Four Days of Action at Fontana City Nationals

Apr 4, 2016
by Scott McClain  
The Pro Gold Fontana City National Presented by Ride Biker Alliance and Southridge USA brought four days of racing in three disciplines, XC, DH and Enduro. The weekend started on Thursday with practice for the first round of the California Enduro Series race which would be held Friday. Even though there were plenty of complaints regarding the timeline of the event, there were still 300+ riders with 12 miles and 1800' of climbing over 4 stages.

The California Enduro Series held it s first round at the Fontana National event on Friday.
  Steven Gemelos, the director of the California Enduro Series, greets us as we arrive Thursday.


Evan Geankopolis Team Rabobank Marin was the winner for the Pro Men category of the Enduro race Friday.
  Evan Geankopolis, Team Rabobank / Marin, was the winner for the Pro Men category of the Enduro race Friday. Expect to see a detailed article regarding the Enduro Event soon!

The next event on the weekend was the Pro Women's XC event Saturday. The event draws International Competitors. We found riders from Japan, Tawain, Quebec, Switzerland and of course, the U.S.

The Women s Pro XC start was exciting. The C3 UCI points rating brought out international competition. In short the C3 races are just a few levels below a World Cup level event. Next weeks race at Bonelli Park in San Dimas is an even higher level race.
  The Women's Pro XC start was exciting, with several big names in the XC world in attendance for the C3 UCI Level Race. In short the C3 races are just a few levels below a World Cup.

Larissa pumped on the win as she finishes with no one in sight behind her. It would end up being a margin of over two minutes to 2nd place. Truly dominating -
  Larissa pumped on the win as she finishes with no one in sight behind her. It would end up being a margin of over two minutes to 2nd place. Truly dominating.


Larissa Connors ecstatic about what many fans would claim was the biggest win of her career thus far.
  Larissa Connors, ecstatic about what many fans would claim was the biggest win of her career thus far.

Immediately after the Pro Women's race the Pro Men took to the dry dusty course.

Todd Wells Focusing with his eyes on the prize. He would finish 4th on the day in the Pro XC Category.
  Todd Wells, Focusing with his eyes on the prize prior to the start. He would finish 4th on the day in the Pro XC Category.

The start of the Men s Pro XC race saw fans lined up and the racers bunched up. Gagne on the left of the photo would stay at the front the entire race.
  The start of the Men's Pro XC race saw fans lined up and the racers bunched up. Gagne, on the left of the photo would stay at the front the entire race.

Gagne leading the pack of three on the third lap with just split seconds between them.
  Gagne leading the pack of three frontrunners on the third lap with just split seconds between them.

Raphael Gagne finishing 6 laps with a margin of just over ten seconds. Gagne a resident of Quebec lives about 30 minutes from Mount Sainte-Anne but rarely trains in that area as he says he has several great training areas right out his back door. He is slated for several international events but his next major XC race will be just down the highway at the National event in San Dimas CA next weekend.

Raphael Gagne, finishing 6 laps with a margin of just over ten seconds. Gagne a resident of Quebec, lives about 30 minutes from Mount Sainte-Anne but rarely trains in that area as he says he has several great training areas right out his back door. He is slated for several international events, but his next major XC race will be just down the highway at the National event in San Dimas CA next weekend.

Champagne Showers were in order for both XC Pro Podiums. No Cameras were harmed in the filming of these podium scenes.

Men s Pro XC Podium - 1st place Rapheal Gagne 01 33 28.730 2nd place Nicola Rohrbach 01 33 38.915 3rd place Derek Zandstra 01 34 12.264 4th place Todd Wells 01 37 25.814 5th place Cameron Jette 01 38 19.784

Men's Pro XC Podium - 1st place: Rapheal Gagne 01:33:28.730, 2nd place: Nicola Rohrbach 01:33:38.915, 3rd place: Derek Zandstra 01:34:12.264, 4th place: Todd Wells 01:37:25.814, 5th place: Cameron Jette 01:38:19.784.

Woman s Pro XC Podium - 1st place Larissa Connors 01 27 51.578 2nd place Georgia Gould 01 30 04.009 3rd place Catharine Pendrel 01 31 16.651 4th place Lea Davison 01 31 56.048 5th place Kate Courtney 01 34 13.410

Women's Pro XC Podium - 1st place: Larissa Connors 01:27:51.578, 2nd place: Georgia Gould 01:30:04.009, 3rd place: Catharine Pendrel 01:31:16.651, 4th place: Lea Davison 01:31:56.048, 5th place: Kate Courtney 01:34:13.410.

After the Pro XC events we walked the scene around the venue to see what people were up to.

Pro Gold was the presenting sponsor for the National Event held in Fontana this weekend.
  Pro Gold was the presenting sponsor for the National Event held in Fontana this weekend.

With so many events going on BBQ s were fired up every where to feed hundreds of riders during the 4 day event.
  With so many events going on, BBQ's were fired up every where to feed hundreds of riders during the 4 day event.

Roger from Kenda hanging out with the tech crew from Shimano.
  Roger from Kenda hanging out with the tech crew from Shimano.

It didn't take long to figure out that many of the attendees were out on the DH course practicing. The format was such that the Pro / Expert racers practiced separately from the Sport / Beginner racers. We had shot photos of the Pro Practice that morning and while there didn't seem to be a big turn out for practice it seemed the Sport / Beginner racers were out on course for their afternoon practice session.

Sunday, held the final events of the weekend. Short on staff, I chose to stick to the DH event action, even though there were Pro XC Short Course races going on, we were partial to the Pro DH competition, so we jumped in the van to head up.

Shuttle runs are the best
  Shuttle runs are the best.

Cole Picchiottino hanging out before his race run.
  Cole Picchiottino, Trek Testing Team, hanging out before his race run.

Joe Picchiottino doing the same thing Both Picchiottino men would finish on the podium.
  Joe Picchiottino, Cole's Uncle, doing the same thing! Both Picchiottino men would finish on the podium.

Another great turn out for the DH event during the Fontana National Weekend.
  Another great turn out for the DH event during the Fontana National Weekend.

Crowds were in full effect for the National in Fontana. There were people all over the DH course spectating and enjoying the show put on by riders of all levels.
  Crowds were in full affect for the National in Fontana. There were people all over the DH course spectating and enjoying the show put on by riders of all levels.

Steven Walton looked fast and smooth during morning practice but would fall short of the 1st place finish he was looking for before heading to France for the World Cup.
  Steven Walton, looked fast and smooth during morning practice, but would fall short of the 1st place finish he was looking for, before heading to France for the World Cup.

Jacob Jordan on his way to a win this weekend a belated birthday gift to himself.
  Jacob Jordan on his way to a win this weekend in Jr. Expert, a belated birthday gift to himself.

Charlie Harrison the winner of the overall Winter Series was screaming fast however he would finish in 3rd behind Binggeli and Schroeder.
  Charlie Harrison, the winner of the overall Winter Series, was screaming fast, however he would finish in 3rd behind Binggeli, and Schroeder.

Logan Binggeli showing the crowd what slaying a corner looks like.
  Logan Binggeli showing the crowd what slaying a corner looks like.

Jr. Expert Podium - 1st place Jacob Jordan 02 07.69 2nd place Steven Walton 02 10.94 3rd place Andras Simon 02 13.30 4th place Trevor Boldi 02 20.65 5th place Dylan Gay 02 20.67

Jr. Expert Podium - 1st place: Jacob Jordan 02:07.69, 2nd place: Steven Walton 02:10.94, 3rd place: Andras Simon 02:13.30, 4th place: Trevor Boldi 02:20.65, 5th place: Dylan Gay 02:20.67

Vet Pro Podium - 1st place Chad Hubbard 02 16.85 2nd place Joe Picchiottino 02 17.11 3rd place Rich Houseman 02 21.00 4th place Todd Kobayashi 02 34.14 5th place Vahe Aivazian 02 35.06

Vet Pro Podium - 1st place: Chad Hubbard 02:16.85, 2nd place: Joe Picchiottino 02:17.11, 3rd place: Rich Houseman 02:21.00, 4th place: Todd Kobayashi 02:34.14, 5th place: Vahe Aivazian 02:35.06

Women s Pro Podium - 1st place Samantha Kingshill 02 30.22 2nd place Janea Perry 02 50.11 3rd place Christina Hirst 03 11.95

Women's Pro Podium - 1st place: Samantha Kingshill 02:30.22, 2nd place: Janea Perry 02:50.11, 3rd place: Christina Hirst 03:11.95

Men s Pro Podium - 1st place Logan Binggeli 02 02.17 2nd place Jason Schroeder 02 06.15 3rd place Charlie Harrison 02 06.15 4th place Cole Picchiottino 02 10.61 5th place Christian Gonzalez 02 12.60

Men's Pro Podium - 1st place: Logan Binggeli 02:02.17, 2nd place: Jason Schroeder 02:06.15, 3rd place: Charlie Harrison 02:06.15, 4th place: Cole Picchiottino 02:10.61, 5th place: Christian Gonzalez 02:12.60

My final photo for the weekend - remember...

It s not the size of the dog in the fight it s the size of the fight in the dog.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight it's the size of the fight in the dog. Keep it Pinned Pinkbikers!


MENTIONS: @calledtocreation / @calienduro




32 Comments

  • 12 4
 Big house racing vet pro , WTF? Houseman could school most of the young guys in pro and podium , I tell you what.
  • 14 6
 The food was looking good but scrub down that grill once and a while bro.
  • 6 5
 That thing was a grill? Looks more like a 1920's sewer grate from NYC that was reclaimed out of the ocean.

Scrub those barnacles off ya mangy swabs!
  • 15 3
 Scrub a grill!?!? Are you mad!?!? That's where all the flavor comes from!!!
  • 1 12
flag fracasnoxteam (Apr 4, 2016 at 13:50) (Below Threshold)
 @AZRyder: and cancer
  • 3 0
 It's called a seasoned grill! not a dirty grill..
  • 6 2
 That grill could use some love....
  • 2 0
 @bighouse screwing up those podium builders stagger height design and hard work . Practically moved into 1st place just standing there.
  • 1 0
 @housemanracing I mean.
  • 3 1
 Plenty of complaints from enduro racers...what else is new? Haha congrats Christine
  • 3 1
 There was a redonkulous amount of road pedalling/climbing within the stages and the entirety of the race was like 9 miles.
  • 3 2
 @Jimmy0: ces held the race there because of the fontana hype factor, not the quality of riding.
  • 3 4
 @Jimmy0: I rest my case
  • 2 1
 Yeah, the course design was not great. Lots of better trail options they could have used.
  • 2 1
 @zutroy: i agree. I'm determined to complain less this year than last, but i thought a fontana enduro could have been pretty fun. i had lots of time to think about course alternatives while trying to finish stage 1
  • 2 6
flag mrgonzo (Apr 4, 2016 at 19:42) (Below Threshold)
 You get to live and enjoy your hobby/ lifestyle in a beautiful place, and have the income, time and health to enjoy an incredible sport and you complain because you have to ride up a hill? Feel free to race downhill, chalk it up to lesson learned and not race Fontana, organize your own race or take up golf but complaining isn't part of mountain biking
  • 5 0
 @mrgonzo: I have organized races, and I am tremendously grateful for the time, funds, and health I have that allow me to race my bike at this point in my life. Unfortunately those things are all finite, so when I feel like I misinvested those resources I take it seriously.
I had a great time at Fontana, all the volunteers did a really good job, that new steep section of trail on stage 4 was wicked fun, but a lot of the in-stage pedalling could have been easily reduced.
I think weve all complained once or twice on a climb before
  • 2 0
 mrgonzo, "complaining isn't part of mountain biking..."? You're clearly new to Pinkbike. As someone who has worked on dozens of events and put in thousands of hours building trail, I would always welcome criticism from those who paid to ride. Good on Fontana, good on CES for putting on the event. Your point of view that their efforts makes them critique-proof is silly.
  • 2 0
 @codypup: voicing a critique without offering a solution is complaining. It's the lack of a solution that I take issue with. Have fun out there dudes
  • 4 0
 Well done Larissa.
  • 2 1
 @Dhmiket he raced pro BMX when I was racing Expert 17yrs .......... back in the days................
  • 3 0
 Looking Fast Shroeder!!
  • 2 1
 dang Scott i thought i was going to log on here and see my awesome modeling picture with the C130 from Saturdays practice.
  • 3 0
 LOL.. I finished with 4300 photos from the weekend (all 4 days) I totally forgot about that shot. If I can go back and find it I will send it to you. PM me your email address.
  • 4 3
 Gwin, Worldcups. Binggeli, Localcups.
  • 1 1
 I figured there would've been at least one comment here about Larissa... You're coming up in the world PB'ers.
  • 1 3
 Uhhhm, don't mean to be THAT guy, but shouldn't I be seeing Gwin somewhere, or did I miss something?
  • 10 2
 hes got more important shit to do
  • 3 1
 Gwin moved to France for the 1st WC
  • 29 1
 Nah he's still waiting for his bike to come in the mail
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