A talented pro field is lined up for the 8th annual Whiskey Off-Road mountain bike event in Arizona on April 29 and May 1. Thus far, 76 male and female pro racers are signed up to toe the line for two stages of racing to win a large cash purse.
Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles), Krista Park (Cannondale Racing/Stan's No-tubes), Catharine Pendrel (Luna Sport), Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joes), Monique Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Specialized) and Rebecca Rusch (Specialized Bicycles) are on the start list for the elite women's race.
Of the 50 men registered to race, key talent includes players like Ben Bostrom (Team Sho-Air), Carl Decker (Giant Bicycles), Tinker Juarez (Cannondale Racing), Andy Schultz (Kenda/Felt Bicycles), Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain), Ben Sonntag (Cannondale Racing), Mark Weir (Cannondale Racing), Barry Wicks (Kona Bikes) and Dave Wiens (Topeak-Ergon).
"A very interesting component to the Whiskey Off-Road Pro category is watching which type of racer will reign supreme on the challenging middle distance endurance course. With talent from both the fast-twitch and ultra endurance formats in attendance, it could be anybody’s race," said Todd Sadow, President of Epic Rides.
Pro racing begins on Friday evening with a downtown fat tire Criterium. The 5:15 pm start time allows for an instant crowd as Prescott's workforce departs its places of employment and arrives at the other end of the sidewalk to a challenging and exciting criterium course.
Starting on Whiskey Row at 8:30 am Sunday morning, stage two of the pro category is the exclamation point on event weekend. The pro start will be the center of attention to the amateur racing audience as they seek nourishment after a potentially raucous Saturday evening of libations and celebration in downtown Prescott.
Racers will be vying for a US$4,000 winner's paycheck.
Andy Schultz and Gretchen Reeves won the 2010 edition of the race. This year's winners will also win a trip to singlespeed Worlds in Ireland.