Skip to main content

Kabush wins Whiskey 50

Image 1 of 53

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) takes the Whiskey 50 win and the $5000 prize

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) takes the Whiskey 50 win and the $5000 prize
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 2 of 53

Pua Mata (ShoAir) chasing Chloe Woodruff (Crank Bros) and Kelli Emmett (Giant) early in the race

Pua Mata (ShoAir) chasing Chloe Woodruff (Crank Bros) and Kelli Emmett (Giant) early in the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 3 of 53

Racers got to enjoy some incredible trails today

Racers got to enjoy some incredible trails today
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 4 of 53

Veteran Racer (and Mom) Wendy Simms (Kona) riding in the top fifteen

Veteran Racer (and Mom) Wendy Simms (Kona) riding in the top fifteen
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 5 of 53

Nina Baum (NoTubes) always seems to be smiling

Nina Baum (NoTubes) always seems to be smiling
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 6 of 53

Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna Pro Team) moved up somewhat dramatically during the race

Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna Pro Team) moved up somewhat dramatically during the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 7 of 53

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) riding in the top five

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) riding in the top five
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 8 of 53

Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) riding with the group chasing Gould

Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) riding with the group chasing Gould
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 9 of 53

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) with nobody in sight behind her

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) with nobody in sight behind her
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 10 of 53

Andy Schultz (Kenda Felt) working his way up the switchbacks

Andy Schultz (Kenda Felt) working his way up the switchbacks
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 11 of 53

Jay Henry (Tokyo Joe's) entering the first dirt section in a big pack of riders

Jay Henry (Tokyo Joe's) entering the first dirt section in a big pack of riders
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 12 of 53

A young girl with a sense of humor

A young girl with a sense of humor
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 13 of 53

The Pro Men waiting for their call-up

The Pro Men waiting for their call-up
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 14 of 53

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Suabru Giant) leading the race just before the descent to Skull Valley

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Suabru Giant) leading the race just before the descent to Skull Valley
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 15 of 53

Hector Fernando Riveros riding in the top five before the descent to Skull Valley

Hector Fernando Riveros riding in the top five before the descent to Skull Valley
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 16 of 53

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and wife Heather Irmiger at the check presentation

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and wife Heather Irmiger at the check presentation
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 17 of 53

Alison Mann showing off her check for fourth place

Alison Mann showing off her check for fourth place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 18 of 53

Men's Podium (L to R) Alex Grant (Cannondale) 4th, Markus Bauer (Lexware Racing) 2nd, Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) 1st, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Suaru Trek) 3rd, Hector Fernando Riveros 5th

Men's Podium (L to R) Alex Grant (Cannondale) 4th, Markus Bauer (Lexware Racing) 2nd, Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) 1st, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Suaru Trek) 3rd, Hector Fernando Riveros 5th
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 19 of 53

The men's leaders on the ten-mile climb out of Skull Valley

The men's leaders on the ten-mile climb out of Skull Valley
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 20 of 53

Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) coming through one of the Aid Stations

Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) coming through one of the Aid Stations
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 21 of 53

Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) made a late surge to claim third place

Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) made a late surge to claim third place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 22 of 53

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) climbing the mountain with ease

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) climbing the mountain with ease
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 23 of 53

Pua Mata (ShoAir) riding her dual suspension Epic which helped her pull back Gould

Pua Mata (ShoAir) riding her dual suspension Epic which helped her pull back Gould
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 24 of 53

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) cresting the mountain all alone

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) cresting the mountain all alone
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 25 of 53

Jason Sager (Team Jamis) pulling off a top fifteen ride

Jason Sager (Team Jamis) pulling off a top fifteen ride
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 26 of 53

Barry Wicks (Kona) riding to an impressive sixth place today

Barry Wicks (Kona) riding to an impressive sixth place today
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 27 of 53

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Giant) is one of the favorites today

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Giant) is one of the favorites today
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 28 of 53

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) being interviewed before the race

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) being interviewed before the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 29 of 53

Old friends Wendy Simms (Kona), Kris Sneddon (Kona), and Sue Butler (River City Bicycles)

Old friends Wendy Simms (Kona), Kris Sneddon (Kona), and Sue Butler (River City Bicycles)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 30 of 53

Pua Mata (ShoAir) almost to the top of climb before the descent to Skull Valley

Pua Mata (ShoAir) almost to the top of climb before the descent to Skull Valley
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 31 of 53

Nina Baum (NoTubes) riding to a 13th place finish

Nina Baum (NoTubes) riding to a 13th place finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 32 of 53

Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joe's) early in the race

Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joe's) early in the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 33 of 53

Tyler Coplea (BMC Development) riding uphill switchbacks

Tyler Coplea (BMC Development) riding uphill switchbacks
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 34 of 53

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) head up some sweet singletrack 30 seconds behind JHK

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) head up some sweet singletrack 30 seconds behind JHK
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 35 of 53

Carl Decker (Team Giant) chasing JHK with Kabush in tow

Carl Decker (Team Giant) chasing JHK with Kabush in tow
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 36 of 53

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) gets a gap on the field on some switchbacks

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) gets a gap on the field on some switchbacks
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 37 of 53

Andy Schultz (Kenda Felt) takes a turn at the front as the main contenders bide their time

Andy Schultz (Kenda Felt) takes a turn at the front as the main contenders bide their time
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 38 of 53

The men's peloton makes its way up the long road climb

The men's peloton makes its way up the long road climb
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 39 of 53

Bryan Fawley (Orbea-Tuff Shed) led nearly the entire 6-mile road climb

Bryan Fawley (Orbea-Tuff Shed) led nearly the entire 6-mile road climb
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 40 of 53

Kricket Lewis Providing support to Cliff and NoTubes riders

Kricket Lewis Providing support to Cliff and NoTubes riders
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 41 of 53

Alison Mann (Bikes for Boobs) riding to an impressive 4th place finish

Alison Mann (Bikes for Boobs) riding to an impressive 4th place finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 42 of 53

Whiskey Row early in the morning

Whiskey Row early in the morning
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 43 of 53

One of the town's sheriffs watch the racers finish

One of the town's sheriffs watch the racers finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 44 of 53

Columia's Hector Fernando Riveros was elated with his fifth place finish

Columia's Hector Fernando Riveros was elated with his fifth place finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 45 of 53

Markus Bauer (lexware Racing) edges out Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski for second place

Markus Bauer (lexware Racing) edges out Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski for second place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 46 of 53

Carl Decker (Team Giant) fueling up for the last ten miles

Carl Decker (Team Giant) fueling up for the last ten miles
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 47 of 53

Carl Decker (Team Giant) riding fourth with Mitch Hoke (Cliff Bar)

Carl Decker (Team Giant) riding fourth with Mitch Hoke (Cliff Bar)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 48 of 53

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) sets the pace on the final climb

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) sets the pace on the final climb
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 49 of 53

German rider Markus Bauer (Lexware Racing) caught some of the North Americans off guard

German rider Markus Bauer (Lexware Racing) caught some of the North Americans off guard
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 50 of 53

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) leading JHK and Markus Bauer on the final climb

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) leading JHK and Markus Bauer on the final climb
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 51 of 53

Riders start the ten-mile descent to Skull Valley

Riders start the ten-mile descent to Skull Valley
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 52 of 53

Pua Mata (ShoAir) wins the Whiskey 50 for the second year in a row

Pua Mata (ShoAir) wins the Whiskey 50 for the second year in a row
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
Image 53 of 53

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) celebrates his victory with the crowd in downtown Prescott

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) celebrates his victory with the crowd in downtown Prescott
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

Geoff Kabush and Pua Mata won the pro Whiskey 50 races in Arizona on Sunday.  Kabush rode to victory in the men's race ahead of Markus Bauer and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski.

In the women's race, Georgia Gould was leading going into the final pavement section, but an untimely flat proved costly as Mata passed her to ride in for the victory.   Gould managed to keep second place ahead of Kelli Emmett in third place.

Elite men

In what many riders were calling the best race weekend of this season, Geoff Kabush  (Scott-3Rox) added to his Fat Tire Crit victory from Friday with an impressive win the in Whiskey 50 main event on Sunday. German rider Markus Bauer (Lexware Racing Team) took advantage of a Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) mishap on the final descent to finish second. Horgan-Kobelski, cramping at end, managed to finish third. Alex Grant (Cannondale) moved up steadily in the race to finish fourth. A jubilant Hector Fernando Riveros (Bandwagon Racing) was fifth.

The Whiskey 50 course was about as brutal as anyone could dream up. It began with a twisty six-mile road climb followed by further climbing up switchbacks on singletrack. As riders crested the mountain pass, they were treated to a 10-mile descent into the small town of Skull Valley. After refueling at the aid station there, they began a 12-mile climb back up the valley, ending on a steep dirt climb called "cramp hill". Riders then made their way through up-and-down singletrack before hitting the final pavement stretch back into town.

It was almost a given that nobody was going to get away on the road climb out of town. Bryan Fawley (Orbea-Tuff Shed) paced the group nearly the whole way. Andy Schultz (Kenda Felt) moved up in the peloton by riding on the sidewalk and then briefly led on the steepest part of the road climb.

All the main contenders stayed close to the front. Each knew that it was going to be critical to get onto the singletrack in front of slower riders. Almost immediately after hitting the dirt, Horgan-Kobelski asserted himself on the climb and opened a 20-second gap.

"JHK knows his strength and definitely put down an effort on the first climb," said Kabush. "I just tried to keep him in sight within 20-30 seconds. I was able to bridge to him and thought we might be able to get away."

That plan didn't work out. As they did the 10-mile descent to Skull Valley, many riders could be seen taking risks to bridge up to the leaders.

"On the downhill, a huge group formed which made it pretty dynamic and interesting," said Kabush. "We turned the corner (at Skull Valley) with 15 at least. It was a battle of attrition on the 12-mile climb; there were a lot of question marks as to what was going to happen."

All the eventual podium finishers were in that group, but there were some unknown riders as well including two Colombians and one German. Kabush admitted that he was keeping an eye on the Colombians, as they commonly are good climbers. After the race, it was determined that none of the North Americans knew who Markus Bauer was. But they all agreed that he was a very strong rider. Barry Wicks (Kona) and Mitch Hoke (Cliff Bar) were also in the group.

"Conrad Stoltz, X-Terra champion, laid down the tempo and whittled the group down to seven or eight," said Kabush. "Near the top where we crested, JHK put in an effort and separated myself, him, and Markus."

Unfortunately for JHK, he had a bit of a disaster on the singletrack descent. "It didn't go well for me at the end. I felt amazing and I was descending awesome. Kabush and I got away and then I had some wicked cramps. Then I had a stupid fatigue-induced wreck on the last singletrack," said Horgan-Kobelski.

"I just tagged a tree and twisted my bars," said JHK. "I was only about 15 seconds behind Geoff, and then I got caught. I was cramping in the end but by far this was my best day this year."

Elite women

A total of 33 women lined up in downtown Prescott just 10 minutes after the men were sent out onto the course. The front row line-up had been determined by the finish order of the Friday night crit, which Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) had won.

At the end of the day endurance specialist, Pua Mata (Specialized), took her second win in as many years. Gould, who flatted with the race lead just before the final pavement, limped in for second place. Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) rode consistently to finish third. Allison Mann (Bikes for Boobs) finished fourth in perhaps her best race ever. Teal Stetson-Lee, the newest member of the powerful Luna squad, made her fist podium appearance with that team by finishing fifth.

Gould put her stamp of authority on the race as soon as the pro women hit the dirt after the long road climb. By the time she hit the uphill switchbacks, there was nobody in sight behind her.

Mata led the chase behind Gould, but then her battle with her chain began. "It was a little stressful starting out," said Mata. "There was a group of six of us. I got into the singletrack second. My legs started to warm up, but right away my chain started to chain suck. I had to stop and get off, and four of them passed me. Georgia had the gap, but I just got stuck. It is hard to pass on that singletrack going up."

On the 10-mile descent, Mata's fortunes changed. She credited her full-suspension carbon Specialized Epic with helping her win the day. Gould said, "On the downhill fire road, she (Mata) was blazing down that.

"On the descent, I knew that with the Epic I could open it up with wheels on the ground," said Mata.

But just after catching Gould, Mata suffered another round of chain suck and lost time. Gould said, "We came through the feed zone, and she was about 15 seconds behind me. I just tried to open it up on the climb and just ride steady. I was feeling good at the top and riding well."

By then end of the downhill singletrack, Gould had opened up nearly a four-minute advantage on Mata.

Then disaster struck Gould. She hit a rock near the end of the singletrack. "Yeah, ride error," said Gould. "I stopped and put some air in and got back on the road where it went completely flat." Gould expressed surprise at how long the last section of pavement was. She rode into the finish on a totally flat tire that had just cost her $2000 in prize money.

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) also had a good ride behind the leaders. She ultimately finished eighth, and former USA Marathon National Champion Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek), who started strongly, slipped to sixth place.

Emmett, always fast on the descents, appeared to be having one of her best days ever climbing as well. She crested the main ridge in fourth place behind Freeman, but then used her downhill skills to close the gap.

Most of the top pro racers will now have a weekend off before heading to round three of the World Cup in the Czech Republic where the chase for US Olympic Team spots will continue.

One of the best races

A total of US$30,000 in prize money was equally divided between the men's and women's races, with the winner taking home a $5,000 check. There is little doubt that the prize money inflated the pool of talent racing this year.

While many mountain bike races have experienced dwindling attendance over the past decade, the Epic Rides organization seems to have built a winning formula for its series of events. First and foremost, the Town of Prescott was "all in" for this race, providing a venue at the Town Square, trail access, and the support of all the town's employees. The mayor personally greeted the pro riders at a Friday briefing and could be seen at every event of the weekend.

In an unprecedented gesture, the Town of Prescott provided the media with race transportation with Chris Hosking, who is their Parks and Recreation "Trails Specialist". Without his four-wheel-drive access, it would have been nearly impossible to witness much of the race.

The weekend was chock full of special events for amateur riders and their families. There was nearly non-stop live music by numerous bands on the Town Square, a beer garden hosted by New Belgium Brewery, and complimentary food at various locations. All riders were encouraged to bring canned goods to benefit the Yavapai Food Bank.

Many of the pro racers remarked after the race how huge the crowds were, not only in the downtown area, but also all along the more accessible sections of the course. It gave the race a real "World Cup feel".

The following video (coming!) is provided by race promoter Epic Rides.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing2:54:59
2Markus Bauer (Ger)0:01:16
3Jeremy Horgan-kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek0:01:20
4Alex Grant (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing0:02:17
5Hector Fernando Riveros (USA)0:02:30
6Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:03:07
7Carl Decker (USA) Giant0:03:08
8Mitch Hoke (USA) Clif Bar0:04:45
9Spencer Paxson (USA)0:05:30
10Conrad Stoltz (USA) Specialized0:05:34
11Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona0:07:17
12Jay Henry (USA)0:07:27
13Chris Baddick (GBr)0:08:32
14Kalan Beisel (USA) Orbea-Tuff Shed0:09:17
15Jason Sager (USA) Jamis0:09:57
16Thomas Turner (USA) Jamis0:10:07
17Luis Mejia (USA)0:10:33
18Rotem Ishay (USA) Jamis0:12:07
19Yuki Ikeda (USA)0:12:24
20Peter Glassford (Can) Trek Canada0:14:03
21Colin Cares (USA) Kenda-Felt0:14:04
22Payson Mcelveen (USA)0:14:52
23Dana Weber (USA)0:15:59
24Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar0:17:11
25Brady Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar0:18:34
26Michael Hosey (USA)0:18:40
27Macky Franklin (USA) Orbea-Tuff Shed0:19:01
28Erick Keniston (USA)0:19:51
29Blake Harlan (USA) Team Jamis0:20:19
30Kip Biese (USA) KJBikeCoaching0:20:21
31Bryan Dillon (USA) Alpine Orthopedics0:20:55
32Tj Woodruff (USA) Momentum Endurance0:21:25
33Kurt Refsnider (USA)0:21:49
34Skyler Trujillo (USA) Niner/Stans/Ergon0:23:33
35John Nobil (USA) Bear Valley0:24:53
36Sloane Anderson (USA)0:26:30
37Eric Salstrand (USA)0:26:43
38Tad Elliot (USA)0:27:00
39Josh Whitney (USA) RockyMounts0:27:10
40Nathan Brown (USA) Superfly Cycles0:27:28
41Jason Hilimire (USA) Epic Pro Cycling Team0:27:34
42Tyler Coplea (USA)0:27:41
43Colton Anderson (USA)
44Santiago Chavez (USA) The Bicycle Company0:27:49
45Brad Johnson (USA) Bicycle Ranch0:28:50
46Aaron Elwell (USA) Cannondale0:30:17
47Bryson Perry (USA) Life Time Fitness0:30:25
48Ryan Clark (USA) Surf City Cyclery0:30:27
49Travis Scheefer (USA) Alpine Orthopaedics0:31:46
50Corey Collier (USA) Don's Bike Shop0:32:00
51Andy Schultz (USA) Kenda-Felt0:32:58
52Trapper Steinle (USA)0:34:22
53Ben Welnak (USA)0:34:45
54David Graf (USA) Don's Bikes of Rialto0:36:20
55Jeff Kerkove (USA)0:36:30
56Nick Gould (USA)0:37:23
57Scott Henry (USA)0:37:59
58Nate Bird (USA) Honey Stinger0:39:02
59Stew Gross (USA) Alpine Orthopedics0:40:05
60John Sawasky (USA) Myself, my wife, and Bike Revolution0:40:06
61Domenico (mimmo) Futia (USA)0:40:43
62Cory Wallace (USA)0:41:42
63Travis Wilkerson (USA) Surf City Cyclery0:42:20
64Ryan Geiger (USA) AZ Devo Junior/U23 Mountain Bike Team0:42:54
65Ernie Watenpaugh (USA) Tokyo Joe's0:45:53
66Matt Connors (USA) Yeti0:46:04
67Phil Grove (USA)0:46:32
68Ryan Dorsey (USA) Honey Stinger0:46:48
69Doug Johnson (USA) Bandwagon Racing0:48:56
70Chad Davis (USA) SRAM0:49:04
71Frank Webber (USA) Orbea USA0:52:30
72Austin King (USA)0:56:09
73Mike Pimm (USA)0:56:42
74Zeke Hersh (USA) Epic Endurance1:02:32
75Micah Clinger (USA)1:05:19
76Jeremy Bounds (USA) AZ Cross1:44:30

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Monique Pua Mata (USA) ShoAir/Specialized3:21:34
2Georgia Gould (USA) Luna0:01:26
3Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant0:07:04
4Allison Mann (USA)0:11:51
5Teal Stetson-lee (USA) Luna0:11:53
6Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek0:12:51
7Jennifer Smith (USA)0:12:58
8Judy Freeman (USA)0:17:32
9Sarah Jansen (USA)0:20:24
10Rebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girl Scott Bikes0:23:10
11Sue Butler (USA)0:29:20
12Alice Pennington (USA)0:29:49
13Nina Baum (USA)0:31:08
14Sarah Kaufmann (USA)0:31:30
15Kelly Boniface (USA) Moots Cycles0:31:32
16Heidi Rentz (USA) ACME Shuttle0:32:10
17Wendy Simms (Can)0:33:14
18Sonya Looney (USA)0:33:40
19Suzanne Snyder (USA) Luna Pro Team0:33:41
20Jari Kirkland (USA)0:40:35
21Kelsy Bingham (USA) Jamis Bikes0:43:24
22Tonya Bray (USA)0:44:46
23Meghan Korol (USA)0:45:28
24Shannon Gibson (USA)0:47:17
25Anna Fortner (USA) SoCal Cross0:50:44
26Kata Skaggs (USA)0:59:29
27Melissa Liebling (USA)1:34:05

 

Latest on Cyclingnews