Over 50 elite men are set to race at the 24 Hours of Moab this weekend in Utah. The largest-ever men's field in the history of the event boasts Nat Ross, defending champion, and Chris Eatough, six-time 24 hours of Adrenaline World Solo Champion and current national champion. Both racers excel at endurance racing, but Ross may have a slight advantage in that he's very familiar with the lengthy course. The two will go head to head at one of the best-known and most popular 24 hours races in the US.
Joining them will be Josh Tostado, who is vying for the overall 24 hour points title and regular podium visitor David Harris along with Chris Gagnon, Rob Lichtenwalner, and Ernesto Marenchin.
The women's race is drawing an international field this year. Lorenza Menapace, winner of the 24 hours of Rome, will make the trip across the Atlantic from Italy. Menapace is well known for her long distance achievements. In 2007, she won the Alla Banalbike, the Tre Tre Bike di Madonna di Campiglio, the Cronoscalata del Monte Peller, the dual slalom Val Rendena, the 12 hours di Bolzano and the 12 hours of Val di Sole. Nine women are signed up for the solo pro division, but neither last year's winner Lynda Wallenfels nor the other podium finishers are on the list.
Maybe that's because last year's race was particularly memorable and some racers would rather forget. Following record rainfalls in the days preceding the event, torrential rains during the race brought sudden high levels of water to the course and resulted in an early stopping of the race. Confusion followed about whether the race would re-start and ultimately, Ross was declared the winner. Racers lodged plenty of protests amid the confusion and two sets of final results were issued. Fortunately, the forecast for the weekend is for sun and 70 degree (Fahrenheit) during the daytime.