Neko Mulally Announces 2019 Downhill Southeast Race Series, Tennessee National Pro GRT & Enduro

Dec 7, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  


Established in 2016, the Downhill Southeast series was created to have an early season race series utilizing the mild climate and technical terrain of the southeast United States to prepare racers for the summer of competition ahead. The initial focus on great race courses and well-run events as the core of the series still apply today.

The series features classic southeast US venues Beech Mountain Resort - host to the 2011/2012 Downhill National Championship, Massanutten Resort which hosted a World Cup in 1997, and Snowshoe Mountain - host of World Cup finals in 2019. All of these are high caliber courses to contest the 2019 Downhill Southeast Series.


The Tennessee National is an evolution of the Windrock Pro GRT. For 2019, Windrock is partnering with the US Open of Mountain Biking to bring a complete weekend of racing involving multiple disciplines. The UCI C1 Downhill race is the headline event and opening round of the Pro Gravity Tour for 2019. Additionally, there will be an enduro race, a best whip contest, and "Grom Bomb" kids race during the 4-day event.

Last year, there was a stacked field of international pro riders and the level should only rise this year as the event is becoming the pre-season race on everyone's calendar. There's no doubt that many top teams will be on hand testing and dialing in their bikes for the year before the World Cup season begins.

Mulally says, "We are pushing the limits of what we can do with the course, making it a proper test track for World Cup riders while also giving amateur riders the chance to race on the same course the same day as the pros."

bigquotesEvents like this are injecting a much-needed energy into the gravity mountain biking scene in America. We have strong riders in the southeast, and with the proper channels in place, more talent is sure to come.

With the talent that showed up last year and the response from those riders, we can safely bet on there being a mini-pre-season World Cup in Oak Ridge, TN this March. Neko Mulally and Sean Leader will be working on dialing in the tracks all winter so it's sure to be a good time!


Tennessee National Pro GRT and Enduro:

- March 8-10 Windrock Bike Park – Oak Ridge, TN


Downhill Southeast Series:

- March 30-31 Windrock Bike Park – Oak Ridge, TN
- April 27-28 Massanutten Resort – Harrisonburg, VA
- May 25-26 Beech Mountain Resort – Beech Mountain, NC
- June 29-30 Snowshoe Mountain – Snowshoe, WV

For more information, check out the Downhill Southeast website.

PC: Sean Leader

Race organizer Neko Mulally styling it up in the mud.



40 Comments

  • + 148
 I honestly think Neko should be in charge of mtb. Like, all of it.
  • + 24
 Top 5 most likable and genuine pro riders would definitely include Neko, McGazza and Chris Akrigg.
  • - 7
flag sngltrkmnd (Dec 7, 2018 at 12:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Rucker10: I agree and additionally nominate CG.
  • + 10
 @sngltrkmnd: there is nothing likable about CG
  • + 3
 I wish he had a trail building show.
  • + 30
 Yeah buddy, stoked for Neko. Carving out his own world in mountain biking. Still bummed I didn't win his bike but I guess with enough time and therapy I'll get over it.
  • + 2
 sounds like its a problem you have to throw money at.. say.. like $6000k
  • + 6
 @denomerdano: 6 million dollars?
  • + 21
 Pretty awesome to see Neko giving back so much to the sport. This will allow so many US riders from that area to compete and maybe just maybe a few will trickle in and make it to the world stage!
  • + 2
 As a South East rider its hard to find races, so having a big name like him come out and facilitate something like this is really amazing!
  • + 10
 So rad to see Neko pushing this!!!
  • + 1
 Man I would kill to see you ride in person! If you are ever in the Southeast again filming say the word and I will have a lift ticket at Beech Mtn Bike Park with your name on it!
  • + 8
 That's a quite a few new venues for the DHSE! Can't wait, sorry to see TTC go too though.
  • + 1
 TTC is a great place, I just don't think they maintain the track enough to keep big events coming back.
  • + 1
 @cmoney23: Someone also bought the trailhead. It took a day of hacking & cleaning before racing but those tracks were awesome.
  • + 1
 @mtbmaniatv: I had heard someone bought the land. I did a enduro race there at the beginning of the year, and rode the new trails. they had just cut then the weekend before, and they were sick! I would make more trips there if I had a way of knowing if they kept them in riding shape.
  • + 2
 In case anyone else is reading this was as clueless as me: TTC Gravity Park (Tennessee Trials Center) is in Sequatchie, Tennessee. 3rd Coast Productions put on an 11 mile Enduro earlier this year.
  • + 3
 Glad to see the dates already being announced as most Southeast racing is not announced till early year. Will say I am surprised not to see Sugar Mt Ski Resort in the line up for the series. I feel it would be best for the Southeast if all resorts get behind the series to help it grow. Tumbs up to Neko ether way!
  • + 0
 We both know sugar and their management far too well to expect them to be part of anything useful anymore
  • + 1
 The owners don't see hosting a race as profitable. The best thing we can do is continue to support the local parks.
  • + 16
 @bizutch: That's a little rich isn't it? They have every right to not put on a race if they don't want to. They did however make a significant investment into trails and lift infrastructure. Support the parks this summer and quit your bitching. I mean this in a nice way, but Jesus man you bitch a lot!
  • + 6
 @Sugarbrad: Races are not profitable on that day. But you and I and every racer out there values a single race at a resort far more than just a bike park with zero races.

Riders and racers ALL value a resort willing to put on a race weekend, elevate the status of the venue in their minds and are more likely to frequent the venue if the value added benefit of a race is added.

It is not bitching when I am stating black and white common sense. I'm in marketing, you're in marketing. There are things businesses do that aren't profitable in the moment but are made up for over time.
Example: DH races at Wolf Laurel the 3 years we had them directly mirrored increased non-peak ski season ticket sales. The GM flatly attributed it to our DH races creating additional media and awareness of the resort itself. They changed nothing about their ad budget...just DH races.
If Sugar wants gravity riders to believe in their new interest in mountain bikers, they do the things that demonstrate they LIKE us. We know they want our money...but do they care about us?
I go to marketing events for my biz all the time and "lose money" chatting and learning about business people in my.area, but that goodwill effort to show I care and am.willing to give of my time freely, it comes back to me in dollars later. I'm 100% right. ????
  • + 2
 @bizutch: Your entitled mentality doesn't apply to their business model. They don't owe you anything extra for purchasing a lift ticket. They do care about their customers very much contrary to your belief. They had a long break from the summer industry and do not see a race as profitable this season. You can whine about it all you want but for them to host a race it will take a solid few seasons of customer growth during normal operations. Again, if you want to see them host a race come up and support the parks and bring some friends.

Anyway....Thanks Neko and we are super honored to host your series!
  • + 1
 @Sugarbrad: Hah. You mad? ;-)

Did I say the words "me" "me" "me"?
Nope.

I will turn the conversation to a positive that Neko & crew understand about what makes a successful racing formula.
Organizers and venues committing early to SCHEDULED DATES MONTHS IN ADVANCE!!! Kick arse @seanleader & @nekomullaly
  • + 1
 @Sugarbrad: And let me be perfectly frank. That resort screwed me, Jeremy, Matt, Steven, Brady, Mueller,,Randy, motomike and roughly another half dozen buddies. We gave them free labor, free tools, materials, layout and design for a DH National course and busted our butts to do it. What we did would have cost 5 figures from one of the companies that ironically a few of the guys who helped eventually went on to start and run.
They didn't give ANY of us a single free lift ticket, a single dollar out of the coffers and they get to reap the benefits of that work and not once even so much as an email of thanks from the management or ownership.

I am not ENTITLED to anything. I am a DUMBASS for letting them use our enthusiasm and effort freely to their gain!

Don't throw me under the bus brother. You and me should have zero beef.
  • + 2
 @bizutch: Oh come off it lol. That's nowhere near what actually happened. You do say the words "me" "me" me"...A lot lol. Usually it's disguised as your typical sarcastic "constructive criticism" about how one resort should be doing this...they should be running the races this way...they should be running timing this way...blah blah. You always seem to have a better way of doing things rather than being satisfied with the work others are putting in. Calling you out on your BS isn't throwing you under the bus chief, check your reality. You are right, I have zero beef with you. Build your bridges don't burn them. Happy to discuss further in person.
  • + 4
 Big ups to Yall! Neko Mulally and Sean Leader and Oskar Blues and YT
  • + 3
 if you have not ridden at Windrock Bike Park yet you are missing out!!!!!
  • + 4
 Link to the Enduro race?
  • + 3
 Tennessee gloves, want!
  • + 3
 HandUp Gloves!
  • + 2
 Bailey?
  • + 1
 Windrock Baddest Most RAW DH Trails existing
  • + 1
 An extra ten pounds of mud on there......
  • + 1
 So much yes! Can't wait.
  • + 1
 better than ever!!!
  • + 1
 Awesome.
  • + 0
 BRAAAAAAAAAP!!!

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