Our team was well represented for the 3rd race of the SoCal endurance series. Ken, JJ, Deron and Dennis entered the 50+ division. Dan and I competed in the 40-49 class. The field was smaller than usual with 70-80 riders instead of 300+ and therefore the mass start was much less chaotic. The promoter Jason Ramona created a well designed course of 8.8 miles and 865 ft elevation per lap. A new flowy single track near the park entrance was followed by a sustained climb on a fire road to the top of the famous Tarentula, a steep technical downhill. The rest of the course was composed of the classic punchy single track trails. The interesting twist was the weather; with temperatures in the 90 F after a relatively cold week. I took a very conservative start, keeping my heart rate in a manageable zone and rode the first lap with Ken. Dan took a very fast start. This was his first race since breaking his finger last winter. At the start of the second lap Ken, being an experienced endurance racer slowed down, having built a sizable gap on his rivals from the 50+ division. I started to increase the pace. I passed several riders from the open men divisions and I caught Dan in the middle of the 3rd lap. The heat was starting to take its toll on all the riders including Dan. I slowed down and told him to rest on my wheel. He was able to recover and we rode two full laps together at a steady pace. At the beginning of the 6th lap (our last lap) Dan started to cramp and since I still had a lot of fuel in the tank I rode the last lap without holding anything back. I won the 40-49 and Dan secured second place. We were the only two riders outside the open men division to complete six laps. Ken won the 50+ with JJ taking 2nd place, Deron 5th and Dennis 7th.
Rhonda and Bob raced the 8 h version. Bob won the 60+ division with 8 laps. Rhonda suffering from a back injury pulled out after 5 laps to let her back heal up.