Grant and Finsterwald Race to Gold at Marathon MTB in Palo Duro Canyon
Canyon, TEXAS — With overcast skies, over 350 riders took to the trails of the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, outside of Canyon, Texas to contest the 2019 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships. Those riders took on a 45.4-mile course and 24 of them came away with Stars-and-Stripes jerseys.
Rose Grant (Columbia Falls, Mont./Stan’s Pivot Pro Team pb Maxxis) made her triumphant return to the marathon mountain bike championships, after having taken last year off. She was able to secure the top step of the podium for Pro/Open Women division against a field of strong competitors. This was her fifth marathon national title. Grant finished the race in a time of 3 hours, 32 minutes, and 39 seconds. Taking the silver was Kaycee Armstrong (Knoxville, Tenn./Liv Racing), who repeated her efforts from the 2018 edition of this championship. Rounding out the podium this year was cyclocross powerhouse Crystal Anthony (Newbury Park, Calif./Liv Racing).
When talking about the course, Grant said “Palo Duro Canyon was epically beautiful and this course was one of my favorites to date. With enough technical challenge and lots of pedaling it offered for some amazing racing.”
On the men’s side, Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Clif Pro Team) was able to capture his first marathon mountain bike title. Finsterwald finished with a time of 3 hours, 1 minute, and 35 seconds. Stephan Davoust (Durango, Colo./Giant Co-Factory Off-Road Team) would take the second step of the podium. Payson McElveen (Durango, Colo.), last year’s champion, took home the bronze this year.
This was Finsterwald’s third national title in cycling. He won his first in 2010 when he won the U23 Men’s cross-country Stars-and-Stripes. On winning this title, Finsterwald said, “I’m really excited and proud to win this year’s Marathon National Championship. It was amazing racing in the beautiful Palo Duro Canon despite the epic conditions from the overnight rain. I’ll be wearing the Stars and Stripes with pride!”
Twenty-two other national champions climbed onto the top step of the podium on Saturday. They were Bridget Tooley (Frisco, Texas/Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions
LifeCare) in the Junior Women 17-18, Brennon Peterson (Sandy, Utah/Rouleur Devo p/b DNA Cycling) in the Junior Men 17-18, defending champion Staci Nash (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) in the Women 19-29, Weston Rasmussen (Stanton, Mich./CZ Racing) in the Men 19-29, defending champion Natalie Smith (San Antonio, Texas/Bicycle Heaven Racing Team) in the Women 30-34, Jared Becker (Phoenix, Ariz.) in the Men 30-34, Melisa Lemus (St. Louis, Mo./Trek Midwest Team) in the Women 35-39, Brandon Melott (Warr Acres, Okla./DNA Racing) in the Men 35-39, Natalie Raborn (Kittredge, Colo.) in the Women 40-44, Ty Kady (Placentia, Calif.) in the Men 40-44, Anne Perry (Draper, Utah/Bingham Cyclery Peak Fasteners) in the Women 45-49, Robert McCarty (Cooper City, Fla.) in the Men 45-49, defending champion Elizabeth Sheldon (Washington, D.C./Crosshairs Cycling) in the Women 50-54, Travis Brown (Durango, Colo.) in the Men 50-54, Kimberly Chance (Dallas, Texas/RBM/Matrix Racing) in the Women 55-59, Scott Conover (Mesa, Ariz.) in the Men 55-59, Ellen Guthrie (Salt Lake City, Utah) in the Women 60+, Paul Curley (Tauton, Mass.) in the Men 60-64, Hardwick Gregg (Helena, Ala.) in the Men 65-69, Stan Ford (Temecula, Calif.) in the Men 70+, Karen Borgstedt (Pueblo, Colo.) in the Singlespeed Women, and Aaron McDaniel (Wichita Falls, Texas/Eliel Factory Team) in the Singlespeed Men.
Full results for the event can be found here. You can also see our gallery from the event here. For more about the event you can visit the event page. You can check out more about the event by following us on social media, @USACycling across all platforms. And make sure to follow the hashtag #MarathonMTB to get all the info.