The second round of the 2016 California Enduro Series took place at the Battle Born Enduro in Reno, Nevada. With 350 riders registered and nearly everyone showing up, the battle was bound to be intense through every age class and category from the beginner to pro categories. We hope this gives you a great recap of the action we hope you will be a part of next year.
We began the weekend, arriving Thursday night.
The host hotel, Whitney Peak, sits adjacent to the famous downtown Reno sign. And yes, that is a 16-story rock wall up the side of the hotel.
Stan Jorgensen walking his two Scott bikes up to the room at Whitney Peak. The hotel was totally on board with bikes, allowing riders to unload them at the front door and take them up to the rooms. They were great hosts for the 2016 Battleborn Enduro. After a great night's sleep, due in large part to the hotel being the only one in Reno that does not allow smoking and has no casino, we headed up to Peavine Mountain to see who was up for Friday practice.
Many groups were found early Friday during practice, trying to beat the heat. Saturday's race day would see a 12-degree temp drop, making conditions ideal for those who prefer cooler race runs.
We dropped in on stage one and found the berms were a little loose, but the stage was great overall, with a mix of some tight turns, a couple of rocks and a lot of green landscapes.
The man himself, Erik Saunders of VP Components, shredding during practice on stage two. We are proud to have VP supporting the California Enduro Series again in 2016. Friday morning was an early day. We were up at 5:45 am to get breakfast and head to the venue to greet racers as they arrived.
A couple of riders signing waivers the morning of the race. Package pick up was busy Saturday morning.
A few riders fueling up on Clif Bar products. Clif is a big supporter of the California Enduro Series.
CES Director Steve Gemelos, front left, and Battle Born Enduro Race Director Kevin Joell, front right, pose with the Sport/Beginner group. Sport/Beginner would run a 21-mile course with 3700' of elevation gain over four stages while the Pro and Expert participants would do six additional miles over two additional stages with an added 900' of elevation.
Shortly after the start of the Sport/Beginner group the Pro/Expert riders headed up to their start at stage five. A sort of shotgun start was used this year in an attempt to alleviate the bunching up of riders at the start of stage one, which is what many riders encountered last year. The shotgun start was much more efficient. We got to Pro/Expert start just in time to watch a few of the pros hit the famous rocks and waterfall drops that are all over stage five.
Ryan Gardner, Norcal Cooperative team rider, shredding on stage five. He would finish on the top step in the Pro Men Category, by a gap of just 0.39 seconds.
The winner of the Pro Women category, Amy Morrison, riding for Marin Rabobank, navigating the waterfall on stage five with downtown Reno in the backdrop.
After spectating a bit on stage five, I jumped on the bike and rode up to stage two where some of the Sport/Beginners were still coming through the finish.
This Grom was ripping down the bottom section of two.
It didn't take long for the pro riders to catch up to us on stage two.
Derek Teel of the Norcal Cooperative team pedals through the green landscapes of Battle Born. He would finish in 5th place in the Pro Men category.
Stage Three would be next for everyone.
Kyle Warner, Factory Marin, leans it over on stage three with the snow capped mountains of Tahoe in the background. After racing in the first two EWS rounds, Kyle returned home and will participate in more events here in the states versus abroad.
The final run, stage four was challenging with some rocks, jumps, ruts, and berms. It had a good mix of everything to test the racers, who had already seen plenty of hard effort earlier in the day.
Doug Thayer squashing a little jump at the top of stage four. Doug would finish 3rd on the day.
When the racing action was done for the day, riders had a nice venue to relax at.
Pouring two at a time, participants received a drink and meal ticket with their entry.
Enjoying some recovery food after a long day in the saddle.
Men's Pro Podium - 1st Place: Ryan Gardner 23:55.48, 2nd Place: Evan Geankopolis 23:55.87, 3rd Place: Doug Thayer 24:03.39, 4th Place: Kyle Warner 24:11.22, 5th Place: Derek Teel 24:29.54