Team Sho-Air/Cannondale's Tinker Juarez at Irvine Regional Park in Irvine, California on November 12 2012.

Team Sho-Air/Cannondale’s Tinker Juarez at Irvine Regional Park in Irvine, California on November 12 2012.

Mountain bike racing icon Tinker Juarez lives to race his bike. So this season has been particularly frustrating for the Californian, “Oh man I’ve been going crazy not racing,” he said in a recent phone call, referring to the over two months he’s spent at home since breaking his pelvis while racing in Torreon Mexico on June 28. “It been the toughest recovery in my 40-plus years of racing,” he added, “But I’m a Warrior and I can’t give up now!” Indeed, he announced yesterday that he’ll race in Weaverville.

Juarez is pleased to be back to his full schedule of training and is happy with his current condition, “I feel good,” he said, “I’m doing all of my usual long training rides, my power and climbing are both up where they should be and I’m anxious to get back to racing and to being there for the 24 Hour Worlds. “ His return to competition is tomorrow in at the Freetown 50 in Massachusetts, a race with a reputation of being particularly tough. “That’s going to be a good test,” he said, “Like I said, I’m feeling up to par, but going against the fast locals there I’ll know for sure. A win or good finish there will give me good confidence for Weaverville.”

Though the 2-time Olympian, 3-time US XC Champion, 4-time US 24-Hour Champions and former 24 Hour World Champion is 54 years old, don’t look for him in the 50-54 age group category, he’s racing in the Elite category where many of the racers he’ll go against weren’t even born when he began his career as a pro bicycle racer. “I’m not ready to race in my age group yet,” he said, “I can still go the speed and definitely go the distance and I know how to pace myself and let the race just happen better than a lot of the younger riders. It’s all about patience, you know?”

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