(April 14, 2012) Fruita, Colo. - Colin Cares and Jennifer Smith took the championship titles at the Rumble at 18Rd National Qualifier Mountain bike race April 14th in Fruita, CO. In a heated three way battle, Colin Cares (Kenda/Felt) overtook Troy Wells and Mitch Hoke (both CLif Bar) for the win in the professional men’s field.
After one of three 10.5 mile loops, Hoke led the group of three up the start hill to begin lap 2. Cares made a split on the downhill section of singletrack near the end of lap 2 to separate himself from the Clif Bar teammates. With a few miles of rolling double-track and wind ahead of them, Hoke and Wells worked together to try and bring back Cares, but to no avail.
The Kenda/Felt rider kept it smooth on lap three and held off the chasers to take the first place honors in Fruita in 1:52:05. Wells overtook Hoke just before the finish line for second place. The women’s pro race was very similar. After lap 1, Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s), Jennifer Smith (Stan’s No Tube’s Women’s Elite), and Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) came through all together.
Smith described the wind on the course as an “equalizer” for lap 1. On the steep climbs of Chutes and Ladders, Huck rode away from the two chasers and kept a small 15 seconds gap into the last lap over Smith and Carey. Smith caught back up to Huck and made a move on the steep hills near the backside of the course as a final push during the last lap. Huck could not respond, as Smith held her gap to the finish and take the top step of the podium.
Huck held her gap over the experienced endurance distance racer Carey for second. The Rumble at 18Rd hosted 226 racers from all over the region looking to race the amazing Fruita trails and qualify for USA Cycling Nationals in Sun Valley, ID this July. Many of the pro racers used the Rumble as a fitness test before the upcoming Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, CA and Whiskey 50 in Prescott, AZ. For more information, results and photos, visit LTRSports.com.