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Racers migrate to the desert for Old Pueblo

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24-Hour Town hosts up to 3,500 racers and spectators for the weekend of the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo race

24-Hour Town hosts up to 3,500 racers and spectators for the weekend of the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Dave Wiens from Team Topeak - Ergon rounds the corner before descending the rock drop option at the Kona Bikes 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race in Tucson. Wiens' Topeak-Ergon team took second place in the Five Person Co-ed 150-199 Combined Age category of the event.

Dave Wiens from Team Topeak - Ergon rounds the corner before descending the rock drop option at the Kona Bikes 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race in Tucson. Wiens' Topeak-Ergon team took second place in the Five Person Co-ed 150-199 Combined Age category of the event. (Image credit: Dennis Gray / www.dpgrayphoto.com)
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Barreling down the Le Mans start, a herd of riders stampede their way to the bike staging area of the Kona Bikes 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race.

Barreling down the Le Mans start, a herd of riders stampede their way to the bike staging area of the Kona Bikes 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race. (Image credit: Dennis Gray / www.dpgrayphoto.com)
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Several riders spin their way between cactus on some singletrack of the Kona Bikes 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race in Tucson. Leading the pack is Dave Byers, the third place finisher in the Solo Male category.

Several riders spin their way between cactus on some singletrack of the Kona Bikes 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race in Tucson. Leading the pack is Dave Byers, the third place finisher in the Solo Male category. (Image credit: Dennis Gray / www.dpgrayphoto.com)

Mountain bikers from around the world are arriving in Tucson, Arizona for the 14th Annual 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, set to begin at noon, on Saturday, February 16, at Willow Springs Ranch.

Welcoming 1,800 participants to "24 Hour Town" - a round-the-clock, temporary city of mountain bikers - the 2013 event filled in record time. Registration closed a full two months ahead of the event, earlier than ever before. Racers will enjoy a 16.1-mile fast and flowing course in the Sonoran Desert. Weather conditions are expected to be optimal, especially during a time of year where most of the US is still blanketed by snowfall.

Tinker Juarez will return to the solo class for the first time since 2009 while his Cannondale/Sho-Air teammate Pua Mata will ride on an Arizona High School Mountain Bike League team of teenage girls. Defending co-ed duo champions Rebecca Rusch and Nat Ross, local professional talents TJ and Chloe Woodruff and the president of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Mike Van Abel are among those attending, and the Stan's NoTubes Elite Women's Team will also be back to defend its team title.

For the seventh consecutive year, the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is the largest 24 hour mountain bike event in the US. But the event itself is just one facet of what Epic Rides President Todd Sadow describes as "the mountain biker's Burning Man"; with 24 Hour Town suddenly emerging from the desert with tents, campers and RVs, forming a temporary city of more than 4,000 spectators and participants.

The 2013 edition of the race is dedicated to the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).