The ninth edition of the wild and wacky Rock Cobbler went down in Bakersfield, California on Saturday.
Flush with characteristic silliness — read: ball pits, beer on course, tire tosses, and BMX tracks — the event also saw some very fast racing at the front. Pete Stetina laid down a winning time of 4:49:13 over the 83 miles and 8,000 feet of climbing.
In the women’s race, Moriah Wilson wasn’t far behind; the Californian finished 13th overall with a time of 5:28:56.
The race’s undefinable course brought out riders from every discipline, including mountain bike phenom Christopher Blevins and track world champion Ashton Lambie. Whatever a rider’s goal, the Rock Cobbler was a fun and sunny way to kick off the season.
“Honestly I didn’t know what I signed up for,” Lambie said. “After 5:30 of singletrack, orange groves, cow pies, and a chilly ball pit, I hit my goal of having fun and not crashing. Going to consider the season kicked off.”
A full list of results can be found here.
- Moriah Wilson, 5:28:56
- Helena Plasschaert, 5:58:48
- Anna Yamauchi, 6:05:28
- Nikki Peterson, 6:12:51
- Amanda Nauman, 6:35:22
- Pete Stetina, 4:49:13
- John Borstelmann, 4:55:25
- Christopher Blevins, 4:55:26
- Brennan Wertz, 4:55:26
- Jonathan Baker, 5:10:20
Sam Ames, the godfather of the Rock Cobbler.
Since he started the event nine years ago, Ames’ aim has always been to have a killer bike race, without the road racing buzz kills.
So, he makes riders race through ball pits, for example.
Here, eventual second place finisher John Borstelmann stays one pit ahead of eventual third place finisher Christopher Blevins.
Make no mistake, though, the Rock Cobbler is a race. Here, a large group grinds up a hill outside of Bakersfield, California. Borstelmann and Brian Scarbrough (8th) lead the chase.
Pete Stetina weaves his way through two riders on a mandatory hike-a-bike.
Women’s winner Moriah Wilson is all smiles as she punches through a pasture.
Wilson would go on to finish 13th overall; the second place female was 30 minutes behind her.
Olympian Tinker Juarez, looking fresh in his new Floyd’s of Leadville Racing kit.
Watch out for the pig with the GoPro.
Stetina: “The first half was very technical and Chris, having the mad skills he does, would put big gaps into us, but being so far from the finish he’d have to wait and do wheelies while we chased back.”
Sounds about right.
Blevins also won this water crossing.
The tire toss gave riders a chance to stretch their backs and fill up bottles.
Sixth place finisher Whitney Post also managed to have a good day on the bike.
Ames has multiple agreements with private landowners and governmental land managers. As such, much of the course can only be ridden the day of the event.
Stetina charges through the February wildflowers.
And cheers on a fellow racer with co-winner Moriah Wilson.
That’s the Rock Cobbler.