The US elite mountian-bike season opened in February with two endurance events; the 12 hours of Razorback in Reddick, Florida and the Mas o Menos in Terlingua, Texas marked the start of the new six-race USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Ultra-Endurance Calendar.
Fleeing the worst winter storm of the year, Pennsylvania residents Harlan Price (Independent Fabrication) and Rob Lichtenwaller (Cannondale/ Bare-Naked) raided the 12 hour Razorback race and took home first and second places with Price's Florida teammate Harvey Minton (Independent Fabrication) taking third. However, it took almost ten hours of riding before Price could shake Lichtenwaller during the last two laps nighttime laps. On the women's side, Darlene Angeler took the win over Carey Lowery and Sandra Tomlinson.
Meanwhile in Texas, other top endurance riders were finding their early season legs. Travis Brown (Trek/FRS) won the pro men's race over Christian Helmig (Mad Duck) and Nat Ross (Subaru-Gary Fisher). For the women, Brenda Moczygemba (PACC) won the Expert women 19-29 category while Christina Smith (Team Ortho/Sage Cycles) won the 30-39 race.
Although not racing in an NMBC event, on the other side of the country, Cannondale's Tinker Juarez outclassed his competition with a win at the 24 hours of Old Pueblo. Sarah Kaufmann had a closer battle with her female competitors. She assumed the lead after Lynda Wallenfels crashed out mid-race.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for Nat Ross' next diary entry covering his experience at the Mas o Menos.