Brick Oven/CB Builders team closes season in Moab

Coed team takes second place

Twelve years ago the foundation for a Crested Butte presence at the 24 Hours of Moab was laid down when the West Elk One Hitters posted a top-ten finish.
The West Elk One Hitters were a five-person coed team comprised of Jake Jones, Beth Price, John “Dak” Williams, Sean Lortie and Mark Peterson. Their rides were single-speed bikes heavily influenced by Andy Bamberg. The next year, Pat Myall filled in for Jones and the team rode to a first-place finish, completing 19 laps.
Local bike enthusiast team Brick Oven/Crested Butte Builders (BO/CBB) has picked up the torch in recent history and the coed four-person team of Dave Ochs, Laura Anderson, Jeff Irwin and Travis Scheefer took second place in the coed pro/am division this year, sixth place overall out of 380 teams, completing 19 laps total.
The team’s description on the race registration says it all: “We have a chick that kicks ASS!!!!! A dude from Pennsyltucky, a member of the Scheefdog clan and a fella that likes elephants.”
More precisely, the team was stacked with heavy hitters. Irwin was fresh off a win at the CB Classic. Irwin, Anderson and Scheefer all posted several strong results racing pro in the Mountain States Cup series this year and Ochs… well, Ochs spent the first part of the season on the injured reserve but came charging onto the middle of the 2009 race season reaching his peak, or near it, at Moab.
Plus whatever base fitness he may, or may not, have been missing from sitting out the first weeks of the season he more than makes up for with his sideburns and stoke. Furthermore, Ochs is the defending champion of the race-opening “Beat the Bush” Le Mans sprint.
Nevertheless, the 24 Hours of Moab follows a sandy course more than 14 miles long that mixes in double track with single track. While the course itself is not necessarily brutal, the weather and sand can be— not to mention riding it for 24 hours straight.
This year riders were met with near-perfect conditions for 24 hours of riding.
“It was kick-ass weather,” says Ochs. “At night it was in the 40s. It was money.”
While Ochs failed to defend his Beat the Bush title—a guy in a mohawk and G-string won—he opened the race for the BO/CBB team posting a split time of one hour, seven minutes.
Unfortunately, the eventual winner had their riding order set up to build an opening lap lead.
“The folks in first place put the wood to us,” says Ochs. “They sent out their ringer first.”
The BO/CBB team held the first-place team close as long as they could, but the minute or so gap built each lap soon added up over the course of 24 hours.
Scheefer posted the fastest lap for the team of one hour two minutes and Irwin came close with his fastest split of one hour and five minutes, while the BO/CBB support team led by Dave Scheefer kept Ochs and company rolling strong throughout the entire race.
“I don’t think Dave shut his eyes once the whole time,” says Ochs. “We needed that. Everyone just kept it going.”
Aside from a couple of light problems during the night, the race was relatively flawless for the team and in the end the BO/CBB team fell one lap shy of the coed pro/am title but did not leave empty-handed.
“We got in the money, which was huge,” says Ochs.

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