Saturdays inaugural 12 & 6 Hours Of Temecula was set to kick off at 9am. With hundreds of races lining up under the SoCal sun the demeanor was full of challenge and anticipation. There were many celebrities in attendance, including Legendary Biker David " Tinker" Juarez, reigning Xterra world champion Leslie Patterson, and Motocross legend Johnny "O' Show" O'Mara. The start line seemed to go on forever. As the 9 am start rolled closer, event promoter Jason Ranoa got everyone in gear and ready for the challenging day. Right off the bat as the start buzzer chimed racers were off and hitting the big gears. The top guys were battling from the gun. The Mountain bike legend and 2 time Olympian Tinker Juarez lead the pack with Johnny O'Mara and Joel "The Kid" Titius in tow. The three pulled the pack throughout the first lap and onto the day.
There were many epic battles brewing throughout the day, but one of the most fun and heated was in the " Salty Dog" Category. The Salty Dog category consists of 4 riders with ages adding up to 180+. On average the riders tend to be a bit off the pace, but not this weekend. They were on the gas and competing like pros! The weather was heating up to a blistering 70+ degrees and the course was in epic shape. By the end of the day Hundreds of athletes challenged their bodies and minds to finish like champions!
In a surprising upset, current reigning 12 Hour champion Daniel Munoz bested Tinker Juarez with 15 laps compared to Tinker's 14. The winner explained, ”I knew that if I focused for just one more lap, all of it would be worth it. Having that in mind all day, I knew once it came around that time, 15 laps would be the goal. Throughout the day all I wanted to do is keep myself in the race, not killing myself, but staying close enough to strike till the opportunity presented itself. The best thing I had going for me all day was constant support from my friends and family, so I thank them very much. For an event like this, having confidence in the prep work and pit crew is just as important to me as having confidence that I have trained well enough.”
1. Daniel Munoz 15 laps
2. Tinker Juarez 14 laps
3. James Pham
In the 6 Hour category Joel "the Kid" Titius took top honors with Allan Laframboise in a close second.
1. Joel Titius
2. Allan Lafromboise 8 laps
3. Juan Carlos Nunez 7 laps
4. Benjamin MF Jones 7 laps
5. Alex Bagg 7 laps
In the ladies race Margaret Gregory took top honors on the 12 Hour while world champ Leslie Patterson took the top spot in the 6 Hour.
The Sunday's Enduro race was a phenomenal showing of bike handling and fitness. This new style of mountain bike racing is perhaps the wave of the future. This style includes 3 mostly downhill courses with some pedaling and climbing thrown in for good measure. It is the true test of the all around biker. For such a new race style, hundreds of racers were lined up to give it a go. The Pro categories were filled with talent and super fast guys. At the end of the day Chris Powell took top honors in the pro category with young gun Cole Picchiottino taking second. The categories were hotly contested and times were fast! It was an awesome day of racing for all the riders.
The next races in the SoCal Endurance calendar are:
March 2-3 US Cup, Vail Lake Resort, Temecula, Ca
June 8-9 12 & 6 Hours of Temecula, SoCal Enduro Vail Lake Resort, Temecula, Ca
August 24-25 6 Hours Of Tahquitz, Tahquitz Enduro, Angelus Oaks, Ca
Nov 10-11 12 & 6 Hours of Temecula, SoCal Enduro #3, Vail Lake Resort, Temecula
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