Oz Trails Off-Road: Fat tire crit
As usual, the Epic Rides weekend kicked off with a Friday night pro-only fat tire criterium. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Walton's 5-10
Bentonville, Arkansas is home to Walmart’s world headquarters. This Walmart museum is right downtown with an old-school storefront. The Walton Family Foundation (Walmart’s charitable arm) has invested $75 million into bike infrastructure and trails around Northwest Arkansas. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Women's fat tire crit
The front of the women’s field attacked the fat tire crit’s only hill. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Nash takes the crit win
Katerina Nash said she used tactics to beat the other top riders on the final lap. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Grotts in the fat tire crit
Howard Grotts (Specialized) spent time at the front of the winning breakaway in the men’s fat tire crit, ahead of Keegan Swenson (Pivot-Stan’s No Tubes) and Bryan Lewis (Cutaway). Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Lewis celebrates his crit win
Lewis stunned the favorites, winning the fat tire crit. He used his prior experience as a pro road racer to outfox Grotts and Swenson. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Armstrong in Arkansas
Lance Armstrong made an appearance in the amateur race Saturday, stopping during the 35-mile race to pose with Santa. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Start line
The pro men lined up for Sunday’s 50-mile backcountry race with $10,000 on the line for the winner and storm clouds looming. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road pro backcountry
Chloe Woodruff (Stan’s-Pivot) rolled up to the start. She won the last round of the Epic Rides Series, the Carson City Off-Road. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: From Bentonville into the backcountry
Jeremiah Bishop (Canyon-Topeak) led the men’s field out of Bentonville. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: McElveen
U.S. marathon national champion Payson McElveen (Orange Seal) led the men’s race early in the day. However, he’d go on to puncture multiple times, eventually finishing on a flat tire. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Finsterwald
Russell Finsterwald (Clif Bar) stopped to fix a flat tire. He managed to ride from 18th place back to fifth to defend his second-place standing in the Epic Rides overall. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Slick bridges
Rain poured down on the race, making the wooden bridges very slippery. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Kabush
Geoff Kabush (Yeti) described the race as “chaos” due to the many flat tires that he and his rivals suffered. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Singletrack
About 80 percent of the race was on singletrack. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Slippery corners
The lead riders in the women’s race turned gingerly onto a slippery bridge. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Back 40 loop
The course was primarily composed of the Back 40 loop, which is full of berms and fast singletrack. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Woodruff
Woodruff was marked closely by two Clif Bar riders — Catharine Pendrel and Katerina Nash. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road pro backcountry
The Oz Trails Off-Road was the final event of the four-race Epic Rides Series of marathon mountain bike races. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road pro backcountry
Jake Wells (Tokyo Joes) took a break from cyclocross season to race mountain bikes in Arkansas, where he grew up. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road pro backcountry
Amy Beisel (Orange Seal) rode into the first aid station, wearing her Stars and Stripes jersey as national champion. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Huck and Pendrel
Brian Matter (Linear Sport Racing) was one of the few pro men to avoid flatting. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Swenson
Swenson, winner of the 2018 Whiskey Off-Road at the start of the Epic Rides Series, bookended his season with another big victory. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Vrouwenvelder
Luke Vrouwenvelder (LukeVCoaching) out-sprinted Grotts for second in the men’s race. Photo: Dave McElwaine
Oz Trails Off-Road: Huck and Pendrel
After a tough battle on a muddy, eventful day, winner Erin Huck (Construction Zone) posed with two-time world champion Catharine Pendrel. Photo: Dave McElwaine