WORDS BY THIBAULT – PHOTOS BY JAKE GOSS & THIBAULT
On Sunday morning a procession of competitors filled the parking lot as the sun’s first light illuminated the fog. Regional riders and traveling pros had made to pilgrimage to Q Burke Mountain Bike Park in the pastoral Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for Triple Crown Enduro stop three: The Kingdom Enduro.
Before long many familiar smiling faces could be seen in the crowd. Among the 215 riders were top Triple Crown competitors including local favorite Kimberly Quinlan, Lauren Peterson, tour leader Adam Snyder, Jeff Lenosky, Seamus Powell (back from his Mountain Creek injury), and Kingdom Enduro course builder Knight Ide to name a few. Also present was an awesome showing of our Francophone friends from north of the border. One notable absence was that of Marla Streb, pro women’s winner of the previous two races.
Local MadKats Dylan Conte and Isaac Alliare.
Riders headed up the lift and were greeted with a grand vista. Due to an inversion the clouds hung low in the valley revealing the Vermont mountaintops with peak foliage the color of Fruity Pebbles.
Folks that weren’t used to “Kingdom Time” got a bit antsy when the race was delayed for nearly 40 minutes due to timing issues. Once the flood gates opened and riders were being released every 30 seconds, everybody got their game faces on and it was go time!
Kingdom Enduro course builder Knight Ide.
Poc rider Adam Morse.
Young buck Grayson Brewster.
Stage one saw riders descending through the Bike Park’s flow trails to the lift bottom. It was a blistering short and fast stage that left even the fittest sets of lungs on legs dry heaving.
MadKats Racing/Xprezo rider Dylan Conte.
Once completed riders made an about face to climb back up the shoulder of the mountain to the infamous Dead Moose Abuse; a raucous trail with burly granite boulders sprinkled among muddy roots and displaced loam. Stage two found the DHers in the group in their element… not so much for the spandex 120mm crowd.
The always fashionable Nate Simpson.
Andy Gould of Blue Steel Cyclery made this section look easy.
Evan Chismark navigates the Dead Moose rock gardens.
After the second stage Pros and Ams split paths. Pro competitors headed up a grueling climb on Burke Mountain’s paved auto road. Steep switchbacks lead them to the summit while the amateur competitors headed across the mountain to the mid point of the pro’s descent.
Giant/Mavic rider Jeff Lenosky.
Local Mike Mader.
Andreane Lanthier Nadeau looking strong near the finish.
By the bottom of J-Bar racers were routed back to the base lodge to hit the final wooden step down.
Chris Patton shows the crowd how it’s done.
Iron Maiden fan Jackson Jenkins.
Adam Snyder flies to the finish.
The blue groove.
Cycles Xprezo's frame builder Phil Benoit.
A crowd amassed at the finish line with Long Trail Ales and pulled pork sandwiches in hand, rocking out to a live punk rock soundtrack courtesy of Vermont’s mountain bike house band the CopOuts.
CopOut frontman Jay Knecht.
Once the dust settled the winners were announced and the Giant/Liv Bicycles after party commenced. What a way to finish the summer! So Enduro!
Kingdom Enduro Mens’ Pros:
1) Seamus Powell
2) Franck Kirscher
3) Adam Snyder
Kingdom Enduro Women’s Pros:
1) Andreane Lanthier Nadeau
2) Kimberly Quinlan
3) Lauren Peterson
Triple Crown Enduro Series Pro Men:
1) Adam Snyder
2) Jeff Lenosky
3) Jason Scheiding
Triple Crown Enduro Series Pro Women:
1) Kimberly Quinlin
2) Lauren Peterson
3) Marla Streb (not present)
And your champs: Kim Quinlan and Adam Snyder.
A huge thanks to Q Burke Bike Park and their amazing trail crew for an excellent Triple Crown Enduro finale!
A full list of results can be found here:http://app.jchipusa.com/event/2014-kingdom-enduro/results?category=MALL