Finsterwald wins opening stage at Moab Rocks

Aardal tops women's standings

The inaugural Moab Rocks stage race rolled out under sunny skies from the City of Moab on Saturday morning escorted by local police along Kane Springs Road into the red cliffs of the Canyonlands. The pack rode at a neutralized pace until tires hit dirt. Then the racing started in earnest with sustained speeds of up to 30mph on the dirt road at the front of the pack, while the rest of the field took in some spectacular views as the morning light illuminated the cliffs lining the course.

After the first major climb of the day, up and over Hurrah Pass, riders hit the infamous Jackson's Ladder, a section where they were obliged to carry their bikes up a steep boulder strewn gap in the vertical cliff face. The leaders navigated this section on foot in a surprisingly fast time of seven minutes, while later riders took significantly longer as they struggled over the large rocks. From the top of the ladder, only a short section of climbing brought riders to the start of the timed descent stage on the Captain Ahab Trail.

For the overall cross country standings, the first rider across the line was Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing) of Colorado Springs with a time of 2:06:18, followed by two other Colorado pros, Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz) and Travis Brown (Trek).

The women's category represented the dual origins of Moab Rocks with two former TransRockies Challenge champions and one local Moab rider in the top 3. Taking top spot was Kate Aardal (Ridley's Cycle) with a time of 2:29:17. Heidi Rentz (Ibis-Poison Spider) of Moab was second with a time of 2:34:12 and Trish Grajzcyk (Deadgoat Racing) from Calgary was third at 2:44:16.

In the 40+ Men's Category it was Moab's own Mark Sevenoff (Western Spirit) taking the win with a time of 2:20:28. Two Arizona riders rounded out the podium with Erik Keniston (Singletrack Bikes) in second and Kip Moyer (Flagstaff) in third. In the 40+ Women's category it was another former TransRockies Challenge champion Margie Smith (Wilson Mountain Sports) in the lead with a time of 2:50:39, followed by Calgary's Trish Mayer who was second despite going off course for 45 minutes after missing a turn while admiring the view! Atlanta's Jennifer Horn (Peachtree Bikes) was third.

The 50+ Men's category saw Mark Wallace (Pedal Pushers Cyclery) over TransRockies veteran Alec Petro (Corner Cycle) and Basalt, Colorado's Mike Armstrong (Xccentials/Basalt Bike & Ski).

Although not a true enduro, Moab Rocks offers a taste enduro by offering separate timing for a segment of downhill riding on each stage. Racers can challenge the timed descents for bragging rights as the best downhiller! For Stage 1, the descent winners were the same as the overall winners in all categories. In the open men's category, Russell Finsterwald took the top time with an incredible 17 minutes and 11 seconds, 55 seconds faster than the next faster rider, Josh Tostado. In the Open Women's Category, it was overall winner Kate Aardal with a margin of over 2 minutes. The 40+ categories also had the same winners as the overall stage: Margie Smith in 40+ Women (26:18) and Mark Sevenoff in 40+ Men (21:07). In the 50+ Men's category it was Mark Wallace with the fastest time of 21:16.

Stage 2 preview

Stage 2 will take riders from the desert to the mountains with 4,000 feet of climbing from the start in the City of Moab high into the Manti LaSal National Forest for some classic high-country singletrack. The timed descent stage starts with the UPS singletrack, followed by LPS and Porcupine Rim. Nearly 12 miles of descending one of Moab's most popular rides will take racers to the end of the timed descent and the official finish of Stage 2. Although the racing will be over, riders still have three miles of fun singletrack riding ahead of them to get to the end the trailhead on the shores of the Colorado River. The stage distance is 29 miles plus three bonus miles of descending.

Full Results for stage 1 and GC after stage 1

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing)2:06:17 
2Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz, Maxxis, Shimano)0:02:34 
3Travis Brown (Trek)0:03:09 
4Nick Gould (Ska/Zia/Trek)0:08:21 
5Kerry Werner Jr. (U23 BMC Development Team USA)0:09:13 
6Evan Ross (Griggs Orthopedics)0:10:46 
7Jonathon Firth (Honey Stinger/Planet Foods)0:11:49 
8Drew Edsall (Kenda / Felt)0:14:45 
9Aroussen Laflamme (Xprezo-Borsao)0:20:27 
10Shannon Boffeli (MTB Race News)0:20:47 
11Christian Gauvin (Rocky Mountain / Les Yables)0:22:17 
12Greg Gibson (www.Truckerco.com)0:23:13 
13Chris Benson (Woodcock Cycleworks)0:24:01 
14TJ Cowern (Poison Spider/Pivot Cycles/Sramrock)0:24:26 
15Matt Duggan (Cafe)0:25:23 
16Diogo Malagon (Oskalunga Never Dies!)0:27:17 
17Jonathan Nutbrown (Ridley's Cycle)0:28:23 
18Scott Eberhardt0:28:29 
19Brandon Turley0:35:34 
20Evan Wishloff (Pedalhead Racing Club)0:38:10 
21Christopher Latura0:46:31 
22Eddie Cremonese (Bike Tech)0:46:33 
23Robert Spies0:57:29 
24Clay Wyatt (Explore Fitness)1:04:12 
25Jason Hawkins (Salt Cycles)1:06:21 
26Kevan Wilkie (6:8 Photography)1:08:20 
27Nathan Lawrence (Explore Fitness)1:10:52 
28Matthew Wilkie1:17:42 
29Mike Holme (Magpie Cycling)1:29:02 
30Duane Clemens (6:8 Photography)1:41:47 
31John Yearick2:07:37 
32Pablo Aguerre (Big Wheel Cycles)2:07:42 
32Tim Graversen2:21:37 
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Aardal (Ridley's Cycle)2:29:17 
2Heidi Rentz (Ibis-Poison Spider Bicycles)0:04:55 
3Trish Grajczyk (Deadgoat Racing)0:14:59 
4Jennifer Moos (Rose Bandits)0:15:30 
5Wendy Lyall (Yetibeti)0:17:17 
6Madeleine Lemyre (Lessard Bicycles)0:51:03 
7Timari Pruis (Pivot Cycles/Kenda)0:56:39 
8Melanie Burgon1:58:36 
9Tiffany Ballew (Peachtree Bikes)2:00:06 
Men 40+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Sevenoff (Western Spirit)2:20:28 
2Erik Keniston (Single Track Bikes)0:08:39 
3Kip Moyer (Absolute Bikes)0:12:47 
4Mark Logan (Cadence Brand Marketing)0:12:52 
5Jeff Beaumont (Mri Endurance Elite Masters)0:13:20 
6Pat Doyle (Deadgoat Racing)0:15:19 
7Tiziano Gortan (L'hostaria Restaurant)0:16:29 
8Steve Walsh (Deadgoat Racing)0:18:37 
9Arnold Roest0:20:01 
10Bill Lenhart (Team Las Vegas Cyclery)0:26:08 
11David Nolletti (Velosports Racing)0:26:57 
12Lee Roufa (Moots)0:27:31 
13Joseph Hoskins (C'ville Hash House Mashers)0:34:03 
14Dave Yung (Fast Friday)0:34:18 
15Stuart Rose0:36:28 
16Reid Bailey (Cville Hash House Mashers)0:37:12 
17Tim House (C'ville Hash House Mashers)0:55:52 
18John Kafrouni (Rebound Orthopedics)1:19:39 
19Steven Prchal1:29:38 
20Darren Dyck1:33:45 
21Nathan phelps (Central District Cyclery)1:49:15 
21Zara Wishloff (Devon Bicycle Association)1:56:11 
Women 40+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Margie Smith (Wilson Moutain Sports)2:50:39 
2Trish Mayer1:16:23 
3Jennifer Horn (Peachtree Bikes)1:38:46 
4Laurie Woodbury2:25:53 
5Marleah Bevelacqua (Central District Cyclery)2:20:35 
Men 50+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Wallace (Pedal Pushers Cyclery - Golden)2:27:02 
2Alec Petro (Corner Cycle)0:02:44 
3Mike Armstrong (Xccentials/Basalt Bike & Ski)0:08:36 
4Tom Arnold (Fast Friday)0:11:34 
5Jim Gibson (Absolute Bikes)0:18:34 
6Tod Turley (Fast Friday)0:32:37 
7Stan Mayer0:47:08 
8Dave Rathnow0:59:54 
9Tony Southwell1:08:25 
10Rafael Palacios (Pura Vida)1:16:01 
11David Arguello (Pura Vida)1:16:03 
12Dan Matthews (Fine Whine)1:41:47 
13Willem Van Niekerk1:47:33 
14Dodds Pringle2:21:36 
15Richard Woodbury2:49:31 
16Martin Parnell (Right To Play)3:12:38 
DNFChuck Mancini  

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