By Kip Mikler , VeloNews Editor
Cross-country veteran Tinker Juarez came to Winter Park, Colorado, on Saturday to chase his fourth national championship, and this time it’s a new title he’s after. At the first-ever national championship for the off-road 24-hour solo competitors, the Volvo-Cannondale rider, who already owns three cross-country championships, made his intentions clear early when he posted the fastest first lap time of anyone — including the riders racing in team categories.
The 24 Hours of Adrenalin NORBA National Championship race started at noon Saturday, and on his first circuit of the 8-mile course, Juarez posted a time of 37 minutes, 33 seconds. Four laps later, the two-time Olympian still led the lightly contested men’s solo category. Of the close to 400 entrants at the noon-to-noon event, only nine men and two women are contesting the NORBA solo championship. Leading the women’s category after two hours of racing was Cristina Begy.
At start time in Winter Park, conditions were favorable — dry and a warmer-than-usual 75 degrees. With a starting elevation close to 9000 feet, temperatures will plummet at night. Also on the minds of competitors as the afternoon wears on is the possibility of late-day storms, a common occurrence in this area of the Rocky Mountains.
Check VeloNews.com on Sunday for a race report and final results.