The CLIF Enduro East series presented by the Vittoria ESC kicked off in the Green Mountains of Vermont this weekend. The first year Enduro World Series qualifying event and $10,000 cash purse drew top racers from across North America. The CLIF Enduro East crew prepared a series of eight stages between the two venues of Killington Bike Park and Green Mountain Trails, each which catered to a different type of riding and offered something for everyone. Riders would experience a wide variety of conditions and terrain over two days of racing, between pouring rain and shining sun as well as flowy singletrack trails, rock gardens, open mountain descents and buffed bike park berms.
Most racers arrived a day or two early to get some practice runs on the marked stages before race day, which meant a lot of hungry riders at the opening party at Killington Resort's Snowshed Lodge Friday night. Luckily, there was more than enough free food and beer to go around as riders talked trails, bike banter and got ready for a rowdy weekend of racing.
Bikes and beer go hand in hand, so it's only fitting that Vermont's Long Trail Brewing Company hop on board for the most prestigious enduro race the East Coast has ever hosted. Registered riders were given tokens exchangeable for a variety of free beers available from the local brewery, which is located just 20 minutes from Killington. Who doesn't love free beer?
Located about 8 miles from Killington in Pittsfield, Vermont alongside the White River, Riverside Farm would serve as base camp for our first day of racing.
Riverside Farm traditionally hosts weddings but is also conveniently located right next to Green Mountain Trails.
Registration was open until the riders meeting on Saturday morning for latecomers.
They call it the Green Mountain State for a reason.
Riders made their way to the top of the stages in the morning before the rain started for what would prove to be an interesting day of racing.
Green Mountain Trails offers roughly 1,000 feet of vertical riding, over 100 bermed switchbacks and 25 miles of mostly singletrack trails open to the public. It's a true hidden gem of a trail network in the heart of the beautiful state of Vermont.
June is known to be a rainy month in New England, the trails had seen an abundance of precipitation leading up to race day and Saturday was no different with over two inches pouring down hard at times throughout the day. You know it's wet when these guys are hanging around.
Navigating a sea of green.
The top of Stage 2 was switchbacks galore.
Nathan Sterckx diving headfirst into his first win, taking top spot in the Amateur U17 boy's class.
Ed Grano ripping it up on one of the more gnarly parts out of all the stages on Day 1.
Conditions in Vermont were a bit different from what Californian Nicolas Bean is used to but it didn't seem to phase him, sitting in third place after Day 1 and going on to win the U21 men's EWS class.
Lisa Chamberland threading the needle on Stage 3.
Rene Robert was all business this weekend, winning the Amateur men's 17+ class by almost two minutes.
Jesse Livingston getting hub deep on Stage 3, he would go on to take third place for the weekend in the Amateur men's 17+ class.
The climbing transfers really wore riders out as the day went on, it was as much a mental race as it was physical.
Bassill Silver landed himself in second place in a field of 22 riders for the Amateur men's 17+ class for his best enduro race result ever. Congrats Bassill!
A muddy Ziggy Ribetto hauling at the end of Stage 4, he finished in 7th place at the end of Day 1 but got after it on Sunday and jumped up to second in the U21 EWS men's field.
Saturday night the CLIF hosted a rider party at staple Killington dining spot, The Lookout Tavern complete with free BBQ, raffles and you guessed it, more Long Trail beers. Saturday's split times were also displayed on a television, which fueled conversion between riders as they compared experiences from their day at Green Mountain Trails.
After Saturday's torrential rain, the shining sun was a welcomed sight as racers rolled out of bed Sunday morning to tackle four more challenging stages at The Beast, Killington Bike Park.
Shoutout the CLIF for providing free bars, gels and most importantly coffee to racers and spectators all weekend.
In the spirit of Independence Day we kicked off Day 2 with The Star Spangled Banner. The Jimmi Hendrix version, of course.
After Saturday's pedalfest, no one was complaining about the lift serviced transfers or the view at Killington Bike Park.
Day 2 started with Stage 5 on the Ramshead side of the mountain. KHS Factory Racing's Seamus Powell styling it out on the bottom of last year's ProGRT DH course, Goatskull, before stepping up to the second step of the Pro men's EWS podium.
GT Factory Racing's Rachel Strait would finish in second place for the Pro women's EWS class.
40+ men's EWS class winner Ryan Leech managing one of the more rocky sections at the bottom of Stage 5.
Speed Legion Racing's Joe Groff leaning in to one of the many switchbacks at the top of Stage 6.
Did we mention Vermont is beautiful?
Blasting through the remnants of Saturday's soaker.
Rosy Metcalfe, racing for Rocky Mountain and Bicycle Express, managing a rocky section of Stage 7.
Fastline Racing's Jason Scheiding would take 2nd place in a stacked 40+ men's Masters EWS class.
Rocky Mountain Urge bp Rally Team member Peter Ostroski was absolutely flying out there all weekend, securing the lead after Day 1 and never looking back, ending up on the top step of the podium for the Pro men's EWS class when it was all said and done.
Hugh McMackin still styling after a tiring climb on Stage 7.
Lauren Petersen sat in 3rd place after Day 1 and was able to move up a position to land a spot on the podium come Sunday afternoon.
The Yackle brothers drove all the way from Reno, NV to participate in the CLIF Enduro East, Jake took 3rd place in the U21 men's EWS class.
The 8th and final stage featured wide open sections and rock slabs which provided a big mountain feel to the race.
Normally a DH racer, Jordan Newth had no problem letting off the brakes on the steep ski trails of Killington.
Rachel Pageau was down by 10 seconds after Day 1 but reeled it in to take the win on Sunday by just over a minute.
Yeti's Jason Memmelaar looking like he was having a blast out there on the bike, taking 6th place in the EWS Pro men's class.
John Egan rolling in to 5th place in the U21 men's EWS class.
Syd Schulz seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, sending it toward the base area at the bottom of Stage 8.
The end of an exhausting two days of racing in the Vermont woods.
Muddy bike check time with ESC Pro Enduro regular Lauren Petersen
Frame: Pivot Mach 6 carbon, size x-small
Fork: Fox 36 Performance, 55 PSI, 1 spacing token
Rebound 6 clicks from closed
Rear shock: Fox Float X, 145 PSI, 1 volume spacer
Rebound a little slower than middle
Brakes: SRAM Guide Ultimate, Rotors: 180mm F, 160mm R
Shifter and Derailleur: SRAM Eagle
Cranks: SRAM Eagle XX1 170mm
Chain Ring: 34t
Chain Guide: MRP AMG
Wheels: Reynolds carbon 27.5
Hubs: Industry Nine
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 front, 21 PSI, Maxxis High Roller II 2.3 rear, 23 PSI
Saddle: WTB Volt
Seatpost: KS Lev Integra 100mm
Bars: Pivot Phoenix Team Carbon, 740mm long, 20mm rise
Stem: Pivot Phoenix Team Enduro, 50mm
Grips: Ergon GA2
After two days of racing, eight taxing stages and thousands of feet of vertical, it was time to see who would take home the hardware, big checks and prizes.
The future of the sport, Amateur U17 boys: 4th-Carson Beard, 2nd-Matt Driscoll, 1st-Nathan Sterckx, 3rd-Austin Beard, 5th-Jared Kulp (not pictured)
Amateur women's class winner Christsonthy Kerner may be the only one on the podium this weekend but she also recently won the ESC Enduro at Victory Hill with a field of 15. Don't be fooled, this chick is fast!
The Amateur 17+ men's class: 4th-Christopher Fitzgerald, 2nd-Bassill Silver, 1st-Rene Robert, 3rd-Jesse Livingston, 5th-Edward Billet.
Podium teamwork and big smiles from Kelly Ault and Mazie Hayden, winners of the 40+ Masters EWS women's and U21 women's EWS classes respectively.
U21 men's EWS podium: 4th-Colton Drover, 2nd-Ziggy Ribetto, 1st-Nicolas Bean, 3rd-Jake Yackle, 5th-John Egan.
40+ men's Masters EWS class: 4th-B.J. Treglia, 2nd-Jason Scheiding, 1st-Ryan Leech, 3rd-Philip Beard, 5th-Stephen Kincaid.
Women's Pro EWS class: 4th-Porsha Murdock (not pictured), 2nd-Rachel Strait, 1st-Rachel Pageau, 3rd-Lauren Petersen, 5th-Emily Cox.
Men's Pro EWS class: 4th-Jimmy Smith, 2nd-Seamus Powell, 1st-Peter Ostroski, 3rd-Franck Kirscher, 5th-Gavin Vaughan.
Three guy, six checks. Our fastest racers of the weekend: Seamus Powell, Peter Ostroski and Franck Kirscher.
Enjoy your Independence Day and we'll see you at the next CLIF Enduro East stop up north at Victory Hill and Burke Mountain, VT on August 5-6.
Words and photos: Andrew SantoroView Full ResultsClif Enduro East
Aug. 5–6 Burke / Victory, VT
Sept. 9–10 Thunder Mountain, MARegister HereMore Information