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Tinker takes a tight win over Dana Weber at Vision Quest in Orange County, CA

Posted by: Jens Raz |May 5, 2013 3:22 PM
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Tinker takes a tight win over Dana Weber at Vision Quest in Orange County,  CA

The Vision Quest is a Southern California adventure meant to test ones stamina, technical ability and toughness of mind and body.  The full course at 56 miles of grueling mountain biking takes you over the Santa Ana Mountains of Orange County with 11,000 feet of vertical and 3 long, fun and challenging descents. The climbs are brutal, one of them a legendary hike a bike section called West Horse Thief. This section, albeit only 1.5 miles long climbs over 1,600 feet and takes even the fastest riders between 25-30 minutes to complete! The shorter course called the "Counting Coup” covers 44 miles with a impressive 8,000’ over vertical. The CC cuts of the last portion of the VQ where the West Horse Thief rears it ugly head.

 

Last years event was a battle between Tinker Juarez and local Pro racer Dana Weber. The younger Weber had the upper hand that time beating the Cannondale Legend by over a minute.  Dana Weber (http://www.stage21bikes.com/) a Southern California Pro and new father was kind enough to share how the day turned out and share a few of his goals for the year:

 

"Basically I had a great day, but Tinker had an even better day.   He went really hard from the start and opened up close to a 5 minute gap by the first aid station.  3.5 hours later I finished 5 minutes down.  A lot of guys were riding well this year, and I was super happy to see my good friend Ryan Clark have a breakthrough ride for 3rd and Nate Whitman set a PR on his 12th consecutive VQ.  The crazy thing about the Vision Quest is the last third of the course.  After climbing for 3 hours, the Holy Jim descent is a solid 30 minutes long followed by multiple stream crossings which give your legs no choice but to cramp up.  I had about 3 in a row where my hamstrings completely locked.  Getting my leg back over the saddle when that happened was the hardest moment of the day.  From there the "hike a bike" up West Horse Thief is what makes or breaks the day for everyone in the top 10.  Once pedaling up hill again my legs got back in to their familiar movement pattern and I slowly ground my way up WHT.  From there I rode aggressive all the way to the finish with the hopes of a sub 5 hr time, but it wasn't meant to be.
Dana gives a big thanks to Stage21 (
http://www.stage21bikes.com/), Cannondale, Cytomax, and Oakley for their support this year. He also shares this personal thought,  "with my daughter being born last summer, I'm focusing more than ever on balancing my racing with everything else in life.  For me that means racing fewer times per year, and making sure I am 100 percent at the few big races I do go to.  Next up is Whiskey 50, followed by the SoCal favorite Idyllwild Challenge, Catalina Gran Fondo, and then Marathon National Championships.  I believe that I still have the ability for a breakthrough, to ride better than I ever have in my life.  It will probably only happen once or twice this year, but that is the "result" I'm seeking this season.”  



Vision Quest - 53 miles and 11,000' of climbing
1. Tinker Juarez - Cannondale
2. Dana Weber - Stage 21
3. Ryan Clark - Surf City Cycles

The Act of Defiance goes to Doug, the Hulk Andrews who muscled his way to 7th overall on a 14lbs SS rigid bike with a time of 5.30!

Counting Coup - 44 miles and 8,000' of climbing
1. Brandon Gritters - Blackstar Racing
2. Trent Ford - Blackstar Racing
3. Rob McGee - Blackstar Racing


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