Race Report and Video: Eastern States Cup Showdown Round 2 - Thunder Mountain

Jun 5, 2018
by Eastern States Cup  


Views: 1,102    Faves: 4    Comments: 1


The second Box Components Showdown weekend of 2018 brought over 425 racers to to Thunder Mountain in western Massachusetts for one of the East's largest MTB race events in a long time. With the massive amount of racers, it felt like the old NORBA National days. Thunder Mountain Bike Park was built just three years ago at Berkshire East Ski Area, Thunder is currently the only bike park in the state and has quickly become a choice destination for riders in the northeast. Featuring everything from well-groomed jump trails to technical steeps to flowing singletrack, Thunder truly has something for everyone, which makes it the perfect venue for both MAXXIS ESC Downhill and Enduro races this weekend. Plus they just opened for the season last weekend so the place is dialed to perfection, the stage was set for a fantastic weekend of racing.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
The Berkshires offer some of the best views in the Commonwealth, New England sure is beautiful this time of year.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Mountain biking isn't the only way to spend your time at Berkshire East, they offer zip line canopy tours, an aerial adventure park, whitewater rafting as well as a mountain coaster.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
With sunny weather and comfortable temperatures on tap this weekend, racers and spectators alike were eager to get out and hit the trails at Thunder.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
You never know who you'll see trackside at Thunder. They already have a great jump trail named Gronk, could their next trail be named G.O.A.T.?


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Enduro racers kicked off their race day nice and early with a rude awakening from Billy Badger. Steve Day competed in both races this weekend, placing seventh in Enduro and second in DH for the 30-39 Men.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Our fastest racers from each class on Stage 1 were awarded with the Flat Tire Defender Super Stage award. Phil Arteese and Riley Miller took home new rim inserts from FTD for being the fastest amateurs, which will come in handy when we return to Thunder for MAXXIS ESC Enduro Finals in October.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Even though we're at a lift-accessed bike park, we had to throw some climbing in the mix to make it a true Enduro race. Racers tackled our FOX Seatpost Climbers Challenge on the way to Stage 2, here are our strongest pedalers including fastest amateur Peter Hegman who took home a FOX Transfer dropper post for his efforts.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Stage 2 brought racers to the backside of the mountain to Hawks Brook Trail, welcomed by plenty of fresh loam and our shortest stage of the day which some finished in under three minutes.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
After a short climb riders were presented with the marathon known as Stage 3, which stretched beyond the bike park's boundary. Renegade Racing's Liam Nichols finished the longest stage of the day in 10:48 to take second place for the U15 Boys.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Following Stage 3's pedal fest most racers took a break, grabbed a snack and prepared for a technical and challenging Stage 4 on Wine Tree. Danny's Cycles rider David Kahn made quick work of this large rock feature on his way to securing second place for the 15-20 year old men.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
One final trip up the lift and one more trip down Thunder Mountain, this time on Juggernaut for Stage 5. NBX Bicycles' Max Beaupre just joined the Pro Men's field but he's already racking up podium results, finishing fourth overall on the weekend with a stage win to boot.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Our fastest racers from Stage 5 with their Alex Rims Super Stage prizes, including our fastest amateurs Luke Hursh and Riley Miller.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Despite not winning any stages, Kimberley Quinlan was able to take second place for the Pro Women. Consistency is key, kids!


ESC Showdown 2 2018
When the dust settled Sunday, Devinci Development Racing's Rachel Pageau would top the Pro Women by over a minute, winning four out of five stages after taking a hard slam on Stage 4. "That crash didn't affect my racing too much, I managed to finish Stage 4 without losing too much time and completed Stage 5 even though I was having trouble with my vision and focus."


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Pro Women from left: 4th - Corinne Prevot, 2nd - Kimberley Quinlan, 1st - Rachel Pageau, 3rd - Alisha Darin, 5th - Clarissa Finks


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Devinci Cycles racer Adam Robbins continues to maintain his consistency this season, winning two stages on his way to take second place in the Pro Men's field and extending his lead in the overall points battle.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Franck Kirscher, racing for Transition Bikes, had three stage wins and would top the Pro Men by 17 seconds. "It was my first race of the season after a long winter of training, the goal was to ride smooth, pick some good lines and have fun. I guess it worked out ok! I really like the tracks here, it's raw, really technical with multiple line choices."


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Pro Men from left: 4th - Max Beaupre, 2nd - Adam Robbins, 1st - Franck Kirscher, 3rd - Emmett Avery, 5th - Saben Rossi


ESC Showdown 2 2018
There's no better way to unwind after a full day of riding than a nice soak in the Deerfield River, which runs along the base of the mountain.


Bike Check

Before we get into DH racing, let's check out Canadian phenom Tristan Lemire's Kona steed. He started off the season strong by winning our first DH at Plattekill followed by a Canadian Cup at Mont Tremblant and it seems he's just getting started, winning our Junior Expert class this weekend with a time that would have put him in the top 15 for the Pro Men.


ESC Showdown 2 2018

Rider height: 5' 9" weight: 120 lbs.
Frame: Kona Operator (factory team colorway) size large
Fork: RockShox boXXer DebonAir, 125 PSI, 2 spacing tokens
Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe RC3, 115 PSI
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Rotors: SRAM Code RSC 200mm front and rear
Shifter & derailleur: SRAM XO1, 7-speed cassette
Cranks: SRAM XO1, 165mm
Chainring: SRAM XO1 36t
Chainguide: MRP G4
Wheels: Novatec Demon 27.5
Front tire: MAXXIS Minion DHF, 28 PSI, Rear: MAXXIS Minion DHR, 29 PSI
Saddle: Kore Durox
Seatpost: Aerox K1 Kore
Bars: Kore OCD M35, 760 wide, 20mm rise
Stem: Kore V2 M35
Grips: ODI Elite Flow
Pedals: HT X2 DH


ESC Showdown 2 2018
The Schist is the tried and true DH race course at Thunder, starting off with an abrupt rock to rock launch into a flat, grassy left hander. Many riders chose to showboat this feature but Avi Erlich kept it low and fast to win the 20-29 Expert class.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Aaron Perry works his way through a sea of slick, polished roots to take second place for the 30-44 year old men's class.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
The Schist is unforgiving the whole way down the mountain, where there's not roots there's rocks. Deanna Bartlett handled it smoothly and won the Amateur Women's class by over 30 seconds.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
FLY Racing Speed Zone winners from each class including our fastest amateurs of the day, Deanna Bartlett and Stephen Tally.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Hot off her second place finish at the Mountain Creek ProGRT, Mazie Hayden locked down another one at Thunder Mountain after clocking the fastest time for the Pro Women in Split 1.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Rachel Pageau continues to represent for Canada, besting the Pro Women by over three seconds this weekend. After a tough crash in the Enduro she put down what she called a conservative run to take the win. "I absolutely love the tracks at Thunder, both Enduro and Downhilll are some of my favorite trails and it was a blast this weekend even if I went home with a little sour note!"


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Pro Women from left: 4th - Riley Weidman, 2nd - Mazie Hayden, 1st - Rachel Pageau, 3rd - Maxine Bergeron, 5th - Kristin Lenart


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Defiant Racing's Isaac Allaire is on it this season, winning our first race at Plattekill and finishing just .066 of a second off the win this weekend. He's sure to find that top step again soon.


ESC Showdown 2 2018
It was Canadian Benjamin Després-Morin leading the way for the Pro Men at Thunder Mountain. "My weekend went really well and the track got faster on Sunday because it dried out. Stoked to take the win on that short and sweet course, which was similar to my local trails in Bromont."


ESC Showdown 2 2018
Pro Men from left: 4th - Mauricio Estrada, 2nd - Isaac Allaire, 1st - Benjamin Després-Morin, 3rd - Jordan Daigle, 5th - Dylan Conte


ESC Showdown 2 2018
What a weekend of exciting racing and finally some beautiful weather, we hope you all had as much fun as we did. In two weeks we'll be in Pennsylvania for our third Box Components Showdown at Blue Mountain Bike Park June 17th, see you there!


Words and photos: Andrew Santoro
Video: Jason Scheiding


Full Enduro Results
Full DH Results
Easternstatescup.com


2018 MAXXIS ESC SCHEDULE

ENDURO
April 22 Glen Park, PA
May 6 Plattekill, NY
May 20 Binghamton, NY
June 3 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 17 Blue Mountain, PA
July 15 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 12 Victory Hill, VT
Aug 26 Mountain Creek, NJ
Sept 23 Killington, VT
Sept 30 Wilmington, NY
Oct 21 Thunder Mountain, MA Finals

DOWNHILL
May 6 Plattekill, NY
June 3 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 17 Blue Mountain, PA
July 15 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 19 Windham, NY
Aug 26 Mountain Creek, NJ
Sept 23 Killington, VT
Oct 14 Mount Snow, VT Finals

BOX SHOWDOWNS - DH and Enduro on the same day
May 6 Plattekill, NY
June 3 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 17 Blue Mountain, PA
July 15 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 26 Mountain Creek
Sept 23 Killington, VT

CLIF ENDURO EAST presented by MAXXIS ESC
July 1 Mountain Creek, NJ - EWS Qualifier
July 29 Thunder Mountain, MA - EWS Qualifier
Sept 16 Victory Hill / Burke Mountain - EWS North American Continental Championships FINALS

CLIF ENDURO LITE presented by Maxxis ESC
July 8 Burke Mountain - Beginner Enduro Racers - Families - Kids - Fun!


ESC Showdown 2 2018



15 Comments

  • 9 0
 That last photo is a perfect image to describe the weekend! Great job ESC!
  • 5 0
 This was a tough one – need to get in shape for Blue Mountain! As always, perfectly run races by the ESC crew. Looking forward to the Enduro finals in Thunder later this year :-)
  • 4 0
 That was rowdy and fun. Thanks for another great ESC event!
  • 1 0
 I am still smiling like a little kid Smile this was my first enduro race and definitely not my last. A big thumbs up to the entire ESC and Thunder crew. Looking for to the next race!
  • 3 0
 Was really hoping to hear some AC/DC in the highlight reel
  • 3 0
 Wish every ride day had weather like Sunday!
  • 2 0
 Those 5 Enduro stages were the perfect mix of tech, flow and gnar. Thunder Mtn offers up a true Enduro experience
  • 2 0
 Finally, a rain free weekend of racing!!!
  • 2 2
 Spent more time in the lift line and on the lift than actually riding, and the dh timing system had issues. Weather was great though!
  • 2 1
 That was my issue. Went to plattekill and could only take the course in sections
  • 2 2
 That is just a tautology, not due to the event itself. One can go to thunder and be the only one there and still spend more time on the lifts than riding, unless riding really slowly. Given there were 425+racers there plus the general public, I think George, Chris and crew handled everything smoothly and put on a great event. Looking forward to the next one!
  • 1 0
 Great weekend and fantastic racing! Awesome work by racers, George, and crew!
  • 2 0
 Awesome race
  • 2 0
 So much fun. Keep it up.

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