewing/MTBRaceNews.com). Kirkland was gunning for her third consecutive Mesa Verde win, while Dixon was competing in her first-ever 12 hour solo event.

After two of seven laps Dixon took an early lead capitalizing on some difficulties by the experienced veteran Kirkland. With about a 10-minute advantage Dixon used a formula of consistently fast laps and extremely short transitions to stay out front. On lap five and six Kirkland pulled back a handful of minutes but was forced to give them back taking longer breaks in the transition area.

After just over 11 hours Dixon still held close to a 10-minute advantage. As she approached the finish line to collect her first 12 hour victory she was joined by fellow solo racer and significant other Josh Tostado who finally lapped her. The happy couple crossed the finish line together claiming wins in their individual categories.

As always at Mesa Verde excitement could be seen in almost every category. Perhaps the most intriguing of the day happened in the 3-4 person coed group. Four different teams took turns occupying the top-2 spots all throughout the day. Stanís NoTubes, Hammer Nutrition, Epic Brewing/MTBRaceNews.com, and Ska/Zia/Trek all took their shot at locking up the lead of the 3-4 coed category.

NoTubes and Ska/Zia/Trek would prove the best of the bunch as NoTubes held the lead at the start of the ninth and final lap. Nina Baum took on the responsibility of securing the win for NoTubes. She started the lap with just a handful of minutes in hand and Levi Kurlander taking chase for the Ska/Zia/Trek squad.

Baum held nothing back, laying it all on the line to secure the win for her team. Her fighting spirit kept her out front until the final climb of the 16-mile racecourse. Kurlander overtook the NoTubes rider almost in sight of the finish line finally crossing the line just 45 seconds in front of the NoTubes rider. Taking the 3-4 person coed title with the dayís closest margin of victory.

Dani Gregory and the Mesa Verde promotional team have used a simple formula to make their race into a regional mountain bike race destination. Annual event upgrades, an outstanding trail system, and helpful, energetic staff combine to make the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde a must-do event year after year. Itís no surprise this race sells out in hours and keeps riders smiling for months after the sun sets on a their 12 hours of excitement. 


Brief Results

Solo Men

1,

Josh Tostado

Swiftwick/Santa Cruz

8 laps

11.05.20

2,

Brian Bennett

Pivot

8 laps

11.48.34

3,

Mike McCauley

 

8 laps

11.52.49

4,

Neil Beltchenko

Griggs Orthopedics

8 laps

12.03.37

5,

Jefe Branham

Griggs Orthopedics

8 laps

12.16.31


Solo Women

1,

Marlee Dixon

Epic Brewing/MTBRaceNews.com

7 laps

11.05.11

2,

Jari Kirkland

Griggs Orthopedics

7 laps

11.12.56

3,

Tamara Donelson

Cycle Effect

7 laps

12.19.14

4,

Pam Seidler

Basalt Bike and Ski

7 laps

12.39.56

5,

Debbie Mortensen

Diamond Peak/Utah Orthopedics

6 laps

10.22.16


Solo Singelspeed

1,

Shawn Gregory

Kokopelli Bike

8 laps

11.46.05

2,

Bradley Berger

Bach Builders

8 laps

12.17.01

3,

Josh Mortensen

Diamond Peak

8 laps

12.32.55


3-4 Person Coed

1,

Levi Kurlander

Miles Venzara

Nick Gould

Sarah Sturm

Ska/Zia/Trek

9 laps

11.35.05

2,

Jens Nielsen

Kenny When

Nina Baum

Stanís NoTubes

9 laps

11.35.45

3,

Brent Winebarger

Daniel Murray

Greg Lewis

McKenzie Winebarger

Hammer Nutrition

9 laps

11.45.41

 

4,

Drew Free

Jen Hanks

Ryan Ashbridge

Shannon Boffeli

Epic Brewing

MTBRaceNews.com

9 laps

11.52.39

5,

Evan Ross

Sari Anderson

Scott Krankkala

Evanís Minionís

Griggís Orthopedics

9 laps

12.26.29


3-4 Person Male

1,

Kirby Bryant

Stephen Davoust

Victor Rudolph

Steamworks

San Juan Cycles

9 laps

11.21.21

2,

Brian Smith

Bryan Dillon

David Ochs

Rhett Griggs

Griggs Orthopedics

9 laps

11.47.09

3,

Jon Brown

Kevin Van Treek

Paul Pike

Troy Hiatt

Red Rockets

9 laps

11.58.25


3-4 Person Women

1,

Jennifer Tilley

Lea Julson

Rebecca Gross

Therese Johnson

Tough Girl/Scott

8 laps

12.09.45

2,

Brianne Marshall

Elizabeth Shaner

Esther Blom-Geiser

Tina Kempin

Crested Butte EMS

8 laps

12.17.03

3,

Doris Oberlander

Emma Maaranen

Laura LaMarche

Astrogals

7 laps

11.06.50

 


Duo Coed

1,

Chris Holley

KC Holley

Kuhl

8 laps

11.04.38

2,

Bettina Mills

Kevin Sizemore

Rising Star

8 laps

11.23.22

3,

Dan Durland

Kara Durland

Chick N Dick

8 laps

11.40.43


Duo Men

1,

Sam Sweetser

Will McDonald

Cole Sport Racing

9 laps

11.36.07

2,

Alex Smith

Matt Harding

3B Yoga Supernova

9 laps

11.57.54

3,

Andrew Black

Eli Torgeson

Crash Section

9 laps

12.24.47


Duo Women

 

1,

Amy Beisel

Janae Pritchett

Griggs Ortho Ladies

8 laps

11.18.55

2,

Amy Nolan

Jennifer Smith

Mercury Mums Rising

8 laps

11.44.57

3,

Sarah Rawley

Sarka Ruzickova

One Czech & A Quarter

7 laps

11.07.14

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