Mammoth 50K PedalPalooza Race Report
The inaugural Mammoth race had everything from legends to future stars.
The 2021 Mammoth 50K PedalPalooza was an overwhelming success with many stories to be told. The course was a challenging 50 kilometers of mostly single track with several kilometers of fire road and asphalt. The course started at the ever-popular Village in Mammoth and as riders ascended up past Canyon Lodge riders weaved through a course of large pine trees and snappy single track, only to pop out onto the moonscape of the upper mountain at the QOM/KOM where “Gravy Train” ends at approximately 9,700’ elevation. The fun course gave way to amazing views of the surrounding mountains and valleys at multiple points.
The obvious story is David “Tinker” Juarez, the current and previous 2-time World Champion, legend of mountain biking who showed up and produced a respectable finish in 5th overall men’s pro division. Also involved with the race was legendary race promoter Bill Cockroft.
Bill, formerly of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, produced the first Cross Country World Championships for mountain biking in the late 1980s. The UCI then picked them up and the rest is history. Bill is an integral part of race announcing as not only was he on stage giving Tinker his podium prizes decades ago, he once again gave him a podium prize on August 28th, 2021.
In addition to Tinker, many fast pros chose to race in this inaugural event. Chad Hall, Brian McCulloch, Stefano Barberi (taking 1st overall men’s pro), and Caroline Dezendorf (taking 1st overall women’s pro) just to name a few. Mammoth’s own Tucker Keating finished 4th overall, as a non-pro, surprising both himself and others.
Perhaps the biggest story of the race is Malia Brock of Mammoth Lakes, CA. Malia is a 13-year-old female mountain biker born in Laguna Beach, CA. Malia finished 5th overall out of all 37 women on the starting line, beating two pro women while finishing one minute behind the 4th overall female finisher. Truly remarkable!
She and her family moved to Mammoth to pursue her love of mountain biking and Nordic skiing while in elementary school. Malia learned to ride a bike without training wheels at 3 years old and started shredding the trails in Orange County shortly after that. Before moving to Mammoth she rode as a young child in the Dana Point Grand Prix and Sea Otter Classic. While living in the OC she tried a multitude of the normal “kid” sports such as gymnastics, dance, and soccer, but she didn’t care for them and asked her parents if they could live in Mammoth full-time versus their part-time status. When the opportunity arose to move to the mountains full-time she was able to fully pursue the sports she loved like mountain biking.
She started riding for the Mammoth Mountain Bike Team in 2019 and competed in several NICA Nevada League North races along with local Sierra Eastside Mountain Bike Association (SEMBA) Village Cross (VC) races each summer. Most recently in 2021, Malia competed in the Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike Race earning 1st place overall woman in the 12 mile distance and in the SEMBA 50k PedalPalooza earning 5th place overall woman, 1st place U16, and QOM for girls.
Malia is currently in 8th grade with a passion for math and science, earning straight A’s the last two years. When Malia’s English teacher recently had her do a quick writing exercise of where they would like to spend a month of their time Malia stated, “I would spend a month mountain biking in Whistler, Prevost, Kamloops, and Squamish…eating poutine and riding every day.” One can say she truly has a passion for riding at a young age. Outside of mountain biking, Malia Nordic skis with Mammoth Nordic Racing in the winter months and enjoys hiking along with downhill skiing.
The inaugural SEMBA Mammoth 50k MTB Pedalpalooza was a fun and challenging course for all riders. Be sure to add it to your 2022 race calendar!