Race Report: Williams Lake Classic, Gravity East Series, and the Big Bear 2×12 Relay.

WL Abbey

Gravity East Series: Mountain Creek. Vernon, NJ.

Pro downhill rider Brian Scolforo made us all proud with his podium finish at Mountain Creek. Great job, Brian!

MC Brian

Brian celebrates a fourth place finish in the Pro Men category.

“This past weekend I attended the Gravity East Series stop #2 at Mountain Creek Bike Park. Amazing weather conditions and a super fast track made for a great weekend. I held together a great race run and came down the hill with a fourth place finish.” (Brian)

New York State Mountain Bike Series: Williams Lake Classic. Rosendale, NY.

Five of Giant Northeast’s Cat 1 and Pro riders attended the first race of the NY State MTB Series. Opting to pre-ride the course on Saturday, Mike and Wendi found some greasy trails and hoped for improved conditions on Sunday. Ryan and Abbey went out for a Saturday pre-ride, as well, and spent some time checking out the more technical sections of the course and identifying the fastest lines. The race course would include lots of shaley single track and big, dark cave.

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Mike and Wendi during a pre-ride of the course.

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Wendi checks out the cave during a pre-ride.

Giant Northeast’s presence at the race was expanded on Sunday with the arrivals of Jon and Seamus (Jon to race and Seamus to cheer and hand off water bottles during the race). Supporters are always appreciated!

Grassroots riders Jon and Mike raced in their respective Cat 1 age groups. Jon reports on his race:

“Williams Lake, part of the NY State MTB Series, is by far my favorite race. This year there was a new course mixing some classic old trails and some new ones. Though I led the race early on, the heat got the best of me and I had to ease up a bit. I’m happy with my 4th place finish. The vibe at this race is awesome and the true colors of the mountain bike community shine through. You feel like you’re at one huge party with your friends. Truly a memorable experience and one to not

miss next year.” (Jon)

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Jon is waiting for your phone call.

Mike had a particularly challenging race which began with a crash and ended with an unexpected additional lap:

“Not even halfway through my first lap, I crashed heading into the cave pretty hard and landed on my ribs.  It took a bit to gather my thoughts and get back on the horse. After I got going again I just didn’t feel the same till the start of my 3rd lap.  I was starting to catch a few people and move up past a few people. Coming to the end of the 3rd lap, I just caught the guy in front of me for 5th position.  But, I had made a major mistake of not knowing how many laps my race was and was only prepared for 3 laps, when it was actually 4.  The worst part of the situation was I didn’t realize this until I finished my third lap.” (Mike)

Out of water and in a back-and-forth battle for fifth position, Mike decided to finish the last lap on his competitor’s wheel and to try to out-sprint him on the home stretch. Unfortunately, a small but irreparable gap opened up on the last descent which Mike was unable to close before the finish. Still, Mike finished in 6th place in his Cat 1 age group.

WL Mike

“It was a beautiful weekend heading into the race on Sunday afternoon, nothing but clear blue skies and a warm summer sun.” (Mike)  (Photo:Mark Sullivan)

 

Abbey and Wendi rode together in the Pro/Open Women’s class. At the beginning of the race, a $50 prime was announced for the first lap for both the men and women. Abbey wanted the cash, so she started off fast and led the race up the first climb, only to lose her position to another woman when she had to put a foot down:

“I tried to keep up with her but she was faster on the rooty climbs. On the last climb of the lap I saw that she wasn’t that far ahead of me so I put my head down and pushed hard to pass her on the climb and enter the last downhill in the lead. I managed to hold on for first on the first lap so I was able to win the extra prize money! The extra push on the hill wore me out a little but I didn’t want to lose the lead, so I kept pushing hard.” (Abbey)

Abbey rocked it for three more laps and was pleased to finish in second place.

WL Abbey

Abbey takes second place in the Pro/Open Women’s class.

Wendi felt a little nervous about riding in the Pro/Open rather than in her Cat 1 age group, but felt that racing in such a competitive class would help her keep progressing. From Wendi:

“We headed out in our sprint start through a field and then up into the single track. I was behind one of the ladies for a while, but then I just had to back off and race my own race, hoping to catch up at some point. I was not feeling so great, perhaps from racing endurance a week before or maybe I just wasn’t warmed up yet. Fortunately for the last two laps,  I felt like myself again and was starting to enjoy the race, riding the technical sections much cleaner. I didn’t know what the outcome would be, I just knew I had to try as hard as I could to catch someone and that alone kept me pushing pretty hard those last two laps.”

Wendi finished her race in fourth place and was happy to see that her lap times were consistent with each other and the time gap to the podium was short.

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Wendi rides through the finish line. (Photo: Mark Sullivan)

West Virginia Mountain Bike Association: Big Bear Lake 2×12 Bike Relay. Bruceton Mills, WV.

Grassroots rider Jamie Yoder attended the 2×12 Big Bear, also known as the “West Virginia Prom.” This race consists of twelve-mile laps of typical West Virginia fun: rocks, climbs, and beautiful scenery. Jamie and her “prom date” each completed three laps (36 miles) to take fifth place in the Co-ed Expert/Open division. Jamie was particularly pleased when she compared her lap times with those from last year and found she improved by more than twenty minutes per lap. Dang!

“It was so good to be back on West Virginia trails. There really is no other place like them, and I hadn’t realized how much I missed them until this weekend… A lot of courses test your endurance or your skills, but WV is just all power, all the time. And the racing community here is so fun and supportive!

 

“Admittedly, I was still tired and recovering from the Mohican 100k. My first lap was pretty painful, but I felt much better by my second. And once again, I’m convinced that the Lust is simply the best bike around for east coast XC terrain. It’s just 100% fun.” (Jamie)

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