Friday, July 31, 2009

Intermontane Challenge Stage 4

Tinker checked in last night with the day's update. Yesterday was not a good day for MonaVie-Cannondale. The battle is on and it's not with the other athletes. It kind of seems like war and the battle is not with the competition - it is with the course and climate. The team started with six people and three are left. Matt, the team manager and professional cyclist, said Tinker was tired and Ben had a bad crash and ended up with a concussion and amnesia, road rash, and a big shiner. Tinker said Chris and Ben were ahead of him but he found both of them in the trail with Ben unconconcious and Chris checking vital signs and trying to get him to wake up. Tinker went for help, which thankfully was less than two miles to the next checkpoint. It took an hour to get Ben out of the woods and another 45 minutes to get him to the ER. But Ben was back in the hotel room last night, and is OK.

Meanwhile, Matt urged Tinker to continue and finish the race. But Tinker got lost. Real lost. He thinks he finished 6 or 8th place for the day. He is tired and not so happy. He wants to go fishing.

The heat got the best of Matt and he decided to call it for the rest of the week. It was a good thing because he was there for Ben today. Funny how things work out that way. Matt - good luck with your boys and girl. You don't get enough kudos.... Thank you.

Jeremiah was feeling better yesterday and hoping to recover fast enough for Leadville 100.

Sue won the women's race again today - go girl!!! Love the muscle pic!

Check the team website for photos and stories.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Intermontane Challenge Stages 2 & 3

Tinker checked in with an update of events for the last two days. The sun has continued to scorch the athletes and the midday temperatures have been in the triple digits. Chris Shepperd worked hard and made up some time but a group of four, including Jeremiah, Chris, Ben, and Tinker worked together most of the day. Tinker, has always been a conservative downhill rider so he made up time on other parts of the course. He couldn't believe the speed some of them were taking down the tight singletrack, but knows as any race goes, you must always be consistent and stay strong. Even so, Tinker suffered a little yesterday from the heat and didn't feel great after the race, but he is very happy to be able to stay in an air conditioned hotel room and not have to travel every day.

Today had a late start due to issues with land access and other local issues so they changed the length from 85 km to about 50 km. He was OK with it and felt better today. The same four pushed hard together most of the race but along with many other racers, there were problems with the course markings (mostly because the race was rerouted), second-guessing the turns, and of the four, Tinker didn't get a chance to preride so when Chris, Ben, and Jeremiah attacked at the last bit, he dropped off the back a little. Shortly after that, he found Jeremiah struggling with his bike and not looking very good. Jeremiah had crashed hard and had a big dent in his helmet and his bike was damaged. Tinker helped him to the finish and Jeremiah took an ambulance ride to the ER. There is no word on what the prognosis is for sure yet but keep checking the team website for updates ( Tinker said Jeremiah was hurting but tonight he was back in his hotel room recovering and is OK.

There are two more days of racing and Tinker is having a blast with his teammates and ready for the challenge. He also said he is enjoying the race venue very very much. Keep checking the team website for photos and the fantastic stories Bart is posting:

More tomorrow....


Monday, July 27, 2009

Intermontane Challenge Stage 1 Update

Tinker reported in from the hot and steamy Kamloops, BC today. Here is his update:

It was really hot today with temperatures at least 100 F, but Tinker felt really good. Pedal Mag's Paul Newitt said it was hot enough today to expect the birds to spontaneously combust.

That is Real Hot.

But Tinker has been training in the heat of the southern California valleys so he felt good. His legs felt great but the best part of all was the new Cannondale Flash Ultimate Carbon hardtail he rode hard today. He said it felt like butter. The Flash just sliced through the trails, climbed so perfect, and handled every corner, bump, and soft spot just like he needed it to. It handled the downhills great too! It is the perfect bike for a ride like today and Tinker is absolutely thrilled. We are worried we'll never be able to get him off of it!

The race was fun and the MonaVie-Cannondale team had an excellent day. Jeremiah 1st, Tinker 30 seconds behind in 2nd, and Ben Sonntag third. Sue Butler won the open Women's solo division. There is something special in that Emv!

Temperatures are supposed to be hotter tomorrow but the stage looks like a blast.

We will try and post updates daily.


Intermontane Challenge comes to Kamloops

News story on the Intermontane Challenge on

Intermontane Challenge comes to Kamloops

Published: Jul. 27, 2009

Adding to the list of mountain bike stage races dotting this year's off-road racing calendar is the inaugural Intermontane Challenge, which begins today.

The five-day race starts and ends in Kamloops, British Columbia; in fact, every stage starts and ends in the town, making the event logistically simple for organizers and athletes alike. Promoters have enhanced the event's appeal further by offering $10,000 Canadian each to the winners of the men's and women's solo categories.

Race organizer Chuck Brennan said Sunday that 105 athletes are registered to race as either solo riders or two-person teams. Canadians and Americans are highly represented, but he also counts participants from the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa and Great Britain.

"Obviously we want lots of people to come and race, and I think a hundred in our first year is pretty good," said Brennan.

The race begins with an 85km stage through rolling hills north of town. The forecast calls for clear skies and near 100-degree heat all week.

Who made the trip?

The largest and strongest team on hand by far is the MonaVie-Cannondale squad, which brings top riders Jeremiah Bishop, Tinker Juarez, Sue Butler and Benjamin Sonntag. Up-and-comer Brandon Cross is also on hand, helping with team chores in addition to racing, said team manager Matt Ohran.

"We like these kinds of races," said Ohran. "Races like World Cups and the US Cup have their place, but here we get to do five days of racing."

Indeed, the team has made a point of filling its roster with endurance specialists and sending them to events like the BC Bike Race and Breck Epic.

"We've got several more stage races still on our schedule, later in the year," said Ohran.

A glance at the rest of the start list finds relatively few highly recognizable names. On the men's side are Canadian local Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz-WTB) and Evan Plews (Domenic's Marine Ltd), while on the women's side, Lynn Bessette (Thule Team) and Amanda Carey (Kenda-Tomac-Hayes) are likely to be near the front of the race.

Riders and teams are pleased with the format and the accommodations for the week — the newly built Thompson Rivers University Residence and Conference Center.

"Initially when we agreed that we were going to race, the cloverleaf format was a big draw," said Ohran. "It makes it easier logistically, especially given the heat."

Why Kamloops?

Kamloops is a town of 87,000 situated at the confluence of the North and South Thompson Rivers. It's about three hours east-northeast of Vancouver by car, and seven hours north-northwest of Spokane, Washington. Situated between the high northern Rockies of Banff National Park and the lush coastal mountains that make Whistler famous to the west, Kamloops lies in a sunny, semi-arid sage-and-grassland valley.

The economy is principally resource-based, heavy on logging. However, tourism is growing as a source of sustenance for the quiet community, along with its popularity as a sporting destination — Kamloops hosts more than 100 regional and national sporting events each year. Tourism Kamloops and the provincial lottery (BCLC) are major backers of the Intermontane Challenge.

Kamloops was first made famous by gap-jumping dirt riders in freeride films like "Kranked" and "Pulp Traction," in which filmmakers featured newfound terrain in the dusty hills around town. It's also home to Luna's Catharine Pendrel, a top World Cup rider, as the plentiful sunshine and warmth suit nearly year-round riding.

But while Kamloops has many legal mountain bike trails, many of the best are on private land or government land, without sanction. Brennan hopes the Intermontane Challenge will help establish the legitimacy of the trail network while putting his hometown squarely on every mountain biker's list of places to go.

"Big picture — that's why we're here, having this race," said Brennan.

Check back all week for periodic reports on the Intermontane Challenge, the location, bike tech and more. Also, be sure to pick up the September issue of VeloNews, on newsstands now, for Fred Dreier's story on mountain bike stage races like the BC Bike Race and Breck Epic.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Busy rest of season

I've had a great chance to relax, train, and focus on good fishing and quality family time for the last few weeks, but the next 3 months is jam packed with traveling and serious racing. I will have only 2 weekends off from now until November. Uh.

The best part about it is that my 2010 Cannondale Flash arrived this week so I get to hammer on it for the rest of the year. I thought it was an empty box when I first picked it up, but there was a frame inside! It is so light - AWESOME. I hope to have it all together for Kamloops next week and for sure will be dialed in by the Leadville 100. I plan to put on the Stan's Wheels, Crud rotors, Kenda tires (maybe my new superlight Legend design??!), ODI grips, Magura Marta brakes, Schram shifters, Gore cables in white, Crankbrothers pedals, FSA carbon handlebars, Hollowgram cranks, CD Lefty fork, USE sumo seatpost, Fizik saddle, and my guess is that bike should be hovering right at 18 pounds when finished. It is so sweet! I'll post some photos when it's finished. Check out a story and photos on Cannondale Ultimate Carbon Flash.

My plans are to be at altitude for at least 5 days prior to Leadville. I need to acclimate since I am a sea level resident and train mostly exclusively around town and in the mountains near my house. I need all the oxygen I can get for this one.

Here is the rest of the schedule:

July 27-31 Intermontane Challenge - Kamloops, BC
Aug 15 Leadville, CO 100
Aug 21-22 El Reto de los Mironeros - Lima Peru
Sept 5 100 mile MTB enduro in the UK
Sept 12 Tahoe, NV 100 MTB
Sept 19 Mount Charleston Hill Climb (road event)
Sept 21-25 Interbike, Las Vegas, NV
Oct 3 100 mile MTB in Pollack Pines, CA
Oct 9-11 Chupracabras, Juarez, Mexico
Oct 15-17 Piscah MTB Stage Race, NC
Oct 22-24 Suwanee Fat Tire Festival, FL
Oct 31 24 Hour Road race, Brazil
And I think that will do it for the year....maybe! :-) I still have a couple more events on the backburner.

Keep the rubber sideways.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sal Rubial's USA Today Blog

The Sal Rubial USA Today Blog

is a must read.... currently he is in France covering the LeTour.... enjoy.

By Sal Ruibal: "By popular demand, here's a link to my USA Today cycling blog. Just blow past the ad and get to the good stuff." Profile -

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Travel and Leisure World's Best Awards

I just wanted to post the great news we received yesterday:


Jade Mountain of St. Lucia has today been declared the Number One hotel in all of the Caribbean, Bermuda, and The Bahamas.

Anse Chastanet of St. Lucia has been declared the Number Four hotel in the Caribbean, Bermuda and Bahamas.

Jade Mountain of St. Lucia has been declared the Number Three hotel of the World's Ten Best Hotels, the very first time ever that a Caribbean hotel has made it onto the magazine's world wide category.

Travel and Leisure magazine announced this morning the winners of their World Best awards on the NBC Today show and their website

Featured in their August issue, Travel + Leisure's 14th annual World's Best Awards poll asked readers to rate the best hotels, cruises, airlines, outfitters, cities, and islands and they selected Jade Mountain
( ) as the top resort in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas category.

Also, Jade Mountain ranked on position 3 of the Top Ten hotels worldwide, the first time ever a Caribbean hotel made it into the magazine's Top Ten listing.

Jade Mountain's owners, Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy are thrilled with their resort's ranking. "The resort team has worked very hard since Jade Mountain opened over 2 years ago, to perfect and fine tune every aspect of our guests' resort experience. We cannot thank them enough for their commitment and enthusiasm throughout.", Karolin Troubetzkoy said in a statement this morning.

The Troubetzkoys were equally delighted to see Jade Mountain's sister property, Anse Chastanet, on position 4 of the Top Caribbean Resorts listing. " The resort teams at Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet have a healthy competition going among themselves at all times - the guests definitely are the beneficiaries of that ambition and we are very pleased to see both resorts honored in the Travel and Leisure awards today ", Karolin Troubetzkoy added.

Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet enjoy one of the most scenic settings in the Caribbean, overlooking St.Lucia's twin Piton peaks, a World Heritage site. Nestled amidst a 600 acre estate with two soft sand beaches bordering pristine coral reefs, ANSE CHASTANET is in complete harmony with its natural surroundings and offers excellent diving facilities plus many other activities. In the fall of 2006, Anse Chastanet's architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy completed construction of Jade Mountain. His bold architectural design - individual bridges leading to extravagant infinity pool sanctuaries and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky - have established Jade Mountain as one of the Caribbean's most unique resort experiences. More sculpture than structure, JADE MOUNTAIN has been called the 8th Wonder of the World and should be on everyone's bucket list of the Top Places to see before you die.

For more information visit the resort websites and,
or contact them via Tel 800-223-1108 / 758 459 6100, email


Salt Lake City Alert: Look out for stolen Moto Carbon

If you live in or near Salt Lake city and you know someone that has a new green Moto Carbon - take note:

2009 Moto Carbon 1 STOLEN from Squatter's Brew Pub downtown SLC on 3rd South. Size medium Serial#T209052

Contact me or Monavie-Cannondale if you have any information about it.

dtinkerj at

Saturday, July 11, 2009

White Magnesium Magura Marta SLs are IN!

I love it when the mailman drops off something I've been waiting out by the mailbox for - yes I keep my computer out by the mailbox!! The much anticipated Magura magnesium Martas came today and they will look so perfect on the new MonaVie-Cannondale Scalpel. The Martas I've been using have been awesome. Perfect in any condition - which means mud, sand, rain, whatever. These are extremely lightweight brakes that work perfect.

Now to work installing them...

Right after fishing...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Cannondale Flash Unveiled!!

Cannondale unveiled the lightest-weight hard tail cross-country bike ever made (ever) at the Annual Sales Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah two weeks ago. was there and wrote a fantastic article about the 16.6 pound Flash along with this photo by Robbie Stout.  Everyone knows how much I love riding hard tails, so I am super psyched about this one.  When I tested it in Utah, I was blown away by how lightweight, responsive, and how good it felt to ride.  It will be a perfect complement to the Scalpel and I cannot wait to race it.  This is a testament to the high quality engineering and design of Cannondale brands and their commitment to produce the best products in the world.
I am honored to be a long-standing member of the Cannondale global team of athletes and a representative of the Cannondale bikes and other products. 
Now I will go sit by the mailbox and wait for my Flash to arrive....