Oregon Enduro Series - Ashland Mountain Challenge Race Report

Jun 24, 2013
by Mike Albright  
 
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The trail of the Oregon Enduro Series leads us to the sleepy little town, Ashland, on the Oregon/California border. Ashland is probably best known for its Shakespearean festivals but in the cycling community it is widely known for the vast amounts of singletrack trails located nearby.

The little hamlet of Ashland the downtown area at the lower left sits below Mt Ashland just miles from the Oregon California border.
  The little hamlet of Ashland (the downtown area at the lower left) sits below Mt Ashland, just miles from the Oregon/California border. The race started at the top and finished in beautiful Lithia Park, just behind the downtown area.

  Although points from the Ashland Mountain Challenge transfer to the Oregon Enduro series, this race is operated as a separate event by Bill and Sue Roussel at Ashland Mountain Adventures who run the race under the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA). Bill and Sue are veterans at race organization with a lot of experience from earlier races such and the Ashland Mtn Super-D, Spring Thaw, and Chainless DH. To add to the already-difficult logistics of enduro racing the stages were spread over 2 different ridge lines, meaning two sets of shuttles. Everything ran smoothly, even leaving time to hang out in the expo area to have lunch discuss strategy before departing to the final stages. Scroll down to see how it went!

Say what you want about local knowledge Nathan Riddle is an expert in getting into and out of the corners quickly in Ashland. Notice the minimal amount of dirt he s kicking up allowing him to carry more momentum around these turns.
  Say what you want about local knowledge, Nathan Riddle is an expert in getting into and out of the corners quickly in Ashland. Notice the minimal amount of dirt he's kicking up, allowing him to carry more momentum around these turns.

Stage maps for the 2013 Oregon Enduro Course - Ashland
  Maps showing the 4 different stages on two mountain ridges, each leading into Lithia Park

Jill Kintner made the trip to Southern Oregon after being in Europe racing World Cup Downhill and placed 2nd. Not bad for racing some trails blind I got off the plane a couple days ago from Italy had one day home and drove down here last night and didn t practice at all and didn t really know what s going on and then raced the trail blind... I had a really good time
  Jill Kintner made the trip to Southern Oregon for an ethirteen product launch after racing a few World Cup downhills in Europe and placed 2nd. Not bad for racing some trails blind! "I got off the plane a couple days ago from Italy, had one day home and drove down here last night and didn't practice at all and didn't really know what's going on and then raced the trail blind...I had a really good time..."-JK

Mt. Shasta
  When riders finish the 50 minute shuttle to the top of Mt. Ashland they are treated to this view of Mt. Shasta before they head out on the transition stage.

The transition from the top of Mt Ashland to the start of stage has some uphill sections that can be a challenge with a pack full of gear. These sections are raced during Super-D competition. There is a trail in there somewhere...
  The transition from the top of Mt Ashland to the start of stage has some uphill sections that can be a challenge with a pack full of gear. These sections are raced during Super-D competition. There is a trail in there somewhere...

Curtis Keene riding 58 but was first down the trail for the pro men. It was assumed that he drew the short straw and was forced to go first just in case there were any wayward hikers bikers on-course. 3rd place pro men.
  Curtis Keene riding #58 but was first down the trail for the pro men. It was assumed that he drew the short straw and was forced to go first to sweep away any wayward hikers/bikers on-course during the lull. 3rd place pro men.

While I don t mean to pick on Rosara Joseph She did win the race after all this photo illustrates how intense this seemingly simple jump can be. Rosara had speed coming up to it but scrubbed it at the last second. You can see the intense look on her face as she is now forced to hit the g-out at speed. She made it through safe but my guess is that if she were to race this trail again she d be jumping this one.
  While I don't mean to pick on Rosara Joseph (She did win the race after all), this photo illustrates how intense this seemingly simple jump can be. Rosara had speed coming up to it but scrubbed it at the last second. You can see the intense look on her face as she is now forced to roll the g-out at speed. She made it through safe but my guess is that if she were to race this trail again she'd be jumping this one.

There are shuttles that take to part of the way up the West Ridge but some ride anyway. It s a good way to stay loose and catch up on whatever.
  There are shuttles that take you part of the way up the West Ridge but some ride anyway. It's a good way to stay loose and catch up on whatever.

Matthew Slaven rallied to a second place finish overall just 5 seconds behind Riddle.
  Matthew Slaven rallied to a second place finish overall, just 5 seconds behind Riddle.

Junior racer bike check. Winter Nason has been at the top of the Jr. racer standing the last few years so we wanted to catch up with him to see what he is riding Its a 2013 Enduro 29er with a 2014 fox 34 enve carbon wheels full xo drivetrain ti brake and rotor bolts Specialized command post xtr pedals and it has a tooth components front chain ring...
  Junior racer bike check. Winter Nason has been at the top of the Jr. racer standing the last few years so we wanted to catch up with him to see what he is riding; "It's a 2013 Enduro 29er with a 2014 Fox 34, Enve carbon wheels, full XO drivetrain, ti brake and rotor bolts, Specialized command post, XTR pedals and it has a tooth components front chain ring..."

Another Ashland Mountain Adventures shuttle heading up the hill. Give them a call if you re in town.
  Another Ashland Mountain Adventures shuttle heading up the hill. Give them a call if you're in town.

Carolynn Romaine on her way to 3rd place behind Joseph and Kintner not too shabby.
  Carolynn Romaine on her way to 3rd place behind Joseph and Kintner, not too shabby.

Riley Gibson-Graf racing the Junior Men 13-18 category
  Riley Gibson-Graf racing the Junior Men 13-18 category

Tom Doran didn t have much of an issue with Ashland s loose dry dirt as he came away with 5th place in Elite. We caught up with Tom after the race to get his thought on enduro racing enduro is eliminating the painful climbs from competition and putting together the best downhill sections of trails. You have to rely on your power fitness and skill. It s kind of the complete package of mountain biking.
  San Luis Obisbo racer Tom Doran didn't have much of an issue with Ashland's loose, dry dirt as he came away with 5th place in Elite. We caught up with Tom after the race to get his thought on enduro racing: "Enduro is eliminating the painful climbs from competition and putting together the best downhill sections of trails. You have to rely on your power, fitness and skill. It's kind of the complete package of mountain biking."

This is downtown Ashland at 9pm Friday night. With an early start on Saturday and long shuttle-times many racers were already fed and getting ready for race day.
  This is downtown Ashland at 9pm Friday night. With an early start on Saturday and long shuttle-times many racers were already fed and getting ready for race day.

Dylan Wolsky gets led out of a stage by some of the dedicated group of volunteers to run an event like this. The Ashland Adventures crew has some pretty good friends that will drive hundreds of miles just to help out.
  Dylan Wolsky gets led out on a stage by some of the dedicated group of volunteers it takes to run an event like this. The Ashland Mountain Adventures crew has some pretty good friends that will drive hundreds of miles just to help out.

Slaven gives Riddle an extra bath on the podium. Both of these guys had disappointing years last year so it s great to see them on top and enjoying it.
  Slaven gives Riddle an extra bath on the podium. Both of these guys had a disappointing 2012 so it's great to see them on top and enjoying it.

This is Dennis Martinson. In one year he will be 70 He s an Ashland local and has been racing downhill 12 years. He doesn t travel much but if you are racing any gravity mtb race in Ashland definitely say hello. He s very comfortable on his Specialized Enduro 26 I love downhill because you don t have to have young legs or young lungs to go fast I love singletrack -DM
  This is Dennis Martinson. In one year he will be 70! He's an Ashland local and has been racing downhill for about 12 years. He doesn't travel much but if you are racing any gravity mtb race in Ashland definitely say hello. He's very comfortable on his Specialized Enduro 26", "I love downhill because you don't have to have young legs or young lungs to go fast. I love singletrack!" -DM

Post-race beverages and pseudo-ice-packs provided by Ninkasi Brewing Co. out of Eugene Oregon. Heather Pola with a shiner.
  Post-race beverages and pseudo-ice-packs provided by Ninkasi Brewing Co. out of Eugene, Oregon. Heather Pola with a shiner.

The catwalk trail section is a fast traversing trail with a lot of these 180 degree corners. Like many of Ashland s trails the key to speed is to be able to exit the corners with momentum and get back on the gas.
  The 'Catwalk' trail section is a fast, traversing trail with a lot of these 180 degree corners. Like many of Ashland's trails, the key to speed is to be able to exit the corners with momentum and get back on the gas.

Jill Kintner was thankfully happy to oblige when the photographer is yelling berm-shot
  Jill Kintner was thankfully happy to oblige with photographers yelling 'berm-shot!"

The transition from the top of Mt Ashland to the start of stage one is about a two mile ride. Along the way riders are treated to mountain vistas.
  The transition from the top of Mt Ashland to the start of stage one is about a two mile ride. Along the way riders are treated to mountain vistas.

Jared Hobbs up in the trees.
  Jared Hobbs up in the trees.

Carl Decker on the speedway just before the g-out
  Carl Decker on the speedway just before the g-out

Mason Bond hitting one of the loose corners of the BTI trail.
  Mason Bond hitting one of the loose corners of the BTI trail.

Local-ripper bicycle school instructor and dedicated trail-builder Nathan Riddle had his way with the rest of the field dislodging any monkeys left on his back.
  Local-ripper, bicycle school instructor and dedicated trail-builder Nathan Riddle had his way with the rest of the field, dislodging any monkeys left on his back.

Matthew Slaven heading toward second place on the podium. We ll try to catch top with him at the next race in Camas to get more details on that new Kona he s riding.
  Matthew Slaven heading toward second place on the podium. We'll try to catch top with him at the next race in Camas to get more details on that new Kona he's riding.

Jill Kintner going with the flow and enjoying the laid-back atmosphere of the Ashland Mountain Challenge.
  Jill Kintner going with the flow and enjoying the laid-back atmosphere of the Ashland Mountain Challenge.

Junior racer Elliot Grant racing the Junior Men 13-18 category
  Junior racer Elliot Grant racing the Junior Men 13-18 category

Rosara Joseph has been challenged on many different trails in Oregon by the best riders around and has continued to come out victorious.
  Rosara Joseph has been challenged on many different trails in Oregon by the best riders around and has continued to come out victorious.

Jason Moeschler finished just out of the top 10 this week.
  Jason Moeschler finished just out of the top 10 this week.

Jon Buckell slylin over the g-out.
  Jon Buckell slylin' over the g-out.

Jake Dore took some time away from riding Kirkwood and placed 20th on pro men.
  Jake Dore took some time away from riding Kirkwood and placed 20th in elite men.

Tom Doran Slo2TheBone powered his bike ahead of a bunch of fast names this weekend.
  Tom Doran (Slo2TheBone) powered his bike ahead of a bunch of fast names this weekend.

 36
  Alexander McGuinnis in-between switchbacks

WTB s Marco Osborne blasting out of a corner on his way to an impressive 4th place.
  WTB's Marco Osborne blasting out of a corner on his way to an impressive 4th place.

Abby Hippely came away with 4th in pro women and a nice Yakima hitch rack from the post-race raffle sweet
  Abby Hippely came away with 4th in pro women and a nice Yakima rack from the post-race raffle, sweet!

The top 3 Carolynn Rosara Jill wait while Abby right gets the now-customary beer in a can for the rest of the podium.
  The top 3 (Carolynn, Rosara, Jill) wait while Abby (right) gets the now-customary beer in a can for 'the rest' of the podium.

The ODI Incycle team out out Southern California took the Muscle Milk Challenge this weekend. This is a team competition that pays 250 to the winning team s favorite charity. The overall series winner gets 4 entries to each 2014 OR Enduro race
  The ODI/Incycle team out out Southern California took the Muscle Milk Challenge this weekend. This is a team competition that pays $250 to the winning team's favorite charity. The overall series winner gets 4 entries to each 2014 OR Enduro race!

Women s Pro podium l-r Jennifer Johnson Carolynn Romaine Rosara Joseph Jill Kintner Abby Hippely
  Women's Pro podium (l-r) Jennifer Johnson, Carolynn Romaine, Rosara Joseph, Jill Kintner, Abby Hippely

Men s pro podium l-r Tom Doran Curtis Keene Nathan Riddle Matthew Slaven Marco Osborne
  Men's pro podium (l-r) Tom Doran, Curtis Keene, Nathan Riddle, Matthew Slaven, Marco Osborne

Elite Men results
1 Nathan Riddle 00:27:36
2 Matthew Slaven 00:27:41
3 Curtis Keene 00:27:45
4 Marco Osborne 00:27:45
5 Tom Doran 00:27:51

Elite Women results
1 Rosara Joseph 00:30:40
2 Jill Kintner 00:31:09
3 Carolynn Romaine 00:31:49
4 Abby Hippely 00:32:25
5 Jennifer Johnson 00:32:25

Men's class winners:

Cat 1 19-39 - Jeremiah Newman / Cat 1 40+ - Ian Fitzpatrick
Cat 2 19-39 - Alex Grediagin / Cat 2 40+ - Craig Burnett
Cat 3 Open - Nick Bechtoldt
Junior - Louis Mollet
Master Men 55+ - Robert Mayer

Women's class winners:
Cat 1 Open - Ann Fitzsimmons
Cat 2/3 Women 19-34 Laura Ogden / Cat 2/3 35+ - Stephanie Armesto


www.mikealbright.com
For complete results check out http://obra.org
If you are in Ashland and want to ride contact Bill or Sue at Ashland Mountain Adventures
For more on the Oregon Enduro Series www.oregonenduro.com
Must Read This Week

51 Comments

  • + 59
 If you don't like 29ers, you don't have to ride one. If you don't like goggles and half shells, you don't have to wear them. If you don't like spandex, well, you don't have to wear them...funny how that's the stuff some of you notice. "Oh my gosh, he was wearing baggies with an xc jersey, I can't wait for that fad to end!" Blah blah blah
  • + 2
 A million upvotes to you. Here are my thoughts www.funnyjunk.com/funny_gifs/33165/Who
  • + 5
 Agreed, none of that affects my riding experience so I could careless how anyone else rolls
  • - 13
 So basicaly, if you don't like nazis then just don't become one? Ahaha, I agree with you but every logic has it's hole and I fkng love that fact Big Grin
  • + 4
 Except however 29ers are not trying to commit genocide against an entire race of human beings......so that argument is irrelevant
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Such a great race and such a great vibe! I raced it last year but wasn't able to get up there this year. Wild Bill is a great guy...even gave us a personal shuttle in his truck during course inspection. Also, very cool to see a SLO hommie (Tom) getting some love on PB. Great coverage Mike.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Those Oregon trails look great but I hear dysentery is a real problem.
  • + 4
 ha ha ha. +1 for digging deep in the archives for that reference! Ohhh Oregon Trail... did anyone ever make it?
  • + 2
 'You have reached a a drop. Do you want to:
Huck it
Or

Roll it?'
  • + 2
 You have chosen: "huck it" you hit a tree and puncture a lung. Lose 3 lbs of medical supplies.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I want to see that new Kona. I love the abracadabra concept. I'm excited to see what Kona is rolling out with for Enduro.
  • + 2
 Isn't the Process the "enduro" bike?
  • + 2
 No I think the process is aimed at the all-mountain/mini park bike. The abra had more travel than the process it more stout.
Pics of slaven show a new platform. There are a few google images of part of the bike, but nothing definitive.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I gotta get into SOU for grad school. Then I can ride these trails all the time.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I'm guessing he meant the Specialized Enduro 29 had a 2014 Fox 34? Definitely not a 36 if its a 29er.
  • + 2
 Yeah, it pretty clearly says "34" on the lowers.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Great pics - nice coverage, Mike. Thanks for being there for a great event. It was a hell of a lot of fun - everyone should make time for Ashland next year.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Well that made me homesick! Nice work as always, Bill, Sue, Nate, and Mike Albright!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Yesss! much love for the old speshy enduro, so glad to see these are actually being used now that enduro is more popular than when they were launched, rather than being pushed out by the newer supposedly better bikes!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Goggles were needed for the shuttle rides up to stages 1 & 2. We got dusted big time on the trailer!
  • + 2
 No doubt. A good surgical mask would've been nice too...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I spy three fanny/waist/lumbar packs. Don't call it a come back.
  • + 2
 I've been trying to sort out how to carry just a minimal amount of gear as I can't *quite* wean myself off gear completely. I think that might be the trick as goofy as it may look. A full hydration pack is just a wee bit overkill though there I never did see water available on this course.
  • + 3
 I use a camelbak delaney plus waist pack, which carries one bottle and has a rear pocket and a front belt pocket. I keep chain links, tire boot, and patch kit in the rear pocket and store my multi-tool and phone in the front belt pocket. I carry a second bottle on the bike along with a pump and tube. Works great for up to 3 hours of hard riding and no sweat or weight on my back.
  • + 3
 Its the thing to carry over here for a 3 hour ride. Plus it gives great clearance when going under trees when compared to backpacks.
  • + 1
 Huh. I would not have thought of using a trail runner's waist pack. Good tip! That would also make a lot of sense for me for Whistler. I don't wait my wallet and phone flopping around in my shorts pockets. Plus, Garbo runs without any tools/tubes is asking for a long walk down a mountain.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 alex mcguinnis was racing elite, not the cat 1 who was jeremiah newman. the link to the results is posted cmon guys...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Anyone know what saddle Carolynn Romaine is using in that picture ? Looks comfortable.
  • + 2
 Carolynn is riding the SDG Falcon - Shibuya edition
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sick pix. A few POD's there. Jared Hobbs great huck!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 looks like jill kitners riding a carbon framed range 650b proto eh aaaaaahhwww snap
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dennis Martison my hiro ,, abs legend make my day Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 F*** YEAH TOM!!!
[Reply]
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