The last weekend in April marked the kickoff of the major US Endurance races, with two major events on different sides of the map. On the western side was the 9th annual Whiskey Off Road in Prescott, AZ; while in the east it was National Ultra Endurance race #1, The Cohutta 100.
The Whiskey Off road has quickly become one of the largest mountain bike events in the country with a true festival feel. More than 1750 amateur racers flood the tow to race their own chosen distance and cheer on the pros. The weekend kicks off with a Po Fat Tire Crit through downtown Prescott and wraps up with the Pro 50 mile race on Sunday. Alex Grant and Tinker Juarez were on hand to take on an international field of over 100 pros who were racing for $30,000 in prize money, split equally between the men and women.
In the main event Alex Grant used his climbing strength to make an elite group of five riders who broke away with 15 miles to go in the race. He stayed with the group until some late race accelerations by Geoff Kabush and Jeremy Horgan Kolbelski split the leaders up, and ended up 4th at the finish. He was very pleased with his ride: 4th overall, 2nd American and about 2 minutes off Kabush, I can't complain. It was a blistering pace out there all day and I was happy to ride in the lead group for almost the entire race and make the podium!
Alex chose his Flash 29 for the Whiskey, citing its ability to climb on the fire road sections yet handle the rough trail.
Meanwhile back in Tennessee Jeremiah Bishop was busy riding to the win at the first stop of the NUE (National Ultra Endurance) series. The Cohutta 100 has come to be known as one of the hardest and most technical 100-mile course in the US and Jeremiah was more than ready for the challenge.
After riding the first portions of the race with a lead group, Jeremiah and Christian Tanguy eventually broke away and it was two-man race. Anything can happen in the latter stages of a 100-mile mountain bike race but Jeremiah used his experience and fitness to drop Christian and take the win in just over seven hours. Congrats to Jeremiah for the hard fought win!