By Sue George, with assistance from Stuart Dorland
Two new champions, Tinker Juarez and Rebecca Rusch, won the 24 Hours of Adrenaline World Solo Championship in Monterey, California, this weekend. Juarez rode with Kelly Magelky for 21 hours and then attacked him for the win. Nat Ross, Ernesto Marenchin, and Mark Hendershot took third through fifth spots. Last year's second place Rusch, on the other hand, won by a larger margin of two laps in the women's race. Lynda Wallenfels and Sally Marchand Collins finished second and third.
Twice a bridesmaid, Tinker Juarez scorched the field to take home his first title. Kelly Magelky (BMC / Sports Garage) of Colorado led the entire race until lap 18 when Tinker blazed a 1:02 lap.
Temperatures at the start hovered around 100 degrees, well above seasonal temperatures for the Monterey Bay area. While many riders found the 13.74-mile course and 2,500 feet of climbing per lap challenging (especially in the exposed heat) both Magelky and Juarez appeared to be less affected. They rode away from the field after lap one. Overall third place finisher Nat Ross (Gary Fisher) lost 14 minutes within the first three laps alone.
Santa Cruz Syndicate's Hendershot commented on the challenging conditions. "It was a brutal race, over 100 degrees. Four of the top ten guys were pulled off the course by medics."
On the women's side, Specialized rider Rebecca Rush moved up one place from 2006 and finished well ahead of second place Lynda Wallenfels of Colorado. Rush is an accomplish world class adventure racer who placed second to Pau Sawicki at this year's USA Cycling 24 Hour Mountain Bike Nationals, and she was determined to finish atop the standings this year.
Sawiciki (Ergon) lost 25 minutes during lap two and three. According to her husband, the disappointed rider was pulled after only five laps; her doctors had diagnosed her with a viral infection. Although she was initially in the lead, she soon found her vision blurring (which caused a crash) and she broke out in a cold sweat despite the 100 degree temperatures.
In a bizarre finish to the event, a brush fire burned up the Sea Otter downhill course just as the race was ending.
For complete coverage of the 24 hours of Adrenaline, click here.