Defending champ Kabush leads stellar line-up at Whiskey Off-Road

Record attendance expected among the pros

Looking at the start list, the Whiskey Off-Road is shaping up to be a sort of North American mountain bike championship. Record attendance in the Whiskey Off-Road elite field is drawing 51 women and 88 men to vie for a $40,000 elite cash purse in Prescott, Arizona on Sunday, April 28.

Returning champion Geoff Kabush (Scott/3Rox) is confirmed to start along with his teammates Derek Zandstra and Cameron Jette. Flanked with strength and strategy, and showing superb early season fitness last weekend at the Sea Otter Classic, Kabush is a strong candidate for the $6,500 first place payday among the men's field.

Kabush will face riders like Max Plaxton and Jeremiah Bishop (both Sho-Air/Cannondale), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Trek), Adam Craig (Giant), Ben Sonntag (American Interbanc-Cannondale), Barry Wicks (Kona) and Todd Wells and Howard Grotts (both Specialized).

Unfortunately, Pua Mata (Team Sho-Air/Cannondale) will not be defending her 2011 and 2012 Whiskey victories as she continues to heal a broken leg. However, Team Luna Chix will be showing up with its strongest presence yet including Olympic bronze medalist Georgia Gould, Katerina Nash, Teal Stetson-Lee, Suzanne Snyder and Shonny Vandlandingham. Gould has previously finished second while Stetson-Lee was fifth last year.

Another woman to watch will be Lesley Paterson (Scott), the 2012 X-terra World Champion, who won the Bonelli Park Pro XCT earlier this season. Paterson will be among several women chasing after the $6,500 top women's prize, which is equal to the men's top payout.

Heather Irmiger (Trek), Amanda Carey (Stan's No Tubes), Kelli Emmett (Giant) and Chloe Woodruff and Judy Freeman (Crankbrothers) will also be on the start line.

"The quality of racers the Whiskey Off-Road is drawing to Prescott, Arizona is unparalleled in American mountain biking during recent years. We're very excited to host such an awesome dedicated group of racers," said Todd Sadow, President of Epic Rides.

"Plus, the opportunity to carry this momentum into the Inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road with $20,000 pro purse labor day weekend shows great promise for the North American Pro mountain biker in pursuit of venues able to service both exposure for their sponsors and financial requirements useful in making 'Professional Mountain Biker' a legitimate career path."

For a few weeks, the start list for the Whiskey 50 seemed like it might take a hit. After the UCI announced it would enforce its Rule 1.2.019 earlier this season, all UCI racers who entered the unsanctioned Whiskey Off-Road would have faced a possible fine and/or suspension. However, after the UCI agreed to suspend the enforcement of the rule through the end of 2013, many top mountain bikers went ahead with their original plans to compete in Arizona.

In its 10th year, the Whiskey Off-Road continues to grow at an exponential rate. The race now offers $40,000 in prize money, effectively doubling what was offered three years ago. Matching the purse, event attendance has doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 riders since 2010.

Pros will compete in a fat tire crit on Friday night and a 50-miler on Sunday while amateurs will race various distances on Saturday.

Elite men start list
#Rider Name (Country) Team 
1Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott Sports - 3Rox Racing  
2Kurt Refsnider (USA) Salsa Cycles  
3Ryan Ellis (USA)  
4Jason Hilimire (USA) Gear Movement  
5Stewart Gross (USA)  
6Cameron Chambers (USA) Tuff Shed - Orbea - Enve  
7Samuel Morrison (USA) The Gear Movement  
8Jonathan Davis (USA) Trek - Ergon - ProGold  
9Ted Willard (USA) G2 Bike - Bailey Bikes  
10David Ochs (USA) Griggs Orthopedics - Go to Guide  
11Keith Omundson (USA) Boulder Running Company  
12Trapper Steinle (USA)  
13Max Plaxton (Can) Sho-Air - Cannondale  
14Alex Ryan (USA) Mock Orange Bikes - Kona Bikes  
15Kalan Beisel (USA) Orbea - Tuff Shed  
16Alex Grant (USA) Sho-Air - Cannondale  
17Mimmo Futia (USA) Swiss American Bikes  
18Dana Weber (USA) Stage 21 - Cannondale - Cytomax  
19Frank Webber (USA) Orbea - Tuff Shed - Enve  
20Bryan Dillon (USA) Griggs Orthopedics - Stan’s NoTubes  
21Fernando Riveros Paez (Col) Bandwagon Racing - Rotor  
22Nick Gould (USA)  
23Shane Demars (USA) Pedal Pushers Cyclery  
24Brian Sells (USA) Trek - Honey Stinger - Ergon  
25John Nobil (USA) Bear Valley Bikes - Specialized  
26Chad Davis (USA) Scott Sports - Syncros  
27Adam Looney (USA) Eriksen - Honey Stinger  
28Doug Johnson (USA) Bandwagon Racing - Pranava Yoga Center  
29Scott Keller (USA) Form Cycles - Over the Edge Sports Sedona  
30Ethan Millstein (USA) Airpark Bikes - TRU Composites - Milly Inc.  
31Ryan Petry (USA) Tri Scottsdale - Tribe Multisport  
32Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Trek - Shimano - Oakley  
33Christopher Beardsley (USA) Club Pilates  
34Anthony Slowinski (USA) Bicycle Sport - Rooibee Red Tea  
35Chris Jackson (USA) Castex Rentals - Felt Bicycles  
36Carl Decker (USA) Giant Bicycles - SRAM - Schwalbe  
37Adam Craig (USA) Giant Bicycles - SRAM - Schwalbe  
38Sam Chovan (USA) Giant Bicycles - Pabst Brewing Company  
39Menso De Jong (USA) Clif Bar - SRAM - Stevens Bicycles  
40Elliot Reinecke (USA) Velo Hangar - Focus Bikes  
41David Graf (USA) American Interbanc - Cannondale  
42Tyler Coplea (USA) Orbea - Enve - Tuff Shed  
43Jeff Kerkove (USA) Ergon - Topeak - Canyon  
44Sepp Kuss (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory  
45Payson Mcelveen (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory  
46Marcus Hayward (USA) PH Structural - Bicycle Ranch -SRAM  
47Sean Babcock (USA) Kona Bikes - Sellwood Cycle - Giro  
48Sam Gross (USA) Nationwide Insurance - Flat Tire Bike Shop  
49Yuki Ikeda (Jpn) Topeak - Ergon - Canyon  
50Tj Woodruff (USA) Momentum Endurance - Arizona Cyclist  
51Ben Sonntag (USA) American Interbanc - Cannondale  
52Blake Harlan (USA) Jamis - Geax Tires - Stan’s NoTubes  
53Skyler Trujillo (USA) Jamis - Geax Tires - Stan’s NoTubes  
54Rotem Ishay (Isr) Jamis - Geax Tires - Stan’s NoTubes  
55Thomas Turner (USA) Jamis - Geax Tires - Stan’s NoTubes  
56Jason Sager (USA) Jamis - Geax Tires - Stan’s NoTubes  
57David Timmons (USA) Honey Stinger - NAU Cycling  
58Tom Obrien (USA) Nationwide Insurance - Scott Sports  
59Ryan Clark (USA) Audi - Felt - Oakley  
60Philip Tinstman (USA) MRI Endurance - Haro Bikes  
61Troy Wells (USA) Clif Bar - Stevens Bikes - SRAM  
62Brian Matter (USA) RACC - GearGrinder - Trek  
63Daniel Munoz (USA) G2 Altitude Training - Cyclery USA  
64Lance Runyon (USA) Jetset - Allstate - TROV  
65Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Sho-Air - Cannondale  
66Tinker Juarez (USA) Sho-Air - Cannondale  
67Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Bikes  
68Brennan Wodtli (USA) All Access Staging&Productions  
69Ernie Watenpaugh (USA) Jack Daniel’s  
70Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona Bikes - SRAM - Maxxis  
71Cory Wallace (USA) Kona Bikes - SRAM - Maxxis  
72Derek Zandstra (Can) SCOTT Sports - Shimano  
73Cameron Jette (Can) SCOTT Sports - 3Rox Racing - Shimano  
74Barry Wicks (USA) Kona Bikes - SRAM - Easton Cycling  
75Derek Hermon (USA) Bear Valley Bikes - Specialized  
76Michael Hosey (USA)  
77Phil Grove (USA) Hammer Nutrition - My Tax Return  
78Todd Wells (USA) Specialized - Clif Bar - Oakley  
79Joel Titius (USA) So Cal Endurance - Ellsworth Bikes  
80John Sawasky (USA) Ride Dirt - ZMS - FBR  
81Jason Siegle (USA) SDG - Felt - iRT Wheels  
82Colin Cares (USA) Kenda Tires - Felt Bicycles  
83Sid Taberlay (Aus) Kenda Tires - Felt Bicycles  
84Logan Taylor (USA) American Interbanc - Cannondale  
85Matt Ewonus (Can) Balance Point Racing - Sunlife Financial  
86Howard Grotts (USA) Specialized Racing  
87Anthony Tintelnot (USA) Natural Dynamix - Bike Religion  
88Sean Leader (USA)  
Elite women start list
#Rider Name (Country) Team 
1Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Bar - Orbea - Shimano  
2Tracy Thelen (USA) Carmichael Training Systems  
3Elizabeth Sampey (USA)  
4Sarka Ruzickova (USA) Cannondale - Stan's NoTubes  
5Jari Kirkland (USA) Griggs Orthopaedics - Mavic  
6Deidre York (USA) The Gear Movement - CarboRocket  
7Andrea Wilson (USA) Niner Bikes - Outdoors Incorporated  
8Beth Ann Orton (USA) Sellwood Cycle Repair  
9Amy Beisel (USA)  
10Eszter Horanyi (USA) Griggs Orthopaedics - Waltworks  
11Suzanne Snyder (USA) Luna Bar - Orbea - Shimano  
12Kata Skaggs (USA) Adventure Bike Company - TriSports  
13Beth Utley (USA) GU Energy Labs - PASA - Heart Center  
14Jamie Busch (USA) Quadzilla Racing - Specialized  
15Kate Aardal Calgary, AB  
16Heather Irmiger (USA) Trek - Shimano - Oakley  
17Leah Mccabe (USA) GU Energy Labs - crankbrothers  
18Jaime Brede (USA) Honey Stinger - Bontrager  
19Jacquie Phelan (USA) Todd DeAngelis  
20Mical Dyck Victoria, BC Stan's NoTubes - Cannondale  
21Amanda Carey (USA) Stan's NoTubes - Kenda Tires  
22Blair Hurst (USA) Boulder Running Company  
23Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Bicycles - SRAM - Schwalbe  
24Heidi Rentz (USA) Ibis - Hammer Nutrition  
25Erin Alders (USA) Liv Giant - Giant Bicycles  
26Alice Pennington (USA)  
27Karen Jarchow (USA) Santa Fe Brewing Co. - Pivot Cycles  
28Sarah Sturm (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory  
29Judy Freeman (USA) crankbrothers - Scott Sports  
30Sonya Looney (USA) Ergon - Michael David Winery  
31Lauren Catlin (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory  
32Jen Hanks (USA) Epic Brewing -  
33Lisa Uranga (USA) Comedy Defensive Driving  
34Chloe Woodruff (USA) crankbrothers - Scott Sports  
35Rebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girl - Scott Sports - Reynolds  
36Serena Gordon (USA) All Access Promotions  
37Amanda Sin (USA) Scott Sports - Shimano  
38Shannon Gibson (USA) Stan's NoTubes - Cannondale  
39Vicki Barclay (USA) Stan's NoTubes - Cannondale  
40Nina Baum (USA) Stan's NoTubes - Cannondale  
41Evelyn Dong (USA) White Pine Touring - Smith Optics  
42Lesley Paterson (USA) Scott Sports - 2XU - View Hotels  
43Bryna Blanchard (USA)  
44Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) Luna Bar - Clif Bar - Wahine Farms  
45Jane Rynbrandt (USA) Tough Girl - Shimano - Rudy Project  
46Erica Tingey (USA) Jamis Bicycles - Stan's NoTubes  
47Brianne Marshall (USA)  
48Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) Luna Bar - Orbea - Shimano  
49Vanessa Humic (USA) Stan's NoTubes - Kenda - Xpedo  
50Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Bar - Orbea - Shimano  
51Christine Jeffrey (USA) 2XU - Extreme Endurance - Zipfizz  

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