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12 Hours of Temecula - Vail Lake, California

Posted by: Jens Raz |January 21, 2014 2:39 AM
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12 Hours of Temecula - Vail Lake, California

By: Jens Raz

Daniel Munoz Takes the 3rd and final over Bryan Taylor in the 12 Hour Solo Race 2013

            The 2013 finale of the Socal 6 and 12 hour Series was a smashing success with over 900 racers clamoring for the top rung of the ladder. The 8 am rider’s meeting was concluded with Vince Mendoza channeling Hendrix while ripping an electric guitar solo "Star-Spangled Banner” to pump up the crowd.

Great trail conditions and beautiful weather had delivered the perfect race day. The course was newly designed and covered 8.6 fast miles with just over 1,000’ vertical feet. A brutal switch back climb topping out on a ridgeline kept the heart rate up. Two technical descends promised a challenge and delivered the type of thrill we can’t help but chase. 

While the racing was intense, the start finish area showed off a who’s who in the cycling industry. The support was tremendous once again. Specialized and Ellsworth bicycles had plenty of high top of the line bikes to demo. Nite Rider, Light’s in Motion encouraged some enlightened riding after dark. Kenda Tires, Loaded Components and Scorpion Bike Stands were all showing off their latest contributions to the cycling industry. Temecula’s own "The Bike Shop” kept everybody moving along the entire day without skipping a beat, while a massage tent offered tired racers a bit of recovery and relief.

With the absence of the perennial strong man Tinker Juarez gone, it was left to Chris Johnson (Shoebacca) and Bryan Taylor (Zumwalt’s Bicycles) to try and upset Daniel Munoz (Peak 7 Performance). Daniel, the series leader, took a fast start getting the whole shot. After the first lap he already had a 2 minute lead over the rest of the pro field. Bryan Taylor took up the rear and fought his way back to challenge Chris Johnson. Chris pulled out after 7 laps and Bryan Taylor was more than happy to take that place. Bryan continued on, and towards the end of the day got within 17 minutes of the defending champion, Daniel Munoz. Danny retained his first place with 1 hour to spare and led the series overall!

12 hours Results

1. Daniel Munoz 14 laps
2. Bryan Taylor   14 laps
3. Chris Johnson 7 laps

The 6 Hour category is continuing to be one of the most hotly contested division:

Open Men (out of 35):
1. Stephane Roch        8 laps
2. Carlos Montalvan     7 laps
3. Jarred Jordan           6 laps

Open Women (out of 17):
1. Linda McGee                6 laps
2. Cynthia "Chi” Miranda  6laps
3. Michelle Allen               6 laps


 Bryan Taylor with Zumwalt’s Bicycles was one of 3 pros chasing the top podium spot. He had this to share:

                  Grand-parents came down to look after our kids and dog, Monica and I packed our trailer and headed to Vail Lake for the weekend to take part in the season’s final 12 Hours of Temecula race – Monica and co-ed team-mate Michael Kavanaugh were going for the Duo series win, I was going for the punishment of 12 hours solo. Not sure how many riders lined up on the start line, although it seemed more than usual - the leaders took off at cross country pace, I tried to sit back and ride at a comfortable tempo knowing there was a long way to go. One of the joys of racing at Vail Lake are the fun single track sections, however hitting these early has caused bottlenecks in prior races – this time the first couple of loops were avoided on lap 1 and the field was given a mile or so on fire-road to warm-up and spread-out.  Thereafter the course was a excellent mix of fast flowing single-track, tight switchback climbs and a new, technical descent from the high point of the course down to the finish – fortunately, no sign of the damn climb, however still over 1,000 feet of climbing per lap. 

With Tinker racing the Tour de Foothills event, it was only Danny Munoz, Chris Johnston and myself who entered in the solo pro category. Both Danny and Chris started quicker than I could and were probably 30 minutes or so ahead by the 6 hour mark. I find the hour before and after the midway point to be the hardest mentally of the race, so I planned to conserve as much as could until I got past this then hopefully finish strong – things were going to plan and by laps 9 and 10 I found a nice tempo that I felt I could hold to the end. I had no idea what the time gaps were until I passed Monica early on lap 13, she shouted that I was around 15 minutes behind Danny – with only time left for 2 more laps it was unlikely I could close the gap, but this was enough motivation to push hard to the end. My efforts were not enough to close any of the gap as Danny was still riding strong, however I was extremely happy with a 2ndplace finish. Congratulations to Monica and Michael on winning the Co-ed Duo race and 2013 Series. As always, Jason Ranoa and the entire SoCal Endurance team put on a great, well-organized event, even delivered with amazing weather – you can’t beat riding under clear blue skies and mid 80’s in November.


Check out the socal website to check out their raffles and multitude of cash awards at

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