Epic Rides has announced a ‘noteworthy and colourful list of characters’ attending the 21st annual 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo (24HOP) presented by Tucson Medical Center on February 14-16, 2020. The off-road biking event features a mashup of recognizable names from several disciplines of cycling including road, gravel and, of course, mountain biking.
24HOP is billed as the longest-running 24-hour mountain bike event in America, filling to capacity within minutes of registration opening, and attracting more than 3,500 participants annually to the Sonoran Desert northwest of Tuscon, Arizona. Considered the ‘Burning Man of Bike Races’, the 24 Hours has become as much a colourful celebration of community as it is an endurance mountain bike event.
In addition to this year’s event dedication recipient, Rebecca Rusch, another familiar name in professional cycling is the recently retired Taylor Phinney, an Olympian and former World-Tour road racer.
Phinney will be enjoying the event with a group of friends from Colorado and Spain. Boasting more wins than Epic Rides has printable space, the multiple time National Champion and winner of numerous off-road series titles, Todd Wells will take to the 24HOP course as well. Two other UCI pro cyclists, Lukas Kaufmann and TJ Eisenhart, will also attend.
24HOP is an endurance event, attracting some of the most hardened endurance athletes in the game, including names like Josh Tostado, Sarah Jansen, Dylan Johnson, Taylor Lideen, Kurt Refsnider and Kait Boyle. Particularly noteworthy is Jansen, who has not only ridden the entire Arizona Trail, but won the AZT 750, as well as riding the entire Colorado Trail and the gruelling Tour Divide. Jansen documented her AZT 750 adventure in a book she authored, ‘Pedaling Home’.
Long-time solo 24 hour champion, multiple-time winner of the 24HOP Singlespeed team category and winner of the 2015 Dirty Kanza, Yuri Hauswald has emerged as a charismatic face of the ever expanding gravel cycling movement. In addition to Hauswald, other sans-derailleur hammers at 24HOP include Dax Massey, Rich Maines and Nathan Miller, who in 2012, won the amateur Whiskey Off-Road Overall on a singlespeed, beating out every geared competitor.
A noteworthy member of the local Tucson community, Bobby Harris, with a strong social media following as @addicted2mtb, is a Tucson-based mountain biker, trails advocate and Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists (SDMB) board member documenting his 24 Hours experience.
The 24HOP attracts former motorsport World Champions including Victor ‘The Slasher’ Sheldon, a jet ski racing icon. Arizona native Philip Tinstman, an X-Games champion and Tour de Tucson winner, will also be in attendance.
Epic Rides has also announced that presenting sponsor of the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo (24HOP), Tucson Medical Center (TMC), will renew its commitment to America’s longest running 24 hour mountain bike endurance event through 2023.
“Our partnership with Tucson Medical Center has been invaluable to the continued health of this fun and family-friendly community event,” said Todd Sadow, Epic Rides President and co-founder. “If you look at the event’s history, in the last nine years, there’s been a direct correlation between TMC’s sponsorship and how quickly this event fills to capacity.”
Julia Strange, TMC Vice President of Community Benefit said, “24 Hours in the Old Pueblo promotes three things shown to contribute to lifelong health – exercise, the outdoors and community. By supporting and participating in events like this, we promote individual health and create connections to make healthier communities. That’s a win, win, win.”