Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quick update about the Peru Stage Race August 2009

I plan to write up a story about Peru this weekend. Short story - Peru was awesome! It was a long trip to the track but it was a great experience. Oh - and I won, Alex Grant my teammate (this is the only guy I can spell his first AND last name on my team) - he got 2nd, Bart finished 4th, and Matt Ohran our Team Manager rocked Master with 1st place and got a top 10 overall in the general class. Would leave early and stay a few days over to enjoy the beautiful country next time. I had such a busy month with Canada, Leadville, and Peru I missed home...

Here a few awesome photos from Danny. Check out Danny's website:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Still Flashy Article

Check out this excellent article by Jack Vestal about my Cannondale Ultimate Carbon Flash. It is WAY beyond belief about how nice this bike rides. I am disappointed with the comments on the article but those guys don't understand the circumstances. The bike was built with mostly new parts but we had to wait for a few things. I was so excited about getting the bike together I couldn't wait. And that bike endured an extrodinary amount of pounding on REAL MTB courses during the Intermontane Challenge and rode excellent. And I just won a 3 stage race in Peru on it racing it hard on tough mountain jungle terrain. That bike is beyond belief excellent for any terrain. As for that clamp - all I can say is beware of overtightening and really cold weather.


And there is no question that I will use the Scalpel and love it especially for the endurance races. I have the best of both worlds.


Still Flashy: Demise of 26-Inch Hardtail Premature
Zack Vestal August 23 2009

Shown at the Intermontane Challenge, Tinker Juarez’s Cannondale Flash reportedly weighs 18 pounds. Photo by Zach Vestal.
Reports of the death of the 26-inch hardtail may be premature.

In fact, a few weeks ago MonaVie-Cannondale team manager Matt Ohran was quick to point out that on the very same day that the 26-inch hardtail was reported to have suffered an untimely demise, two European national championships were won on new, 2010 Cannondale Flash carbon hardtails. 26-inch hardtails, to be precise.

“That day, two Cannondale-sponsored riders who normally ride Scalpel full-suspension bikes had just received new Flash hardtails, and won their respective national championships,” said Ohran, referring to Roel Paulissen of Belgium and Marco Aurelio Fontana of Italy.

And while he acknowledges that the style of race courses in Europe can be quite different from those in the United States, Ohran was adamant that 26-inch hardtails will always have a place in North America.

Tinker uses a Cannondale Hollowgram SL 2x9 crankset and Crank Brothers pedals. Photo by Zach Vestal.
Tinker’s 2010 Flash hardtail

One place for a 26-inch hardtail is under Cannondale rider Tinker Juarez. Like his European counterparts, he’d received a Flash hardtail frame just days before the Intermontane Challenge in Kamloops, BC. Tinker didn’t hesitate in getting the parts swapped off his old bike and onto the new frame, despite having virtually no time to get used to the bike before the five-day stage race.

Juarez and his bike survived the stage race, which was meant partly as preparation for the Leadville Trail 100. He and the rest of his MonaVie-Cannondale team turned out in Colorado for Leadville aboard sub-18 pound Flash carbon hardtails.

The day before the Aug. 15 race, Ohran said noted that the team had had a bike weigh-off, and Juarez won. His Cannondale Flash reportedly weighed just 18 pounds.

We caught up with Tinker and his bike two weeks before Leadville, at the Intermontane Challenge. According to Ohran, nothing changed in terms of spec for Leadville. In fact, Ohran said that in contrast to Dave Wiens, who was using sturdy UST tubeless tires, Tinker was planning to gamble and use lightweight Kenda Karma non-UST tires (with Stan’s No Tubes sealant).

American Classic hubs are known to be light and often serve on race bikes. Photo by Zach Vestal
The rest of Juarez’s Flash is similarly hung with a slew of feathery parts. For starters, he runs a Cannondale Lefty 110 Solo Air SL fork and a 2-chainring Cannondale Hollowgram SL crankset. Cannondale ti-carbon bottle cages are light and tight.

The wheels are Stan’s ZTR Race rims built on American Classic hubs-a combination widely used and one of the lightest available. Adding to the weight savings in the wheel department are Scrub Components aluminum brake rotors (but Juarez has been known to occasionally run a standard stainless steel rear rotor for wet conditions).

In the drivetrain department, Juarez uses a SRAM X0 rear derailleur paired with a Shimano XT front. SRAM X0 shifters, a Shimano XTR 11-34 cogset and a Shimano HG-91 chain complete the package.

UK component brand Ultimate Sports Engineering (U.S.E.) provides Juarez with an Alien carbon seatpost and a Spin Stix rear quick release skewer. Contact points on the bike include a Fizik Dolomiti saddle, ODI grips, and Crank Brothers Quattro 4ti.

Unfortunately, a broken seat collar ended Tinker’s run at Leadville, but with his ultra-light Cannondale and tenacious fitness, you can bet he’ll be a force to reckon with in many races to come.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

The Race in the Sky

I like to ride my bike. Apparently so does Lance. Here is my theory: Lance raced Leadville not only to conquer what he didn’t last year but because he truly loves the sport and the competition. He proved he can win at one of the hardest mountain bike races in the world. Leadville definitely has a lot of double track (at least I think it does) and a perfect venue for a perfectly trained cyclist. Lance beat the record and won the race but he did it in a different way. He rode 55 miles by himself and you won’t see that happen often. That is a record all by itself. Most of the time you see someone winning within the last 4 or 5 miles and sprint to the finish. What an impressive victory to win the way he did. I wonder if anyone could do that on the road.

One thing is for sure, Lance is doing something positive about the sport that is great. He is helping our sport because he loves it and feels good about it. We don’t see the best road cyclists racing mountain bikes for a few reasons.

He is giving back to the sport like nobody else has done – for cycling in general – he has done more than anyone else has ever done. (Do I need to say that again?) I will cheer him on next year for the Tour de France. I might even go to France just to see it.

So what about my ride? The bad luck that I had in Kamloops followed me to Colorado. I had a lot of anger in me coming into the Leadville race. After loosing any chance in a podium position at Kamloops I was ready for a good result and I felt good. Really good. I knew it was a big race not only for the 100 miles or the altitude or the competition, but the potential exposure because Lance was there and so I wanted more than anything to be on that podium with him.

In my whole career, I have never put that much effort into training and preparing for the high altitude. I can’t even remember deliberately preparing like this for any other race before – even the Olympics qualifiers. As a sea-level resident I have always suffered at the altitude races and I felt this race was an important step in my career and integral for continuing for the next few years. Oh yes I am disappointed – beyond belief. I wanted the proof to myself for seeing how fast I could do the course and that I am able to compete with that particular competition.

Well I guess when I have bad luck I have really bad luck. Damn freak mechanical. If it could have held out for at least 80 miles I would have finished standing.

After all is said and done - I feel good about the way I was racing for the time I was in. I’ve been training for endurance for many years now and felt like I had a good chance to be on the podium. I will make this race a focus for 2010.

My biggest thank you to MonaVie-Cannondale, Matt Ohran our team manager, and my teammates for all the support, and especially to Cannondale for sponsoring the race. Check out the photos and stories on the website. The MonaVie Emv is seriously helpful. I am very very impressed for what it does for my performance and cannot say enough how much I like the energy drink.

And a very big thank you to Ken Chlouber, the promoter, for making me feel special and for such an excellent and well organized event. I’ve done a lot of 100 mile races and this was one of the best I’ve been to and I plan to be there for many years ahead. One of the best things about it was the competition, the energy of the town and the people, and being there with my team. And thank you to all the spectators and people I got a chance to talk to after the race. It was fun hanging around getting a chance to talk with everyone. Colorado was absolutely beautiful. With all the beautiful mountain passes, trees, down to earth people, and a great town -- it was a good time.

See you next year Leadville….


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Update from Leadville 100

Tinker called a while ago to tell us he is OK but had a mechanical so he is out of the race. Check out the details on the 11:00 MT live webcast and interview with Tinker. He is very happy with how he felt - legs felt good - no altitude problems - he was climbing strong and bridging up easily riding with the top 5 guys. He is looking forward to next year already.

Go Team!!!

Check out the live webcast:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Leadville 100 Prerace update

Tinker checked in this evening and is getting anxious about the race tomorrow morning. Tinker and the rest of the he MonaVie-Cannondale team are ready. They look forward to another great day at the office! Tinker seems eerily calm...sort of like the calm before the storm. He says his legs feel rested and recovered. We will know for sure tomorrow as the altitude, course, and weather present a challenge comparable to the field of athletes at the start line.

Good luck and God Bless everyone racing. We will be glued to our computers watching anything related to the race that we can find on the internet! Sign up for the webcast is only $5.95:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kenda C2C Road Tire Review

What an excellent review of the Kenda C2C tires.  Thanks Two Johns Podcast! 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Altitude Training

Great weekend with the family in Big Bear. Ed (Premier Tank) and Ray (happily retired) came up to fish and bike with us. Awesome time. Now heading to Leadville for the 100. Looking forward to seeing the course tomorrow.

Check out this good article on altitude training. Do hamburgers count as iron supplements?

Monday, August 03, 2009

The magic pHit pills

I found the miracle magic pills.

I don't know how they work except they help to balance the pH during extreme exercise. It significantly reduces cramping and helps recovery and I notice now when I don't take them how much worse I feel than when I do. They really do make me feel better than if I don't take them.

There are a lot of products on the market but this one is a sure thing and I hope my competition doesn't find out about them but I love them so much and want to tell everyone to go try them. Once you try them I guarantee you will keep using them forever.

Ask for Extreme Endurance and tell them Tinker sent you.

Murray Wilmerding 513.673.9922 Avant-garde Nutrition

Built by athletes for the athlete in you.
"Clean, bio-available, effective building blocks for creating healthier humans through balanced pH, exercise and nutrition."

Saturday, August 01, 2009 e news: Intermontane Challenge Update

Here is a good article from MTBRACENEWS.COM

Intermontane Challenge Update
Friday July 31, 2009

After the opening stage of the inaugural Intermontane Challenge in Kamloops, British Columbia, it looked as though the team was all but unstoppable. In the men's race they occupied the top-3 positions on GC and Sue Butler was in first in the women's race by over 20 minutes. That was then... Monavie team captain and race leader Jeremiah Bishop crashed out on stage 3, fracturing two vertebrae. Which left Tinker Juarez and 3-time collegiate national champion Ben Sonntag to represent the team.

Sonntag went down hard on stage 4 knocking himself unconcious leaving him battered on the side of the trail. Current race leader Chris Sheppard stayed with the bruised and beaten Sonntag for roughly 30 minutes while Tinker Juarez went ahead for help. Once help arrived Sonntag was taken to the hospital via ambulance where he was treated and released.

This left mountain bike legend and endurance specialist Tinker Juarez as the lone surviving member of the Monavie trio. Unfortunately, Juarez became lost on course in the latter half of the 100 kilometer stage 4 and was unable to finish. Thankfully, for the Monavie team Sue Butler remains at the front of the women's race, poised to take the GC after todays final time-trial. Sheppard retained the leaders jersey after stage-4 despite his act of selfless compassion for his fellow racer.

Photos courtesy of

Stayed tuned to for more from the Intermontane Challenge including Amanda Carey's blog. We will post results when they become available.

Posted by at 9:53 AM
Labels: epic race

Intermontane Challenge - Wrap up

Tinker checked in last night after he returned from what was supposed to be a quick fishing trip before the awards ceremony. They didn't have any luck at the lake and had worse luck trying to get the RV out of a rut they got stuck in. So finally after hours of trying, they headed to the saloon for much neeed food and margaritas.

In a sick, distorted way, that was an appropriate ending to the epic adventure.

Some adventures are better than others and in the global persepctive, it all sort of needs to be that way. How else can you appreciate the good, great, and incredibly awesome adventures?

The team proved to be what really good teams are - they stuck together, made the best of what was given to them and learned a lot about each other. These experiences are the basis of what goes into a good foundation. These guys and gal are among the best in the world for overcoming challenges on the bike. It is the 'off the bike' challenges and how they handle them is what makes them Great Athletes and a Team.

Today they are on their journey home. Some battered outside. Some inside.

One very deserving person is heading to the BANK! Congratulations Sue Butler! You are an incredible inspiration to all women and men. You completely ROCK! (can you tell I am a big Sue fan??) :-)

A few folks have asked about the race and what Tinker thought. Tinker and the team was very happy with the venue, town, sponsors, volunteers, and awesome trails. They have all been to enough races to know there is always one thing or another that happens at every race and can screw things up. Yes this race was no exception and had it's challenges, but overall, this is one race that will be one of the long time greats. He would love to return next time.

Many many thanks to the race promoters, volunteers, sponsors, and all the athletes. What an adventure!!

Check out the photos and stories on the Team website:


PS - if anyone has photos of the team and Tinker please email them so we can post them. dtinkerj at