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Snowy surprise makes Moab Rocks a little more epic

Kabush extends lead in three-day stage race

Geoff Kabush may feel at home on snow, but he was still doing his best to stay ahead of an unexpected snow storm on Day 2 of the three-day Moab Rocks stage race.

The Canadian managed to stay mostly clear of the flurries fury, but just barely. Most riders weren’t so lucky, making for an especially epic middle stage of the TransRockies stage race in Moab, Utah.

2019 Moab Rocks stage race
Chloe Cross made the most of rather Canadian conditions to move up the women’s leader board. Image: John Gibson

While the snow was a surprise, racers took it in stride. Mountain bikers are always up for a little extra adventure, and most were smiling as they crossed the finish line down in the valley, where sun and warm weather had replaced snow.

2019 Moab Rocks stage race
Geoff Kabush leads Rotem Ishay on Stage 2 of the Moab Rocks stage race. Image: Jean McAllister
Kabush adds a handful more seconds to his advantage

A rolling road start quickly spread out the field before the second day of racing his singletrack. Kabush was fast enough to avoid most of the flurries on his way to a second win in as many days. The Canadian is looking for a third straight Moab Rocks win, after taking top honours in the race in 2017 and 2018.

2019 Moab Rocks stage race
Marlee Dixon sits third in the women’s race after two stages of racing. Image: John Gibson

While Kabush crossed the line alone, 24 seconds behind him a hard chasing quartet sprinted for the minor podium positions. Taylor Lideen was the best of the rest, beating Carl Skilsky, Ben Sonntag and Justin Lindine. With all four finishing within two seconds, Kabush extending his lead is the only change in the overall standings. Skilsky still sits second, one minute six seconds back from the Canadian, with Lindine in third.

Andre Landry of New Brunswick was the second Canadian across the line in 13th, followed 30 seconds later by Marc-André Daigle of Montreal in 15th.

2019 Moab Rocks stage race
Katerina Nash during a sunnier moment on her way to winning Stage 2 of Moab Rocks. Image: John Gibson
Nash Consolidates, Cross closes

While the men’s leaders dodged the worst of the wild weather, Katerina Nash found herself flying through flurries in Moab. With years of experience racing cyclocross on frozen mud, a little white stuff didn’t seem to slow the Clif Pro Team rider down much. Nash extended her lead in the women’s race by 10 minutes over second place finisher Karen Jarchow. Nash now leads by 21:25 with one stage of racing remaining.

2019 Moab Rocks stage race
Whistler’s Chloe Cross moves up to 7th after two days of racing. Image: Jean McAllister

Whistler’s Chloe Cross had a solid day out in the snow as well. After finishing ninth on the opening day of Moab Rocks, Cross handled the changing course conditions with ease on her way to seventh. Her finishing time puts her in seventh overall as well, 23 seconds back from Liz Carrington in sixth.

Josée Heppell (Blainville, Que) was 13th on the stage, and Stephanie Green of Nanaimo, B.C. and Jacquiline Jenkins of Calgary, Alta, stayed put at 15th and 17th, respectively.

Melisa Rollins rolls through snow-lined singletrack. Image: John Gibson
Snow Suits 40+ Canadians just fine

While many of the Canadians racing Moab Rocks were likely looking for an escape from winter, they handled the freak flurries with ease. Tara Pollock (Ladysmith, B.C.) stayed steady in fourth in the women’s 40+ race, while Travis Hauck slid a little to finish fifth in the men’s 40+ race.

Christian Gauvin (Bromont, Que) moved up to 13th, Guillaume Nadeau (St. Joseph du Lac, Que.) 15th, Francois Doyon (St-Jerome, Que) 17th and Robin Dutton of Nanaimo B.C. 20th.

Highlights from Stage 2 of the Moab Rocks stage race