Words by Michele Charboneau
Photos by Scott McClain
The California Enduro Series
struck it rich in Gold Country with the addition of the brand new Mammoth Bar Enduro which kicked off the series’ 2017 season. Produced by The Hub
and Total Body Fitness
, the sold-out May 6 event delivered a wealth of prime riding and camaraderie in the Auburn hills.
420 riders took on a 16-mile course featuring 3,100 feet of climbing and four timed stages on trails that varied from loose and flowy to exposed and rocky to lung-burning pedally at Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA). Fortune smiled on the Mammoth Bar Enduro when Mother Nature provided excellent weather for the event. Warm temps and full sun increased the sweat factor for Friday practice, but race day dawned to cooler temps and plenty of cloud cover – perfect for racing.
Early season fitness was a must for this event, as riders faced punchy climbs that gave everyone’s lungs and legs a good beating. Ace handling skills were in order, as well, with the final two stages offering up technical challenges that demanded riders to be focused and nimble. After giving the course all they had, racers converged at the Mammoth Bar OHV park to enjoy complimentary BBQ, pasta, and libations while waiting for results and podium. Million dollar smiles witnessed throughout the venue testify to an all-around stellar day racing bikes with friends. And isn’t that what enduro is all about?
View full race results here
Tank tops and timing chip bracelets. Race attire on point.
These fancy dongles are the wrist-worn chips of the new timing system (the same system as that used by EWS) purchased by CES.
Amy Morrison (Marin) looking calm as she powers through the pedally sections of the course. She would take first place on her home trails, winning by thirty-nine seconds. Being on home turf didn’t make the race any easier for the avid racer, though. Morrison explains, “Everyone expects you to win, which makes it more stressful. And it was a pedally course, which I worried my off-season training wasn’t strong enough for, but it worked okay for me. It was a fun day and I did come out with the win so that was exciting!”
Tim Krentz rails the turns on Stage 4’s switchbacks. Krentz powered on to the top step of the pro men’s podium.
Mike Lee game facing at the top of Stage 3.
So much green on this course. Some plants were friendly.
Others, not so much. Huge shout out to Tecnu for helping us guard against the not-so-friendly plant variety.
Essence Barton brought her A game, right out of the gate. Here she passes a fellow pro rider on the first stage of the day. Barton would go on to take third place.
The Marin team had a strong showing with Evan Geankoplis, shown here, taking third place in pro men. Three other Marin team riders – Amy Morrison, Cory Sullivan, and Janea Perry – would step up to the podium at the end of the day.
Racing sweet singletrack along the American river is not a bad way to spend the day.
This ripper is the real deal. Dillon Santos (Ibis) took second place pro men by just over three seconds.
Trail Head Racing made a strong showing for the team competition. Here they lead out the climb on Stage 2.
"Let's Get Weird" and "Send it" in Stage 4’s heckle zone as Steven Nadaski of The Path Bike Shop race team screams by.
Float like a butterfly ... unless you're taking a break like this guy.
Event sponsors were out in force, including Trek and Intense who attended race weekend with their demo fleets.
Michael David Winery supplied the wine for the podium, while Cranked Naturals supplied the hydration at aid stations.
CES races are family-friendly. It’s great to see the young ‘uns who come to cheer for their parents, as well as those who get out there and race!
Riders gather around the timing tent to see how they finished on the day.
Essence Barton enjoys a complimentary post-race massage.
Getting some chow and trading race stories. Good times indeed.
Austin Smith, stoked to win a FOX fork. Big thanks to FOX for donating 2018 forks to be raffled at each CES event of the year.
Erik Saunders (Full Factory Saunders Racing) rocking his fresh new Fly Racing kit while enjoying post-race BBQ and pasta. Saunders, one of CES’ four co-founders, reflected on the series’ fifth year anniversary: “I’m just realizing that this is year five … it doesn’t seem like it at all. The series is growing so quickly and we are adding so much to our production capabilities that it feels like a brand new endeavour every year. Each year builds on the last so we haven’t had a moment to coast. I’m excited for all the ideas not yet implemented, and am looking forward to the next five years!”
Are you race ready? Here, Trail Works’ Brian Astell shows some line options for one of the course’s many water crossings. A new addition to the series, the Trail Works pre-ride will be available to participants before every race. Astell recalls, “I had an awesome time leading the pre-race guided ride at the Mammoth Bar Enduro. We sessioned difficult sections on the course which helped riders take on sections they normally would have walked. My main objective this year is to help as many people as possible with their riding. Whether training, nutrition info, or riding technique, that’s what I’m here for.” For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org]email@example.com.
Pro women podium: Rachel Anders finished 5th, Zephyr Sylvester in 4th, Essence Baron in 3rd, Janea Perry in 2nd, and Amy Morrison taking the top spot.
Pro men podium: Ryan Gardner took 5th, Cory Sullivan in 4th, Evan Geankopolis in 3rd, Dillon Santos in 2nd, and Tim Krentz finishing 1st.
About California Enduro Series
CES is a for riders, by riders non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting world-class enduro events that everyone from amateur to pro can enjoy, at a geographically diverse range of venues. The series is renowned for fostering an exceptional sense of community, and encourages its participants to be involved in its planning.
The series is grateful for the support of VP Components
, Clif Bar
, Kali Protectives
, Michael David Winery
, Cranked Naturals
, Kenda Tires
, Adventure Sports Journal
, Mike's Bikes
, ESI Grips
, and Trail Works
. Contact CES
for information on sponsoring the 2017 series.
Check out the 2017 schedule and learn more about the series at californiaenduroseries.com