2008 OBRA mountain bike champion Evan Plews (Capitol Subaru Cycling) won Arizona's 10th Annual KONA 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo Feb. 14-15 in his first attempt at a 24-hour solo race.
Plews finished ahead of Britain's Ian Leitch and legendary MTB star Tinker Juarez, who won in 2006 and 2007. The race began at noon on Saturday and ended 24 hours later. The Oregon pro covered 18 laps during the race, which took place about 20 miles north of Tucson. Each lap covered about 16 miles and offered 1,200 feet of elevation gain.
"My plan was to maintain my 100 mile pace for the entire 24 hours," Plews reported via e-mail. "It worked well, and soon I had caught and passed the early leader, Tinker Juarez, and was riding alone in the lead as darkness approached. At 11:11 a.m. I lapped Tinker and decided that it was time to rest. We had a little recovery meal, pulled some cactus spines out of my legs (overzealous cornering!), and crossed the finish line victorious at 12:01 pm."
Celebrating a decade of mountain biking in the Sonoran Desert, the Kona Bikes 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is one of the largest 24 Hour events in North America, hosting more than 3,000 participants, volunteers and spectators throughout the three-day Presidents Day weekend.
Plews won OBRA's 2008 Bar points for the mountain bike and was second in Overall points. Portland's Erik Tonkin (Kona) also made his 24-hour-solo debut but did not finish the race, dropping out around 7:30 a.m. after completing 10 laps.
Oregon's Twin Towers duo of Barry Wicks and Ryan Trebon paired up with Kona teammates Matthew Slaven and Chris Sneddon for the 4-Man race, where they finished second to team Adrenaline's Jeff Herrera, Sam Schultz, Andy Schultz and Chris Suter.
MEN'S SOLO RESULTS
1. Evan Plews @ 18 laps
2. Ian Leitch
3. David Tinker Juarez
4. Steven Yore
5. Todd Carpenter
6. Chuck Wheeler
7. Gattis Tyler
8. Dominic Laroche
9. Zachary Stanford
10. Sean Mcdevitt
(Photos courtesy of Evan Plews).