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Plews, Rusch win Arkansas six-hour enduro

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The riders are ready to start.

The riders are ready to start. (Image credit: Fred Phillips)
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A racer in the Spa City six-hour mountain bike race.

A racer in the Spa City six-hour mountain bike race. (Image credit: Fred Phillips)
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Rebecca Rusch's support crew, her mom, lent a hand for the six-hour race.

Rebecca Rusch's support crew, her mom, lent a hand for the six-hour race. (Image credit: Fred Phillips)
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Evan Plews celebrates his win in Spa City.

Evan Plews celebrates his win in Spa City. (Image credit: Fred Phillips)
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Rebbecca Rusch won the women's race.

Rebbecca Rusch won the women's race. (Image credit: Fred Phillips)
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Evan Plews stands atop the men's podium.

Evan Plews stands atop the men's podium. (Image credit: Fred Phillips)

While most of the United States was focused on an Olympic hockey rematch with Canada, Rebecca Rusch was defending her title at the Spa City 6-hour Mountain Bike Race, while Evan Plews was working on his own hat trick: The 12 hours of Santos and the Spa City Double which included both the six-hour mountain bike race and an off-road duathlon in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Last week, Plews vanquished all comers in the 12 hours of Santos in Florida while Rusch was training and racing in Argentina.

Hot Springs, Arkansas, was the second stop in the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Ultra-Endurance Calendar. Mother Nature brought sunshine for the weekend's events, and it was the quest for warmer, drier weather that brought Plews out from his Salem, Oregon, home.

The six-hour race should have been easier after 12 hours in Santos, but tanner legs and fitter bodies were everywhere. A short Le-Mans start and a decent open stretch let the riders seed themselves before they hit the singletrack.

The trails at Garland County's Cedar Glades Park are carved through the pine forests of the Ouachita Mountains and demand strong legs. There was 1,000 feet of climbing tucked into every 10-mile lap. Concentration and the ability to do intervals are required.

Plews pulled ahead but Scott Henry had the moxy to reel him back in. A strong effort by Plews on the last lap and bike issues for Henry left the latter in arrears.

Fresh from riding in Patagonia the women's event was dominated by the queen of pain, Rebecca Rusch. Rita Borelli finished in fifth to lay claim to the overall series lead.

Rusch settled into solid and consistent pace, pulling away from the rest of the female field with each pedal stroke. This two-time 24 Hour World Champion, had a big smile on her face throughout the day.

Plews wins duathlon, too

A second day of competition offered the Du it in the Dirt off-road Duathlon (2 mile run/10 mile bike/ 2 mile run). It started with the local high school cross country runners opening a two-minute gap on everyone.

Plews arrived in the transition three minutes back and crushed the 10-mile bike lap in 46 minutes flat. The youth just need a few more years of seasoning to be competitive on the bike. Steven Ericson, in second, had the legs to stay in front of Plews for half the race.

Plews hopped off his steed for the final two-mile run. Was he running scared or for his flight? No worries, his lead was enough to hold off Ericson. Having the pHitpills posse as his crew gave him the opportunity to race at 11:00 am, come within seconds of a course record, collect his bling (a gnome with shovel), shower, eat, pack and get to the Little Rock Airport an hour away for a 3:30 pm. flight home.

Amy Johnson brought the win home on the woman's side, crushing the field with a strong performance.

Plews took a commanding lead in the USAC Ultra Endurance Series with 120 points. Scott Henry and Sebastian Ortiz are tied for second with 40. The women are closer with Rita Borelli (80) leading Rebecca Rusch (60). Andrea Wilson and Selene Yeager are tied for third with 40 points.

The next stop for the USAC Ultra Endurance Series is Dirt, Sweat and Gears in Fayetteville, Tennesee on May 15.

Full Results

Top Men overall (for prizes)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Evan Plews7laps
2Scott Henry7
3Ernest Marenchin7
4Frank Webber7
5Ray Hall7
6Noah Singer7

Top women overall (for prizes)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rebecca Rusch6laps
2Andrea Wilson5
3Laureen Coffelt5

Singlespeed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Craig Zediker6pts
2Charles Parmain6
3Sean Williams6
4Bob Ocken6
5Clayton Bell6
6Andy Barton6
7Ray Porter5
8Troy Cowin5
9Larry Wagner5
10Adam Moore5
11Erik Blaty5
12Allen Black4
DNSCarter Chappell

Other pro men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ray Storm6laps

Women 39 and under
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Heather Ladd5laps
2Rita Borelli5
3Kay Lehman5
4Sonya Tomes4
5Angela Breeden4
6Maria Hernandez3
7Meredith Link3

Women 40+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Suzanne Henne5laps
2Julie Burroughs5
3Susan Williams5
4Vivian Chwalinski4
5Beth Weimer3
6Denise Weber3

Men 29 and under
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ryan Cook6laps
2Joshua Snyder5
3Kristofer Karwisch5
4Will Frank5
5Zane Jeffers5
6Charles Wooley5
7Derek King5
8Matthew Mcculley5
9Luke Kuschmeader4
10Clayton Stich4
11Kevin Williams3
12Justin Woodruff3
13Josh Wiersig3

Men 30-39
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Gullett6laps
2Michael Christopher6
3Calvin Hill6
4Karl Hanson6
5Robert Mooney5
6Chad Parker5
7Cody Rankin4
8Todd Gallagher4
9Clint Barbar4
10Korrey Kersteter4
11Scott Hopkins3
12Beau Mooneyham3
13Jared Sorrells2

Men 40-49
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Renshaw6laps
2Sammy Davidson6
3Steven Wells6
4Scott Dollar5
5Dennis Rathke5
6Mark Swezey5
7Wes Wright5
8Roger Williams5
9Chris Welch5
10John Ashby5
11Lonnie Kinkade5
12Brook Mayberry4
13Jeffrey Foes4
14Gary Fenton3
15Duane Moore3

Men 50+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Todd Henne6laps
2Mark Little6
3Douglas Smith6
4Chris Irving6
5Michael Moriarty5
6Craig Morris5
7Robert Nielsen5
8Frank Stich5
9Paul Hart5
10Ed Garrison5
11Steve Cole4
12Jim Barton4
13Ed Hawkins4
14Murray Wilmerding4
15Richard Bell4
16Paul Geoly3
17Kenneth Bedford3
18Bill Nelson3

Men duo team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Warren Bradley and Shane Waites6laps
2Tom Burks and Roger Smith5
3Barney Long and Tristen Long5
4Tim Anderson and Robert Knapp4
5Brett Frizzell and Jesse Livingston3

Coed duo team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Douglas Bittinger and Cindy Reese5laps

Women duo team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kristin Snyder and Brook Wiersig3laps

Women's 3-person team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jake Norton, Greg Poole, Carlie Mock5laps

3 Person Male Team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eric Camp, Jason White, Garret White6laps

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