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Grand Junction Off-Road: Grotts and Nash claim 40 Grand wins

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Men’s Podium (L to R) Ben Sonntag (Clif) 4th, Geoff Kabush (Scott Maxxis) 2nd, Howard Grotts (Specialized) 1st, Russell Finsterwald (SRAM TLD) 3rd Kyle Trudeau (Construction Zone) 5th

Men’s Podium (L to R) Ben Sonntag (Clif) 4th, Geoff Kabush (Scott Maxxis) 2nd, Howard Grotts (Specialized) 1st, Russell Finsterwald (SRAM TLD) 3rd Kyle Trudeau (Construction Zone) 5th
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sofia Gomez Villane (Assos) had a very impressive weekend

Sofia Gomez Villane (Assos) had a very impressive weekend
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) on the road climb with Grand Junction in the background

Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) on the road climb with Grand Junction in the background
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jenny Smith (Stans NoTubes) riding to an impressive eighth place finish

Jenny Smith (Stans NoTubes) riding to an impressive eighth place finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Evelyn Dong (Full Cycle) pretty much owned fourth place the entire race

Evelyn Dong (Full Cycle) pretty much owned fourth place the entire race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Amy Beisel (Pro Cycling) and Sofia Gomez Villafane (Assos) trying to chase down Katerina Nash

Amy Beisel (Pro Cycling) and Sofia Gomez Villafane (Assos) trying to chase down Katerina Nash
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) starting somewhat slowing but then reeled in some riders

Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) starting somewhat slowing but then reeled in some riders
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) continued to pull away on the road climb before Twist and Shout Trail

Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) continued to pull away on the road climb before Twist and Shout Trail
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Isnaraissa Moir (Pivot) putting in a top ten ride

Isnaraissa Moir (Pivot) putting in a top ten ride
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Evenly Dong (Full Cycle) descending some steep slickrock

Evenly Dong (Full Cycle) descending some steep slickrock
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sofia Gomez Villafane (Assos-Pivot) has stepped up her game this year with the help of her coach Carmen Small

Sofia Gomez Villafane (Assos-Pivot) has stepped up her game this year with the help of her coach Carmen Small
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Amy Beisel (Pro Cycling) leading Katerina Nash and Sofia Gomez Villafane after the initial climb out of Grand Junction

Amy Beisel (Pro Cycling) leading Katerina Nash and Sofia Gomez Villafane after the initial climb out of Grand Junction
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) pulled herself back to sixth place

Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) pulled herself back to sixth place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Serena Bishop Gordon (Liv) riding in Colorado National Monument

Serena Bishop Gordon (Liv) riding in Colorado National Monument
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A group of riders making the road climb about an hour into the racing

A group of riders making the road climb about an hour into the racing
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Women’s Podium (L to R) Evelyn Dong (Full Cycle) 4th, Amy Beisel (Pro Cyling) 2nd, Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) 1st, Sofia Gomez Villafane (Assos) 3rd, Crystal Anthony (Riverside) 5th

Women’s Podium (L to R) Evelyn Dong (Full Cycle) 4th, Amy Beisel (Pro Cyling) 2nd, Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) 1st, Sofia Gomez Villafane (Assos) 3rd, Crystal Anthony (Riverside) 5th
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) with injured USA Marathon Champion Rose Grant and Amy Beisel

Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) with injured USA Marathon Champion Rose Grant and Amy Beisel
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) wins the Grand Junction race by a large margin

Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) wins the Grand Junction race by a large margin
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Local favourite Alexis Skarda (Stans NoTubes) riding near the highest point on the course

Local favourite Alexis Skarda (Stans NoTubes) riding near the highest point on the course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sarah Kaufmann (Stans NoTubes) descending like a downhiller

Sarah Kaufmann (Stans NoTubes) descending like a downhiller
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) riding Twist and Shout Trail

Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) riding Twist and Shout Trail
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Rebecca Gross (KHS) leading a group up the mountain

Rebecca Gross (KHS) leading a group up the mountain
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) descending some slickrock

Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) descending some slickrock
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Nikki Peterson (Ridebiker) climbing while one hour into the race

Nikki Peterson (Ridebiker) climbing while one hour into the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jenny Smith (Stan’s NoTubes) climbing well on the 43-mile course

Jenny Smith (Stan’s NoTubes) climbing well on the 43-mile course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Alexis Skarda (Stan’s NoTubes) before the race was hoping for a podium finish

Alexis Skarda (Stan’s NoTubes) before the race was hoping for a podium finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Long-time Cliff Rider and Oakley Woman Katerina Nash awaiting the podium ceremony

Long-time Cliff Rider and Oakley Woman Katerina Nash awaiting the podium ceremony
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (SRAM TLD) riding outside the top ten early in the race. He later flatted on the Butterknife trail

Todd Wells (SRAM TLD) riding outside the top ten early in the race. He later flatted on the Butterknife trail
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Garrett Gerchar (Clif Bar) riding a good line down some rock drops

Garrett Gerchar (Clif Bar) riding a good line down some rock drops
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Adam Bucklin (Team Rwanda) riding well during the first half of the race

Adam Bucklin (Team Rwanda) riding well during the first half of the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Earl Liam (Clif Bar) running up some technical terrain early in the race

Earl Liam (Clif Bar) running up some technical terrain early in the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Troy Wells (Clif Bar) descending slickrock with his brother Todd behind him

Troy Wells (Clif Bar) descending slickrock with his brother Todd behind him
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Nick Gould (Ska Brewing) leading a long train of racers down some very rocky terrain

Nick Gould (Ska Brewing) leading a long train of racers down some very rocky terrain
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Geoff Kabush (Scott Maxis) had been gapped by Grotts early but chased him down with the help of Russell Finsterwald

Geoff Kabush (Scott Maxis) had been gapped by Grotts early but chased him down with the help of Russell Finsterwald
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Howard Grotts (Specialized) leading by thirty seconds after a half hour of racing

Howard Grotts (Specialized) leading by thirty seconds after a half hour of racing
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremiah Bishop brought a fortune cookie from the night before, "It’'s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes a difference"

Jeremiah Bishop brought a fortune cookie from the night before, "It’'s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes a difference"
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Veteran Geoff Kabush (Scott Maxxis) won the crit on Friday night

Veteran Geoff Kabush (Scott Maxxis) won the crit on Friday night
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Riders descent what appears to be almost un-rideable terrain

Riders descent what appears to be almost un-rideable terrain
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Howard Grotts (Specialized) getting way back on a steep descent

Howard Grotts (Specialized) getting way back on a steep descent
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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USA Marathon Champion Payson McElveen (Orange Seal) putting in a solid top ten ride today

USA Marathon Champion Payson McElveen (Orange Seal) putting in a solid top ten ride today
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kyle Trudeau (Construction Zone) made it onto his first Grand Junction podium with a fifth-place finish

Kyle Trudeau (Construction Zone) made it onto his first Grand Junction podium with a fifth-place finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Alex Grant (Cannondale) slid out in a loose corner on the course

Alex Grant (Cannondale) slid out in a loose corner on the course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Geoff Kabush (Scott Maxxis) got away from Finsterwald on the final climb to claim second place

Geoff Kabush (Scott Maxxis) got away from Finsterwald on the final climb to claim second place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Howard Grotts (Specialized) takes the win at Grand Junction and $5000 first prize

Howard Grotts (Specialized) takes the win at Grand Junction and $5000 first prize
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Russell Finsterwald (SRAM) leading Geoff Kabush (Scott) after two and one half hours of racing

Russell Finsterwald (SRAM) leading Geoff Kabush (Scott) after two and one half hours of racing
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Howard Grotts (Specialized) had a 4 1/2 minute lead as he started the half hour descent back into town

Howard Grotts (Specialized) had a 4 1/2 minute lead as he started the half hour descent back into town
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Russell Finsterwald (SRAM) leading Geoff Kabush (Scott) across Gunny’s Trail about thirty minutes before the finish

Russell Finsterwald (SRAM) leading Geoff Kabush (Scott) across Gunny’s Trail about thirty minutes before the finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Fernando Paez (Construction Zone), a former winner of the race, had to settle for sixth place today

Fernando Paez (Construction Zone), a former winner of the race, had to settle for sixth place today
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Russell Finsterwald (SRAM TLD) riding in the top five during the initial climbs

Russell Finsterwald (SRAM TLD) riding in the top five during the initial climbs
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Rob Squire (Felt Assos) riding in the top three early in the contest

Rob Squire (Felt Assos) riding in the top three early in the contest
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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USA Marathon Champion Payson McElveen (Orange Seal) and his Durango training partner Howard Grotts (Specialized) on the front row

USA Marathon Champion Payson McElveen (Orange Seal) and his Durango training partner Howard Grotts (Specialized) on the front row
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

On a perfect day with nearly cloudless skies, USA Cross-Country champion Howard Grotts (Specialized) put the hurt on the chasers every time the 43-mile course turned uphill. Despite the course being three miles longer this year, he smashed the course record by three minutes to take the victory and the $5,000 first prize.

Geoff Kabush (Scott Maxxis) and Russel Finsterwald (SRAM) chased hard, made contact once, but ultimately had to battle for second place. Kabush attacked Finsterwald on the final hill to open a 28-second lead and take second place. Finsterwald claimed third.

Grotts explained his race, "I wanted to be in the lead during the first section because I knew there were sections that would bottleneck if you were not in the lead group. I did not really know the Butterknife trail because I was not able to pre-ride so maybe I went a little slower and they "got me" near the feed zone at the bottom. I then saw that Windmill was a really good, steep, consistent climb and I figured that was my best chance to get away for good."

Pro Women

Veteran racer, Olympian, and former Grand Junction winner Katerina Nash (Clf Pro Team) was not familiar with the first part of the course so she rode with Amy Beisel (Pro Cycling) and up-and-coming Sofia Gomez Villafane. When she reached familiar trails put hit the gas pedal and dropped both of them. Beisel and Villafane rode together for a while, but eventually Beisel's superior experience earned her second place. Villafane finished impressively in third place.

Nash finished two minutes faster than last year's time despite the course being three miles longer. She commented after the race, "The course is spectacular. I really enjoy riding the trails here in Grand Junction. I had a really smooth ride and am happy to take the win here...I wanted to get into the singletrack first that was really my goal."

Nash credited her longtime mechanic Chris Mathis for his part in the win, "Thank you Chris for always taking care of me and the bike, and obviously Clif Pro Team. This is my sixteenth season with them and I am really thankful for the opportunity."

 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Howard Grotts (USA) Specialized2:57:14
2Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott Sports, Maxxis, Shimano0:03:13
3Russell Finsterwald (USA) SRAM | Troy Lee Designs Race Team0:03:41
4Benjamin Sonntag (Ger) CLIF Bar, Niner Bikes, SRAM0:06:17
5Kyle Trudeau (USA) CZ Racing. BikeFlights, Rouleur Carbon0:06:18
6Fernando Riveros Paez (Col) CZ Racing0:09:10
7Alex Grant (USA) Cannondale, Enve Composites, Gear Rush0:10:16
8Chris Baddick (GBr) Boulder Cycle Sport, Scott Bicycles0:10:36
9Payson Mcelveen (USA) Orange Seal0:10:59
10Nic Beechan (USA) Trek Test Team, Shimano, Stans NoTubes, Ride 100%, Fox0:11:00
11Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Topeak-Ergon, Canyon
12Cal Skilsky (USA) AZ Devo0:11:31
13Henry Nadell (USA) CZ Racing0:13:48
14Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Bicycles, WTB, Shimano0:14:38
15Rotem Ishay (Isr) Jamis Bikes, Vittoria Tires, Stan's NoTubes0:15:08
16Stephan Davoust (USA) Giant Factory Off Road, SRAM, Schwalbe0:15:38
17Cypress Gorry (USA) KTM Factory USA0:16:58
18Brian Matter (USA) Linear Sport Racing, Trek, Shimano0:18:22
19Taylor Lideen (USA)0:18:48
20Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Off Road0:19:28
21Troy Wells (USA) CLIF0:19:56
22Bryan Dillon (USA) Topeak-Ergon, Canyon, SRAM0:21:54
23Lucas Rowton (USA) Montrose Bike Shop, Jonathan Livesay, my parents :)0:21:57
24Liam Earl (USA) Team Clif Bar, Niner Bikes, Cmu Cycling Team0:22:01
25Garrett Gerchar (USA) Clif Bar Development Mountain Bike and Cyclocross Team0:22:42
26Mitchell Peterson (USA) Canyon-Shimano0:25:01
27Bryson Perry (USA) Rouleur Devo, DNA Cycling, Summit Cyclery-Giant0:25:12
28Nick Gould (USA) Ska Brewing, Zia Taqueria, Trek0:26:24
29Drew Free (USA) KUHL, Pivot Cycles, Go-Ride.com0:26:44
30Tyler Jones (USA) Privateer0:27:34
31David Krimstock (USA) Giant Co. Factory Off Road0:27:53
32Mark Currie (USA) ENVE Composites, The Adrenalin Project, Skratch Labs0:28:10
33Rob Squire (USA) Felt- Assos- Oakley0:28:44
34Adam Bucklin (USA) Team Rwanda0:29:12
35Jorge Munoz (USA) CZ Racing0:32:02
36Herman Larsson (USA)0:32:13
37Keiran Eagen (USA) CRC Janitorial, Scott, 2nd Avenue Sports0:32:20
38Jason Donald (USA) Foundry Cycles, Skratch Labs, Boulder Cycle Sport0:33:05
39Barry Wicks (USA) Kona Endurance Team, Shimano, WTB0:33:41
40Weston Rasmussen (USA) CZracing, Tenac Championship Coaching
41Menso De Jong (USA) CLIF Bar, Niner Bikes, SRAM0:33:46
42Dean Hill (USA) Aspen Pro Cycling - Cima Cycles - Ute City Cycles0:33:56
43Ricardo Creel (Mex) CZ Racing0:34:44
44Matthew Turner (USA) Competitive Cyclist, Pivot Cycles, POC0:34:52
45Alex Pond (USA) Sonoran Cycles, Honey Stinger, Big Agnes0:34:55
46Jake Yackle (USA) Yackle Brothers Racing, KHS0:35:11
47Peter Calmes (USA)0:36:20
48Dylan Bailey (Can) Catalyst coaching and Sportlab, orange seal, suomy0:36:21
49Carter Anderson (USA)0:38:59
50Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona Endurance Team0:39:04
51Samuel Dolzani (USA) Honey Stinger, Bontrager0:39:27
52Tim Racette (USA) McDowell Mountain Cycles, Mike's Mix, Maxxis Tires0:40:23
53Daniel Matheny (USA) Matheny Endurance, COS Racing, EVOC0:40:25
54Levi Kurlander (USA) Trek Bicycles, Team RideBiker p/b Sho-Air0:42:13
55Nicolas Jimenez (USA) Yeti Cycles, Pactimo, Colorado Mesa University0:42:48
56Tyler Fox (USA) Giant Bicycles, Rockshox, Sram.0:45:04
57Donny Warbritton (USA) Stages Cycling0:48:33
58Cody Schwartz (USA) Scott, SRAM, Jakroo0:49:08
59John Nobil (USA)0:49:09
60Barkley Robinson (USA) Orange Peel / Steamboat Velo0:49:24
61Noah Sears (USA) Pivot, MRP, Ergon0:50:30
62Connor Barrett (USA) Summit Cyclery, Giant Bicycles, DNA Cycling0:59:54
63Ernie Watenpaugh (USA)1:11:23

Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katerina Nash (Cze) Clif3:38:12
2Amy Beisel (USA) ProCycling / Kenda Tire0:03:32
3Sofia Gomez Villafane (Arg) Assos , Pivot Cycles0:09:13
4Evelyn Dong (USA) Cannondale0:10:17
5Crystal Anthony (USA) Maxxis, Shimano0:10:30
6Maghalie Rochette (Can) CLIF, Maxxis, Fox0:15:13
7Alexis Skarda (USA) Stans, Kenda0:20:31
8Jennifer Smith (NZl) Stan's NoTubes, Kenda Tires, Cannondale0:20:43
9Isnaraissa Moir (USA) Pivot Cycles, MRP, Ergon0:22:42
10Nicole Tittensor (USA) Jans/Reynolds/Scott0:26:11
11Emily Schaldach (USA) Trek, Ridefast Racing, Mecha Fitness0:27:44
12Serena Bishop Gordon (USA) LIV, SRAM, Schwalbe0:27:48
13Sara Sheets (USA) Oskar Blues, Drunk Cyclist, Northern Colorado Grassroots0:28:43
14Chase Edwards (USA) Flagstaff Bike Revolution0:31:09
15Rebecca Gross (USA) KHS Bicycles, Sped Precision Components, Rotor Bicycle Components0:32:54
16Karen Jarchow (USA) Topeak-Ergon Racing Team, Canyon, Rockshox, SRAM, Limar0:34:46
17Liza Hartlaub (USA) GU Energy Labs0:40:05
18Sarah Kaufmann (USA) Stan's/Kenda Women's Elite Team0:42:19
19Tamara Donelson (USA) The Cycle Effect0:48:27
20Nikki Peterson (USA) RideBiker, Incycle Bicycles, Kenda Tires0:53:04
21Celeste Cannon (USA) Tokyo Joe's, Lee's Cyclery, Nothern Colorado Eye0:56:22
22Christine Jeffrey (USA) CZ Racing1:09:56

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