Alex Grant Wins Grand Junction Off-Road!
Huntington Beach, Calif.—June 1, 2015—
Ridebiker professional Alex Grant won what is often called the most difficult course in the United States, the Grand Junction Off-Road, which features 5,334 feet of climbing over its 40-miles. Grant fought hard in the 90-degree heat to fend off an elite field.
Alex joined US National Champion Todd Wells (Specialized), Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak Ergon) and defending Grand Junction Champion Fernando Paez (Raleigh Clement) after the first hard climb. After some back and forth, Wells punctured and Bishop crashed, leaving a fast-finishing Ben Sonntag (Cliff Bar) to keep at bay on the road back into town. The race was marked by a rash of flat tires, with everyone but Grant suffering from at least one, if not multiple, punctures.
“There were four of us at the first feed zone… Jeremiah, Wells, and Fernando. Going in to Butterknife Todd was leading, Jeremiah crashed, and Fernando bobbled. Then it was just Todd and I, but those guys came back at the bottom,” Grant Said. “Fernando attacked on the longest climb and got a gap on us. I rode back to Todd and then rode back to Fernando. I just kept it steady and felt good on the downhill… and that was that. From there it was head down, and I saw Ben Sonntag chasing for the last hour. I kept him to about 20-30 seconds and luckily rode a smooth and fast last downhill, which gave me enough of a gap to hold on the five minute pavement drag to the finish. I was over my limit and Ben was charging but I held him off to take the win by a mere nine seconds!”
“My Scalpel was the perfect bike for the course. I had a 110mm custom tune on my Lefty which was great in the rough stuff. I ran Kenda Small Block Eight 2.1 SCT casing tires on ENVE M50 rims. I can honestly say that my Kenda tires played a role today. They held up and kept me going when everyone else was changing flats.”
Team Sho-Air/Cannondale’s Evelyn Dong pipped Jenny Smith (Stan’s NoTubes) in a sprint to the line to take the final women’s podium spot, finishing in fifth, thirteen minutes behind winner Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team).
Both Alex and Evelyn placed ninth in Friday evening’s Fat Tire Criterium. “The Fat Tire crit was flat, twisty and fast, but a good time in front of thousands of spectators,” said Alex. “The main goal there was to stay safe and near the front and take a pull or two. It’s always cool to race a downtown crit as it’s totally different from what we normally do on mountain bikes.”