A Texas Style Season Opener: Mellow Johnny’s Recap
First stop for the freshly re-vamped Giant Northeast Off-Road Team, in a true cross-country format, was the Mellow Johnny’s Classic featuring the first race of the USA Cycling Pro XCT Mountain Bike Series and the US Cup Pro Tour. Two riders from the Pro Team made it down for the Texas throw down; Team Director Jordan Kahlenberg and David Flaten.
Jordan and David both arrived in Austin, Texas the Thursday before the race. Jordan’s and David’s weapons of choice were the new Giant XTC Advanced 27.5 0 Team and Giant Anthem 27.5 0 Team, respectfully. The 27.5 inch wheel size performed excellently over the rough, rocky Texas soil. Both bikes were put to the test over the weekend and needless to say, they performed flawlessly.
Friday morning David and Jordan went out to Flat Creek Ranch for some course recon. After a couple laps David decided to swap out his Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO rear tire for the Nobby Nic SnakeSkin for some added sidewall protection through the sharp rocks. No flats were encountered during the weekend of racing. The Stan’s No Tubes sealant quickly clotted any small punctures encountered on questionable lines taken at 190 beats per minute.
Saturday afternoon was the first day of racing with the main event, the Pro XCT . It was nearly 85° in the sun and this proved to be a shock to the system for the guys who have been training in the Mid-Atlantic climate. After a tough day in the saddle Jordan ended up in 44th place, and David 54th.
Sunday Morning they decided to toe the line once again at Flat Creek ranch for the regional TMBRA longer format XC race. This time, it was 39° and raining. With a field of nearly 50 Pro/Cat 1 riders, nearly half DNF’d because of tough racing conditions and rain. David rode with current U23 National Champion Kerry Werner, and Factory teammate Carl Decker for most of the first lap. Jordan pulled out due to an unfortunate mechanical issue about halfway through the first lap. David ended up 11th place for the day, just one spot out of the payout.
Next stop is Bonelli Park, and Fontana City for some California racing!
Photos from mtbmike.com