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The short version of the 2006 24 Hours of Moab; the Nat Ross diary

Nat Ross

Nat Ross (Image credit: Xavier Fane)

That's right. Mother Nature moved in quick to drastically shorten the 24 Hours of Moab for soloists by two thirds. My winning finishing time was eight hours and eighteen minutes. Although soloists wanted to race the full 24, a freak storm prevented any nighttime laps, which in turn had soloists voting not to restart in the morning. Follow my play-by-play for the last race in the 24 Hour National Point Series.

I drove my Subaru Outback to Moab on Wednesday evening without my crew. My plan was to clear my head and prepare for the big day with out too many stresses or distractions. My crew manager, Mike Reed, had been riding in Moab twice in the past month and had told me just how wet it had been. Mike informed me to watch the weather closely and bring lots of rain gear and warm riding clothes.

The plan was to pre-ride two laps on the course Thursday in the morning. I was riding new prototype Bontrager tubeless 29-in tires. I had raced the proto tubeless rims all summer, but had not raced the tires and tubeless rim strips yet. I hammered out my first lap in one hour and fifteen minutes. This was five minutes slower than I wanted to be so I opted not to ride another lap on my second Gary Fisher (Race Day) SuperCaliber 29. The tires felt bombproof and I wanted to conserve my energy for Saturday and Sundays efforts.

My amazing support staff arrived later that evening. My crew returned from last year and consisted of: Myron Billy as my mechanic, Mike Reed, my sister Niki, and her friends Stephanie and Andie. They kick ass. We laughed our selves silly as the vibe between us is all about having a good time. Everybody brought his or her bikes to ride prior to the race, but the weather was too crappy.

My bikes were dialed and I showed up on Saturday morning earlier than planned - which was great as I had a scheduled interview. It also never hurts to have extra prep time when it's raining. Keeping everything dry is extremely difficult even in the tents. Another difficult task was to maintain my motivation. These races are miserable enough in dry conditions. Typically, I wish for bad weather, but I knew I was in for some bone-chilling laps.

Read the entire Nat Ross diary here.

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