Moriah Wilson continued her tear in off-road racing this season with a dominant victory in the Pro Women’s division at Lake Sonoma MTB at the Grasshopper Adventure Series. Alex Wild won the Pro Men’s Division, setting the best overall time of 2 hours, 16 minutes and 36 seconds.
The fourth Hopper race in the mixed-terrain series, Lake Sonoma MTB returned with 25.2 miles of flowing singletrack and 4,071 feet of climbing from Healdsburg, California. Heavy rains fell earlier in the week, leaving only a little clay in early sections for a fast loop.
Wilson was fresh off a victory last weekend in singletrack racing at the Sea Otter Classic’s Fuego 80K XC race, the first of six events in the Life Time Grand Prix, a national off-road series. Wilson finished 13th overall on Sunday in a time of 2 hours and 35 minutes and 31 seconds and took her third consecutive Grasshopper event win this year, after not starting the opener at Low Gap.
Caroline Dezendorf secured second place for Pro Women, a little more than eight minutes behind Wilson. Vida Lopez secured third, two minutes ahead of Caitlin Bernstein, for the final spot on the podium. Lauren Cantwell and Amity Rockwell finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Wild, who was third for men at Fuego 80K XC, was 16 seconds better than Ian Lopez, with Justin Peck taking third, 1:50 back. Sandy Floren was fourth, Ted King was fifth, and former road pro Levi Leipheimer was best in the men’s 40-49 division for sixth overall.
Wild called the Lake Sonoma MTB “the most fun singletrack I’ve ever ridden.” On his Instagram feed, Wild recounted that he got offline and sliced his tyre when the singletrack began after the paved road climb. After a quick tube inflation, he had more than a three-minute gap to make it back to the front.
“I put my head down and rode the fine line between riding blind aggressively and protecting my front tire. I managed to work my way back into 4th in the next 20 minutes or so. I wasn’t sure if I’d make it back to the front but kept pushing. Heading into the final climb I caught Ian Lopez and we worked our way up to Sandy [Floren] and Justin Peck. Ian gave me a run for my money, but I was able to get a couple seconds over the top and hold it to the finish.”
Going into Lake Sonoma, Cantwell had a total of 137 points for a 10-point lead in the Pro Women’s division race over Hannah Wood. However, with top points for a third straight race, Wilson will move well up in the standings from fifth place.
Brennan Wertz has a 39-point advantage over Ian Lopez for the Pro Men. Peter Stetina, who was sitting fifth in the standings, pulled out of Lake Sonoma MTB after breaking his wrist at Fuego 80K XC last week.
The fifth of six events on the calendar for the series will be back on gravel May 15 for Sherwood Hopper, the long route 90 miles with 8,500 feet of climbing. The event takes place at Fort Bragg, California.
|3||Vida Lopez de san Roman||0:09:48|
|2||Ian Lopez de san Roman||0:00:16|
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Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).
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