Kate Courtney, Pete Stetina win Grasshopper Adventure Series season opener
Niky Taylor and Maude Farrell competed the women's podium, while Christopher Blevins and Tyler Williams were 2-3 for the men.
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It was a sunny and spicy day in Ukiah, California on Saturday, where Kate Courtney and Pete Stetina took two season-opening wins at the Grasshopper Adventure Series.
Both veterans of the Low Gap, Courtney, the 2018 XC MTB world champion, also won the race last year.
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“It was a great day, I love being out there,” she said at the finish. “Such great community vibes, and everyone excited to get first intensity of the year out of the way. It’s a great opportunity to test the legs, add to the training block, and for me to win some wine.”
(Winners of the Grasshopper races walk away with a bottle of Arnot-Roberts, some of Sonoma’s finest.)
Courtney crossed the line nearly three minutes ahead of Niky Taylor (Alto Velo) in second. Maude Farrell (Pivot/Pas Normal Studios/Easton) followed six minutes head of the leader.
Stetina solo’ed to the win, finishing two minutes ahead of another former MTB world champ, Christopher Blevins. It was Blevins first ‘hopper.
Stetina said that he and Tyler Williams (L39ION of Los Angeles) “snuck ahead of Chris [Blevins] and Lance [Haidet] over the big climb,” before Williams, who was running slick tires, dropped Stetina.
Then, Haidet came back to Stetina, and the two chased back to Williams before Haidet fell off Stetina’s pace.
Blevins finished comforotably in second, while Williams and Haidet sprinted in for third.
“Man did that one hurt,” Stetina said at the finish. “It’s such a vicious start to the year, every year.”
The next race in the Grasshopper Adventure Series, the Huffmaster Hopper, happens in Calusa County, California on February 25th. Two distances 88.8mi/4,842ft and 53.7mi/3,085fit are on tap.
Full Low Gap results here.