Race Report: ESC Attitash Mountain Super-D, Root 66 Millstone Grind, and H2H Summer Scramble.
Eastern States Cup: Attitash Mountain. New Hampshire State Championship for Super-D.
The Eastern States Cup visited New Hampshire last weekend for the sixth race in the Super-D Cup USAC Regional Championship Series. Amy Alton tore it up on the course to take a win in the Pro Women’s field.
I was up in New England competing in an off-roading expedition the week prior and figured, why not go hit Attitash Mountain for the ESC Super D race. The course resembled more of a Sport DH track, lacking the uphills typical of a Super D. It was fast and rocky with segments both in the woods on steep loamy trails and wide open gravel fire roads. Still healing multiple broken fingers from the ESC Killington Enduro, I was pleased to be able to grip my handle bar and navigate a clean run. I clocked a 4:13, to take the Pro Women’s Super D win as the fastest woman on the mountain that day.
As usual, you can find some more great coverage of this event (including video and photographs) at Pinkbike.
Root 66 Northeast XC MTB Series: Millstone Grind XC. Websterville, VT.
Ryan Berliner got to stay close to home last weekend with a race in the borderlands of the Northeast Kingdom. The Millstone Grind was the last of 15 races in this year’s Root 66 XC Series (although there’s one last marathon race still on the calendar).
This is one of my favorite races, which is a little bit longer, and the trails that wind through the granite quarry are lots of fun to ride. This is also a course that is a super good match for a full suspension bike, and make the riding much more enjoyable, especially with the slippery conditions caused by morning rain. Because of the length of the race, there really weren’t any HUGE efforts, and I rode the whole race at one speed. Staying smooth, and keeping the speed you had was one of the ways to get loads of time with minimal energy, and I took full advantage of that during the 3, 6 mile laps. At the end of the 2h10m-ish race, I was able to win my category, and got some sweet prizes. A new helmet, some socks, and 10 lbs of gatorade powder made the day even nicer!! The race was put on super well, and in the end made for a great race!
Jamis Bicycles H2H Series: Mountain Creek Summer Scramble. Vernon, NJ.
The Jamis H2H Series is also close to wrapping up for the season, with just one race remaining in the 8-race series. Mike Romanowski and Wendi Sebastian both attended the Summer Scramble, which was a local race for them and was held on trails they know well.
Wendi raced in the Pro/Open field, which set off one minute before the Cat 1 women. All women would be racing three laps.
“My goal was to hang on to the leader’s wheel as long as possible during the race and to hopefully keep all Cat 1 from catching me. Fortunately that all worked out. I was psyched to stay with the leader for most of lap 1 and come in right behind her for the start of the second lap, with her still in sight. By the end of lap 2, I ended up being almost a minute behind her, which I was still happy about considering how tired my legs were getting. I was not drinking nearly enough and trying to push so hard, which was all quickly catching up to me.”
“On the third lap, I just wasn’t as fast since my legs were beat. But, I still pushed hard and fortunately didn’t see any Cat 1 women catching up behind me the whole race. I even smashed my knee hard into a tree on the last trail. One of the moments when you really want to stop because it was so painful, yet you can’t since you’re racing. Fortunately it was only a few minutes until the finish line. Overall I had a great race and was really happy with the outcome. I finished 2nd Pro and overall, a few minutes behind the leader, with very tired legs and a huge smile on my face. That pain and determination was all worth it in the end.”
Congratulations to Wendi on her current series lead in the H2H Pro/Open Women’s division!
Mike had a challenging race, but nobody is better at staying cool in the face of adversity. After tangling handlebars with another rider during the sprint start, Mike settled into the race and was able to maintain contact with the front group until dropping his chain toward the end of the first lap. Not long after, Mike realized he was losing air pressure in his rear tire and had to hop off to add air. With the leak sealed, he set off again.
“Back on the bike once again, I was still feeling pretty good about my race and was feeling strong. Nearing the end of my third and final lap, the rear tire dropped pressure pretty quick on possibly the fastest descent of the course and the rim bottomed out excessively hard on one of our east coast rocks. I instantly knew the back wheel was toast. When I assessed the damage to see how bad things were, the side of the rim was pancaked, with the bead of the tire visible. I kind of just stood on the side of the trail for a minute or two thinking about walking out as fellow racers continued to pass me. But, I’m not one to just quit and figured if I can get a tube to work, I’m finishing this race.”
“The rest of the race wasn’t fast, but it felt good to know I was crossing the finish line pedaling and not walking. One of the best comments I received after the race was from another guy in my group. He said, “I wasn’t sure what happened, it looked like you were waiting for the ice cream truck.” This only helped to lighten the mood and is one of the reasons why I love mountain biking. Everyone is always trying to have fun no matter what.”
Despite his troubles on-course, Mike was still able to finish in 13th place in his Cat 1 19-39 age group.