Race Report: NYSMTB Burly; MASS XC D&Q Summer Sizzler; ESC Enduro, DH, and Super-D; and the Patapsco 100
With XC and Super-D National Championships just two weeks off, many of the riders on the Giant Northeast team competed in their final Nats tune-up races last weekend. Enduro and downhillers kept busy, as well, with the most recent Eastern States Cup event in Killington, Vermont.
NY State MTB Series: West Hurley Burly Backyard World Championships. West Hurley, NY.
Pro Team member Abbey reports on her experience at Burly:
“The Burly is the second race in the New York State Mountain Bike Series. This race takes place in Jeremy Swift’s backyard on trails that he built by hand. The course is very twisty and has some short steep downhill sections and A LOT of razor sharp rocks sticking up in all directions.
During the warm up, I sliced my tire just big enough that the Stan’s sealant would not reseal. I was only about a mile from the start of the race so I was able to scramble out to a road and run my bike back to my car where I put a tube in my rear wheel. Luckily I had enough time to put in the tube before the start of the race!
The race was 4 laps and there were a lot of fast women riding. My first lap went well but I couldn’t find the flow of the trails and found myself coasting through the next three laps. Not my best race but I was happy to be able to ride all the technical sections well using my new skills that I was taught by Harlan Price from Take Aim Cycling a couple of weeks ago.”
MASS XC: Danzeison & Quigley Summer Sizzler. Sewell, NJ.
April, Andy, and Jordan headed up and over to Southern New Jersey to compete in the seventh of the Mid-Atlantic Super Series XC races. Spoiled by so many late-afternoon starts, all three riders showed up a little later than intended but managed to make it to the line in time for the 9am start.
Andy and April weren’t familiar with the course, but word on the start line was “fast, sandy, rooty, no significant climbs.” That was the truth! The course was swervy, side-to-side, up-and-down, sandy, mulchy, rooty, shady, and almost entirely single track. Though the race is evidently notoriously red hot, the morning was clear, breezy, and pleasant.
Jordan and Andy took off first, in the Pro/Open field.
“Having been spoiled with afternoon starts, the 9am start time left me feeling a little rushed and not as warmed up as I would have liked to have been. So I decided to ease into my race. Looking back on the course, this was not a great tactic, because the course was about 95% swooping single track with very limited passing room. Early in the race I found myself comfortable but held up somewhere in the back half, so I focused on taking the right lines and passing when given the opportunity. The course was full of roots and sharp sandy corners with shoulder-swishing overhanging trees. The course doubled back on itself a lot, so there were plenty of opportunities to see riders ahead and behind. Over the four laps I worked my way up to fourth place with one lap to go, but in the final lap lost two positions, one at the line. I felt good about the race, and even though it was a fast course, it felt good to finish within a minute of the winning time.”
Andy finished in 6th place and continues to hold the lead in the Pro/Open division of the Mid-Atlantic Super Series. With two races remaining in the series and just a small lead, Andy will have to dig deep to keep his spot.
Jordan had a more frustrating run of the course and struggled to keep his focus after some setbacks early in the race. Despite his troubles, Jordan decided to buckle down and see the race through to the end:
“The old me would have quit on lap 2, knowing I was down and out on a course that didn’t suit me best… The current me however kept digging myself out of the negativity (well, most of it anyway) and pushed on with determination to just finish. And just finish I did. Although I was far down the day’s standings, and in a rather grumpy mood, I made it to the finish without too many choice words and without angering anyone else (to my knowledge). In the end, I’m oddly proud of that race. Although so much went wrong, I kept it together just enough to survive and fight another day, and I didn’t quit.”
April went out with the Pro/Cat 1 women to represent the Grassroots team and, despite a frustrating start, enjoyed the playful course and swoopy terrain. April describes her race:
“Unfamiliar with the course, I decided to stay cool off the start and jump onto the single track mid-pack. I realized my novice error as soon as some racers ahead of me tripped up on the first rooty climb and forced the riders behind to dismount and run. The tight, swervy nature of the single-track meant I wasn’t able to pass around to open trail until I hit the feed zone after an entire lap, at which point the front of the race had completely detached. I rode solo for the last three laps without any idea where I was positioned in the race. Upon finishing I was surprised to learn that I placed third among the combined Pro and Cat 1 women, particularly since I usually depend on my climbing to keep me competitive. I’m probably most proud of the fact that, for the first time while racing, I speed-jumped some (really, really small) logs on the course each lap. That’s been one of my goals.”
Eastern States Cup: East Coast Showdown. Vermont State Championship and USAC Regional Championship for Downhill, Enduro, and Super-D. Killington, VT.
From Seamus, who competed in the Pro categories in Enduro, Super-D, and even Downhill (for the first time):
“The weekend went awesome. A little rain Thursday and Friday provided optimal race conditions for the Saturday-Sunday showdown. I took the win in both Pro Enduro and Pro Super-D. A last minute decision to race downhill left little time for practice Sunday morning on a deceivingly tricky track. I managed a 16th place in my first downhill racing Pro… on my Trance SX 27.5!!! The Most capable bike I’ve ever owned.”
Collin competed in amateur Downhill:
“This past weekend I raced the Vermont state championship at Killington Vermont. The track was very fast, rocky, and fun. I placed 10th in a stacked category. I loved the course and the Glory 2 ran amazing. Couldn’t thank my sponsors enough.”
Patapsco 100: Presented by Adventures for the Cure and The HUB/C’ville Bikes. Woodlawn, MD.
Jess and Joël made the trip down to Patapsco State Park to participate in the second annual Patapsco 100; an endurance race with 33-mile, 66-mile, and 100-mile options. Jess and Joël competed as a co-ed duo in the 66-mile division.
The report from Jess:
The riding at Patapsco can be considered part South Mountain Lehigh, part Allegrippis, and part Richmond. There are technical rocky sections with too many log-overs to count and fast, flowy twisty sections with lots of “whoop-de-doos”; all of it is contained in 16,000 acres of state park right in the middle of an urban area. Many of the trails go under overpasses and at times the highway can be heard (but many times it is also dead quiet as if you are out in the middle of no where). The 170 miles of trails are multi-purpose, open to hikers and equestrians along with cyclists. The park system surrounds the Patapsco River, which is great for canoeing and kayaking.
The website for this race has a warning posted: “This race will be extremely hard. With almost 5,500 ft of climbing per lap (33 miles)…this is nothing but epic!” That description is true! Just finishing is an accomplishment, there is approximately a 50% DNF (did not finish) rate. The race is a lap race, 33 miles per lap. The course is 95% on dirt, with 80% of that being single track. There were multiple water crossings, two of which involved crossing the Patapsco River. These could not be ridden, the water was waist high, so the bikes needed to be picked-up and carried. As per the description, there was a lot of climbing. Most were shorter climbs, lasting no more than 5 to 10 minutes to reach the top. But they were steep and many were also technically challenging with rocks, roots, and water bars. As one other racer put it “we just keep going up and down and up and down, there is no end to it.” A few of the climbs were hike-a-bike climbs; one climb even included a staircase to hike up.
Despite all the water and sand, our bikes performed well. The ProGold Xtreme lube kept the drive trains happy and the Bike Shine made clean-up afterwards easy. Both Joël and I were VERY happy to have the light-weight carbon frames of the Lust Advanced and Anthem Advanced, it helped decrease the pain during the hike-a-bike sections.”
To read Jess’s complete report and to watch Joël’s video from the race, visit Jess and Joël’s blog.