Raven Enduro, ESC Super-D and Enduro, Nittany Lion Cross, and Riedlebauer’s Round Top Rally XC.

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Eastern States Cup Super D and Enduro Finals. Killington, Vermont.

Amy Alton and Seamus Powell  competed in the Eastern States Cup season finales of the Super-D and Enduro series. Both riders reaped rewards for the hard work they put in throughout the season.

Amy’s report:

“The Eastern States Cup Super D and Enduro finals offered up the most gnarly course features I’ve ridden to date, compounded by the slick conditions, made for an amazing season finale.  On Sat afternoon, I was the first to time in for the Super D and as I reached over to buzz in, the skies opened up into a torrential downpour atop Killington.  Limited visibility and quickly degrading trail conditions made for an interesting run which was accentuated by a rear flat near the base of a rock slab on one of the resort’s double black diamond tracks.  I placed 2nd in the finals which gave me enough points to lock in the win for the overall POC ESC Pro Women Super D series for 2014!  Not too shabby for my first year as a Pro.”

Amy Alton capturing the Pro Women’s Series win for Super-D.

“My goal for Sunday’s Enduro was to have fun and keep the rubber side down. The weather was brilliant however portions of the trail proved stubborn to drain, especially those pesky rock gardens.  On the gondola ride up, I connected with a fellow Pro woman and enjoyed riding and racing all 5 stages with her.  I felt strong and fast but a few (or more) falls cost some time and I placed 4th for the day and ended up Top 5 overall in ESC’s Pro Women Enduro series.”

From Seamus:

“Great end to the Eastern States Cup Enduro and Super-D finals this weekend. A bit of inclement weather rolled through just in time for the Super-D start on Saturday making a really hard track extremely difficult to navigate in blinding wind and rain. A few crashes ultimately ended any chances of winning so I had to settle for 2nd place. The rain made the Enduro tracks nice and slimy for Sundays events. Once again making tactics of being smooth and consistent the name of the game. In the end with plenty of crucial mistakes and falling off I ended up taking the Enduro win. With the series wrapped up I ended with a 2nd overall in the Super-D series and 3rd overall in the Enduro series. Can not wait for next year. Racing week in and week out with lots of awesome people make weekends feel like hanging out with a second family!”

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Seamus takes the win in the day’s Pro Enduro event.

Nittany Lion Cross: Valley Preferred Cycling Center, Breinigsville, PA.

Nittany Lion Cross was the first race on the US Pro CX 2014/2015 calendar. The next regional UCI event will be Charm City Cross, held at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore on September 20th and 21st.

April’s Report:

“This was a double-header weekend, with races Saturday and Sunday. Since I upgraded at the end of last season, this was my first experience racing in the Elite field at a UCI sanctioned event. There were 58 women pre-registered in my class (yeah, more than in the Elite men’s field), many of them from other regions.”

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April’s new Brava gets to roll around in the mud.

“My Brava was newly built and when I arrived for my race, I still hadn’t had a chance to ride it off-road or practice barriers. I was pretty nervous about cornering and remounting, since I was unfamiliar with the bike. I managed to hold it together enough each day to finish on the lead lap, but I felt embarrassingly rusty. That said, I’ve gotten a few more rides in on my Brava since then and we are really starting to click. She’s light, her big-triangle geometry makes her easy to carry, and her SRAM Red totally floats my boat. She sprints like a little devil headed home. I can’t wait to get her back on the racecourse.”

Saturday was scorching hot, but overnight rain made for a lovely, cool race on Sunday.

Raven MTB Enduro. Spring Mills, PA.

Jess and Joël competed in the Raven Enduro, based out of Seven Mountain’s Boy Scout Camp (sound familiar? This was also the staging area for the Trans-Sylvania Epic).

The 2014 Raven Enduro Course Map

From Jess:

“There were 5 timed sections, each one ranging from about 2 to 5 minutes (of course depending on how fast or slow one rides!). The timed sections were predominantly downhill, maybe a few short punchy climbs and flat sections.  As stated earlier, the idea of an Enduro is to test technical skills, so of course all of the timed sections had lots and lots of rocks, roots, tight, twisty turns, and fast descents. Thank goodness for my Giant dropper seatpost, I certainly needed it! The 27.5 inch wheels maneuvered well through the tight and twisty stuff and rolled over the rocks well, this really is a great wheel size to ride.”

Joël Nankman

“Both of us raced hard, pushing ourselves and our bikes to the limit. Pushing to the limit of course brings about the risk of crashing and mechanical issues, both of which we encountered. But taking those risks paid off, I was first open female and Joël finished seventh open men.  And the best part-both of us rode XC race bikes (myself on Lust Advanced 0 and Joël on the Anthem Advanced 27.5) and lycra shorts- not the typical Enduro bike and clothing choices.”

Raven Enduro Podium

Jess takes the win in the Open Women’s category.

“A great weekend of camping, racing, catching up with friends, and making new friends. Enduro may not be our focus but it was fun and something different to do.”

Visit the Nankman’s blog to read their full report and to watch a video of their weekend.

NYSMTB Series Finale: Riedlbauer’s Round Top Rally. Round Top, NY.

After a few weekends vacation from racing, Mike and Wendi decided to head up to Round Top, NY, for the last race of the New York State MTB Series.

Wendi’s report:

“Mike and I arrived at the Riedlbauer venue and did a lap of most of the course. I realized that it wasn’t exactly the type of trails that suit my strengths, but they certainly were fun… I figured that they would start the Pro/Open women before the Cat 1 women, but they started us together and I was unfortunately in the back from the start. I was able to pass several women in the first mile or so. But then I ended up crashing over a boulder somewhere around mile 2. Banged up my knee, coincidentally the same one I banged up a few weeks ago at the Creek race, which was still healing. And the same to my hand, elbow and forearm. After assessing the damage, I continued on and tried to catch back up. I surprisingly was able to catch a few racers pretty quickly, went back and forth with a few different Pro/Open & Cat 1 women and was sitting in 4th Pro for quite a while.”

Wendi riding strong in the Women’s Pro/Open. (Photo: Mark Sullivan)

Struggling with contact lens issues (due to the dust) and smarting a little from her injuries, Wendi rode the rest of the race a little more apprehensively, dropping to fifth place toward the end of her third lap and maintaining that position to the end of the race. Afterward, Wendi realized her fork was locked out, probably as a result of her earlier crash. She’s hoping for better luck and more sleep for next week’s race.

Mike picking his line. (Photo: Darius Huppert)

Mike dropped his chain twice during his first lap with his Cat 1 age group and race and struggled to recover his motivation:

“Getting back on the bike I tried to have fun and enjoy the trails. Low and behold I found myself in a nice groove catching racers left and right. To my surprise I was right in the mix battling it out with 3 racers from my group. Over the remaining two laps we traded positions back and fourth. In the end, there was only racer left on my wheel as we turned the last corner toward the finish line. Luckily, I was the stronger one and sprinted into 5th position. After the race, I couldn’t believe I was able to finish 5th with the 2 dropped chains. And the best part was I was having a blast enjoying Round Top’s awesome trails and venue.”

Ryan Fawley on the top step of the Pro Men’s podium.

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