Monday, May 04, 2009

Auburn Journal Article of the Wild, Wet Weekend

Recovering from the wet weekend today and will write up a story later, but here is a good overview of the race:

Auburn Journal "Wet, wild win for Juarez"

It was a tough race and I'm glad to be home and dry. The coolest part is the race raised >$40,000 for the Dream Foundation. Now that is cool.

Wet, wild win for Juarez

Round-the-clock rider logs roughly 182 miles in rain-shortened Coolest 24 Mountain Bike Race By Todd Mordhorst, Journal Sports Editor

Michael Kirby/Auburn Journal
Tinker Juarez of Downey, Calif., crosses Knickerbocker Creek on Saturday during the Coolest 24 Mountain Bike Race.

COOL — Tinker Juarez managed to pedal his bike around the slick, sloppy course at the Coolest 24 Mountain Bike Race 14 times between Saturday at noon and Sunday morning.

By the end, he almost needed a boat.

The four-time U.S. 24-hour solo champion added another well-earned victory to his Hall of Fame resume with a signature performance. He rode a total of around 182 miles in a race that was shortened to 22 hours and saw several top contenders drop out early due to the miserable conditions.

“The last thing I was thinking was that it would rain like this the entire race,” said Juarez, who turned 48 earlier this year. “There was a little break at night, but you still had to deal with the slime and the slip, so you still had to slow down.

“I actually felt really good. I’ve done a lot of races this year and I haven’t had that good feeling that I need the day of the race. In this one, everything came together, finally.”

A chorus of several hundred screeching brakes signaled the start of the third annual race, which race director Jim Northey said was filled to its 700-rider capacity. The course roughly followed Olmstead Loop behind the Cool Fire Station. This year’s route included 1,800 grueling feet of climbing.

The relentless rain could not dampen the spirits of the competitors, whose entry fees helped raise more than $40,000 for The Dream Foundation, a non-profit, wish-granting organization for adults, many of whom are cancer victims.

Juarez led from the get-go on Saturday. An early challenge from two-time Coolest 24 single-speed solo champion Dez Wilder pushed Juarez to a remarkable first-lap time of 57 minutes, 48 seconds — the fastest lap time by more than two minutes. The Cannondale-sponsored rider won a $100 bonus for the fastest lap on top of his $900 check for his first place finish.

His eyes, which were splattered with mud throughout the first half of the race, paid the price.
“I was a little nervous because I didn’t have a fender at first,” Juarez said. “Our mechanic saved the day. I was desperate. I didn’t think I would be able to make it through the night with the way my eyes felt.

“But we got that fender on there and it was night and day. My eyes were starting to get bad, but that fender saved me.”

Juarez will be back in Northern California in June for the Coolest 24 Boggs Mountain, also directed by Northey.

The four-man single-speed team from Victory Velo turned in an impressive 17 laps to win its division.

Full results were not available at press time. Visit for results later this week.

1 comment:

GRIESE.J said...

Big Congratulations and great job with staying in it 'til the end.