Grand Junction’s Main Street was abuzz early Sunday morning with talk of the 49 pro riders, 17 women and 32 men that were about to battle it out for the $20,000 cash purse. The second annual event posed an uncharted challenge for the pro riders.
Cool morning temperatures allowed riders to push their limits across the unrelenting 40 Grand course. The field was close with Fernando Riveros Paez (Scott) and Ben Sonntag (Stan’s NoTubes) leading the pack for a large portion while Brian Matter (Team Wisconsin) kept it close, coming through just over two minutes back.
In the end, Paez solidified his mark at the finish line, raising his bike above his head to celebrate the 3:07 finish.
Colombian born Paez of Colorado Springs displayed impressive fitness and technical skill during the race on Sunday. The rising star put the hurt on the seasoned field of pro riders at the halfway mark after taking a conservative approach to the early technical sections of the course. Even with late surges from Sonntag and Matter towards the final miles of the course, Paez held his lead off the front and resoundingly crossed the finish line 47 seconds ahead.
On the women’s side, Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com) finished nearly two minutes ahead of Canada's Kate Aardal (Ridley’s Cycle) and over three minutes ahead of Jennifer Smith (Stan’s NoTubes) to take women’s 40 Grand victory.
Woodruff was able to pull away and take the win for the women’s category with a finishing time of three hours and 46 minutes, making it her second Epic Rides Off-Road Series win of the season adding to her victory at the Whiskey Off-Road in late April.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Fernando Riveros Paez (Scott, Rotor USA)||3:07:01|
|2||Benjamin Sonntag (Stan's NoTubes, Kenda, Cannondale)||0:00:47|
|3||Brian Matter (Team Wisconsin - Trek - Pro Gold)||0:03:26|
|4||Chris Baddick (Red Ace Organics, Carborocket, Kali Protectives)||0:03:39|
|5||Barry Wicks (Kona)||0:04:25|
|6||Thomas Turner (Jamis, Geax, Stan's NoTubes)||0:06:12|
|7||Matthew Shriver (Trek)||0:08:06|
|8||Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar. Niner Bikes. SRAM)||0:09:50|
|9||Ernie Watenpaugh (Jack Daniel\s, Telluride Venture Accelerator, BMC)||0:11:57|
|10||Carter Shaver (Cycleton, Specialized, Thule)||0:12:05|
|11||Tj Woodruff (Backcountry.com, Niner Bikes, Momentum Endurance)||0:16:04|
|12||Colin Osborn (Honey Stinger, Bontrager, SRAM)||0:17:32|
|13||Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh Clement)||0:18:11|
|14||Daniel Munoz (B-rads Bike Stop, Crank Brothers, Sram)||0:20:56|
|15||Ryan Standish (Bicycle Centre Alice Springs, Magellan GPS, Advance Traders)||0:22:10|
|16||Cristhian Ravelo (Ravelo, Colorado Bike Service, Santa Cruz Bikes)||0:25:07|
|17||Shawn Hadley (Hub of Aspen/Trek/Bontrager)||0:29:51|
|18||Joel Titius (Ellsworth Bikes. Neil Titius. socal endurance)||0:31:00|
|19||Jason Sager (Backcountry.com, niner, Louis Garneau)||0:36:55|
|20||Kris Sneddon (Kona)||0:37:50|
|21||Kalan Beisel (Giant, Tuff Shed, SRM)||0:38:12|
|22||Jeff Minotto (Steamboat Velo p/b Moots)||0:41:02|
|23||David Harrison (Wild Rockies, Scott, ClubRideApparel)||0:42:14|
|24||Noah Singer (Backcountry.com, Competitive Cyclist)||0:43:40|
|25||John Klish (LTR Sports, Julbo Eyewear)||0:44:47|
|26||Morgan Ryan (CMU Cycling)||0:58:04|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com, Niner Bikes, Momentum Endurance)||3:46:39|
|2||Kate Aardal (me, me and Ridley's Cycle)||0:01:57|
|3||Jennifer Smith (Stan's NoTubes, Griggs Orthopedics, Cannondale)||0:03:27|
|4||Amy Beisel (LIV/Giant | Tuff Shed | DT Swiss)||0:09:17|
|5||Rachel Hadley (Hub of Aspen/Trek)||0:13:03|
|6||Lesley Paterson (Scott Bikes, Enve wheels, XTERRA Wetsuits)||0:15:51|
|7||Deidre York (Red Ace Organics, Carborocket, Kali Protectives)||0:18:45|
|8||Megan Carrington (Naked Women\s Racing, Turin Bikes)||0:18:46|
|9||Kata Skaggs (Fast Forward Chiropractic, Adventure Bicycle Company)||0:26:32|
|10||Danelle Kabush (Luna Pro Team (Clif Bar, Orbea, Shimano))||0:29:19|
|11||Katie Button (Trek Pro City Victoria )||0:36:05|