Team Beaver Creek rides to 24-Hour National Title
The team completed 28 laps on the rolling course in 24 hours, 8 minutes, edging out Team ABS/Santa Cruz, which completed 28 laps in 24:30. The lead changed between the two teams three times during the race, and they were never more than five minutes apart until Team Beaver Creek pulled away around dawn.
The 24-hour mountain bike race typically starts at noon with a “Le Mans” style start in which the competitors run a short distance before mounting their bicycles. The race continues through the night, with racers relying on bike-mounted lights to see, and finishes at noon the following day. The four-person category is a relay race, team members handing off a baton at the completion of each lap.
“My legs completely seized up during the run,” said Janelle, who started the race for Team Beaver Creek. “They never hurt so bad in my life. I was practically crying trying to get through the first lap.”
Fortunately, Janelle was able to come back and ride strong during his other laps. Team Beaver Creek came back and took the lead during their sixth lap, and were then passed by ABS/Santa Cruz on lap 10. Riding neck and neck about a minute apart the rest of the night, Team Beaver Creek finally regained the lead just before the sun came up and were able to pull away, hanging onto a 22-minute lead for the finish.
“We stuck to our rotation strategy and I think it paid off,” said Palmer. “It was a real dogfight out there, but at the end we came through with a little more endurance.”
“We were stoked to be able to defend our title from last year,” Mortenson said. “Most people thought a grass roots team taking the victory was a fluke, but now that we’ve done it twice we’ve proven we’re for real.”
Mortenson claimed the fastest lap time for the overall event. Local racer Kerry Lawson finished fifth in the women’s solo 24-hour national championship. Tinker Juarez won the men’s solo division. For the solo riders, instead of handing off a baton at the end of the lap they continue riding until noon the following day. For complete results, log on to http://www.24hoursofadrenalin.com.