Utah team was in hunt for Moab 24 Hours title

Moab, UT—Thousands of mountain bike race fans and competitors endured high winds, rain, snow and freezing temperatures during The 3rd Annual Ford Ranger 24 Hours of Moab Mountain Bike Team Relay Race in October.

Two hundred and sixty-five pro and amateur teams joined an elite field of 20 of the world's top solo ultra-endurance competitors in a race that has become one of the hall-marks of mountain bike racing.

The Men's Pro team race was one of the closest m the history of 24 Hour mountain bike racing. At the start, Trek racer Daryl Price (Team Marv Me) set a blistering pace with a one hour and two minute (1:02) lap that included the 200 yard run of the signature LeMans-style start.

Motley Abdul and the Flammin' Subarus (Jason Webster, Brian Hludzinski, Jeff Bicknell and Alex Candelaria) gained the lead on the third lap.

The battle raged throughout the night. No Excuses (a Utah-based team composed of Eric Jones, John Osguthorpe, John Barth and Bart Gillespie) gained the lead on their eighth lap.

The at 3:25 am The Motley Abdul's Jason Webster scorched a 1:06 night lap putting his team in the lead by one minute. No Excuses regained the lead with a 1:07 pre-dawn, 16th lap by John Barth.

Then Webster blistered a 1-hour lap time to retake the lead for Motley Abdul.

Then, on the second to last lap, the two teams came in on the same minute and hurriedly began their baton exchanges, but No Excuses' John Barth could not find his baton. In losing the baton he had set his team back with a five-minute penalty.

For No Excuses, it became a battle for second place with 1996 2nd-place team Lunar Lords of VBS (Mike Gibbs, Forest Gladding, Mike Janelle, and Jay Henry) who had been maintaining a close third place for most of the race.

Ultimately, No Excuses' managed to hold off the Lunar Lords of VBS in real time but fell to third after the 5 minute penalty.

Motley Abdul and the Flammin' Subarus powered on with consistently fast lap. They climbed the winners podium to take the lion's share of the $10,000 pro purse.

ln the Women's Pro/Expert Division. Defending Champions Team Breezer (Gina Hall, Kristi Hill, Nikki Pippin, and Laurie Brandt) dominated the field, posting lead laps in all but the first of 18 laps.

1996 3rd place Team Clif Shot (Cheryl Moores, Rebecca Browning, Lynda Wallenfels, and Cheryl Recchia) gave chase tying Breezer on the second lap and stayed within 5 minutes of the lead on several of their early laps. Despite stellar performances like Linda Wallenfels' record setting 1:10 second lap, Clif Shot had to be content with a race for second.

Vail Bicycle Services (VBS) Spice Girls' Gretchen Reeves fired-off a 1:18 first lap to put her team in the lead but as Breezer started coming-on strong, it was the battle for second that kept Clif Shot and VBS spice Girls swapping places.

But as the race wore on, Clif Shot pulled away to secure second place, leaving VBS Spices Girls in third.

The Men's Pro Solo Ultra-endurance race assembled 19 notable athletes, such as four-time Iditabike winner John Stamstad, two-time Winter Mountain Man Triathlon winner, U.S. National Team veteran Dawes Wilson and two-time Monte-zuma's Revenge winner Joey Klein.

The Solo pace was set early with Wilson and Stamstad slugging it out. Wilson lead the first 2 laps then tied with Stamstad on the third lap. Stamstad then took the lead and held it until a particularly slow 9th lap.

Wilson and Stamstad tied again on the 10th lap but Stamstad bonked heavily on the 11th lap, logging a 2:28 lap time that put Wilson in the lead by 49 minutes.

Somewhat recovered from the rest that was part of his 2:28 lap, Stamstad began the chase, able to make up nine minutes. But while Wilson was on his 16th and final lap, Stamstad logged off on his 15th lap at 12:01 p.m, one minute too late to give chase, but securing second place.

Michael Curiak finished 3rd, logging 13 laps at 12:01 p.m.

World 24 hour off-road record holder Amy Regan was the only solo class woman to take the challenge of the Ford Ranger 24 Hours of Moab. Despite running a fever during the night, Regan managed to finish the race with 7 laps under her belt.

Race Statistics

Teams: 259; Solo Racers: 20; Course length: 16 miles; Laps completed: 4,171; Total mileage: 66,736 miles (more than 2-1/2 times around the world!); Fastest lap (Men's): 57 minutes -(tie) Jason Webster, of Team Motley Abdul and the Flammin Subarus Jeremy Horgan-Kobleski, of Team Devo Under 23; Fastest lap (Women's): 1:10 - (tie) Linda Wallenfels, of Team Clif Shot and Shonny Vanlandingham, of Team Iron Clad