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Armstrong, Hincapie, Vande Velde and Casey reunite for 24 Hours of Old Pueblo - Gallery

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Lance Armstrong (WEDU) decided to ride his hardtail.

Lance Armstrong (WEDU) decided to ride his hardtail. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The weather turned ominous by mid-day on Saturday

The weather turned ominous by mid-day on Saturday (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Mike Best descends the rock drops

Mike Best descends the rock drops (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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A riders gets ready for a steep descent

A riders gets ready for a steep descent (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Racers weave their way through the boulder littered course

Racers weave their way through the boulder littered course (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Shonny Vanlandingham finishes a lap on the Willow Springs Ranch

Shonny Vanlandingham finishes a lap on the Willow Springs Ranch (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The entrance to the Willow Springs Ranch

The entrance to the Willow Springs Ranch (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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George Hincapie watching his teammate Lance Armstrong start the race.

George Hincapie watching his teammate Lance Armstrong start the race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Ryan Smiley head out onto the course on his single-speed bike

Ryan Smiley head out onto the course on his single-speed bike (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Some of the costumes were fairly skimpy

Some of the costumes were fairly skimpy (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Howard Grotts (Specialized) racing to find his bike

Howard Grotts (Specialized) racing to find his bike (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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At the start the trail quickly bogged down with hundreds of racers

At the start the trail quickly bogged down with hundreds of racers (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Quinn Agnew (El Grupo) completing his first lap

Quinn Agnew (El Grupo) completing his first lap (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Brian Husmann completing his first lap

Brian Husmann completing his first lap (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Kevin LaRochelle riding for the Stretchy Pants Team

Kevin LaRochelle riding for the Stretchy Pants Team (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Rebecca Gross (KHS) finishing a 1:07 lap for her She-Rippers Team

Rebecca Gross (KHS) finishing a 1:07 lap for her She-Rippers Team (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Kaitlin Boyle was riding in the solo division

Kaitlin Boyle was riding in the solo division (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Riders descending slickrock

Riders descending slickrock (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lance Armstrong finished lap one in the top ten and seemed to easily handle the technical conditions

Lance Armstrong finished lap one in the top ten and seemed to easily handle the technical conditions (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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A racer descends the tricky rock drops

A racer descends the tricky rock drops (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Kenny When (Stan's NoTubes) was providing free service to the riders

Kenny When (Stan's NoTubes) was providing free service to the riders (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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"24-Hour Town" on the Willow Springs Ranch

"24-Hour Town" on the Willow Springs Ranch (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Riders pack the venue to receive their pre-race instructions

Riders pack the venue to receive their pre-race instructions (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Former Norba and X-Terra Champion Shonny Vanlandingham was ready for some team racing

Former Norba and X-Terra Champion Shonny Vanlandingham was ready for some team racing (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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George Hincapie was riding a BMC full-suspension 29er with Vittoria Saguaro tires.

George Hincapie was riding a BMC full-suspension 29er with Vittoria Saguaro tires. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Bike staging area for the Lemans start

Bike staging area for the Lemans start (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Costumes were plentiful again this year.

Costumes were plentiful again this year. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Some costumes made riding a bike somewhat difficult.

Some costumes made riding a bike somewhat difficult. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Howard Grotts (Specialized) finished the quarter mile run near the front

Howard Grotts (Specialized) finished the quarter mile run near the front (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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It paid off to be near the front of the LeMans start as the trail quickly bogged down with riders

It paid off to be near the front of the LeMans start as the trail quickly bogged down with riders (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Ben Duncan (El Grupo) heads out on his bike

Ben Duncan (El Grupo) heads out on his bike (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lance Armstrong grabs his bike and heads to the trail

Lance Armstrong grabs his bike and heads to the trail (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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LeMans start

LeMans start (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Howard Grotts (Specialized) finishes lap one first in less than 55-minutes

Howard Grotts (Specialized) finishes lap one first in less than 55-minutes (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Elliot Dumont seemed not to mind the 50-degree temperature

Elliot Dumont seemed not to mind the 50-degree temperature (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde and Dylan Casey, reunited as teammates for the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo mountain bike race, which took place in Tucson, Arizona this weekend. The quartet placed third overall in the four-man relay.

The "Nine Inch Males" Team (Kalan Beisel, Kyle Trudeau, Nick Gould, Brand Aven) won the category with a total of 24 laps. Their fastest lap was clocked by Beisel at 56:53. The "Stan's No Lube" team (Evan Boone, Nash Dory, Collin DiMattio, Avery Baltunis) edged out Armstrong's crew by three seconds.

Armstrong was banned for life from competing in sanctioned events by the US Anti-Doping Agency in 2012, but is still allowed to participate in non-sanctioned events such as the 24 hour races.

The four riders, all now retired, were teammates from 1999-2002 at the US Postal Service team. Hincapie and Vande Velde were given six-month bans after testifying to USADA about doping on their former team.

Despite a major rain storm from California bearing down on the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo race venue at the Willow Springs Ranch, the spirits of 1,800 racers seemed as high as ever. Celebrating its eighteenth year, and supporting the Tucson Medical Center and other charities, a "24-Hour Town" sprung up on Friday with over 4,000 residents near the base of the Catalina Mountain Range.

In addition to offering solo racing, the event features a variety of duo, four, and five-person teams. There are also a single-speed division and many corporate teams. The race started at noon on Saturday and ended at noon on Sunday.

The course was 16.1 miles of fire roads and singletrack with 1,231 feet of climbing per lap, and ending with the famous rock drop. The terrain is rolling with a combination of hard pack, sand, and rock surfaces. The course has a few technical sections that gave the more experienced riders a chance for some thrills. But, there were longer go-around options for the less adventurous.

Stan's No Lube fought a heated battle for second place with Lance Armstrong's Wedu Team throughout Saturday afternoon. The Stan's team continued their regular rotation throughout the night, while the former U.S Postal riders started double laps for each of the riders starting around 9:00 PM. This is a common tactic used so other riders can get some sleep.

By sunrise the two teams were only three minutes apart and each had completed seventeen laps. By 10:00 AM the lead was down to two minutes. With one lap remaining the lead was down one minute.

George Hincapie made up a massive amount of ground on Nash Dory on the final lap, but the NoTubes Team was able to earn second place by just three seconds.

Anthony White (UK) won the solo men's category, while Chase Edwards from Flagstaff, Arizona came from behind to win the women's division with 15 laps over Rhonda Geisler.

The "Make This Race Great Again" Team won the Corporate Team division with 22 laps and finished fourth overall. Winning the singlespeed division, The Roca Roja Rollers completed 22 laps and finished fifth overall.

This year's race was dedicated to Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member Laird Knight of Granny Gear Productions, who arguably invented the 24-hour race format with races that included 24 Hours of Canaan and 24 Hours of Moab. Epic Rides founder Todd Sadow remarked, "Without Laird Knight, there'd be no Epic Rides".

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