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POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill

Oct 14, 2014
by Eastern States Cup  
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POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The Eastern States Cup New England and Atlantic Regional DH Championship Series came to a climatic conclusion over the Columbus Day weekend. Plattekill Bike Park, the spiritual home to East coast downhill racing, was the perfect venue to host the double-point event that brought together racers from both regional series for the first time. Overall standings were on the line in every category and a big crowd of racers turned out for the event.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Plattekill Mountain is a unique and unspoiled place. Signage as you approach the mountain is … understated. There is none of the development you would expect at a ski area. No hotels, no condos, no timeshares. Just a rural valley dotted with farms and old houses.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The race pits were packed to capacity for the weekend and campfires blazed in every corner as Saturday night temperatures dropped below the freezing mark.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
On a hunt for firewood, some of the Junior X crew found a stump that may still be burning when we return next summer.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The view from the pits was hard to top, certainly the most scenic camping spot of the year.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Race morning dawned clear and cold with temperatures in the low 30s. The mountain's eastern exposure helped the sun warm things up early.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Even though the lifts started to spin at 8 a.m., the cold kept many racers, like pro Jordan Newth, nestled in their sleeping bags.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Once things warmed up a bit, the mountain really came to life. The course start was just feet away from the top of the triple chair.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The track could be divided into three distinct sections: flowy top, techy middle and bike park bottom. The top third was a high speed, low angle romp through the woods. Numerous features and winding sections kept racers on their toes, but this section may have had the highest fun factor of any section of track all year. Right out of the gate racers accelerated into a small but perfectly formed road gap. Giant Northeast pro rider Brian Scolforo shows his signature style, and some nice flannel, over the gap.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The road gap was immediately followed by a left hand satellite jump which was easy to case if you didn't pop it. MadKats pro Alex McAndrew throws it sideways.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Too fast to pedal but no need to brake, the upper woods section had riders like Fast Line Racing pro Jason Scheiding absolutely pinning it.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Adrenaline Racing rider Alex Rose weaves through the forest at high speed.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Vertical Earth racer Ian Bower gets air as the high speeds made every little bump primed for takeoff.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Danny's Cycles pro Stephanie Sowles, had to really back off the gas was at a rocky triple step down that provided a preview of things to come on the track.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Berkshire Outfitters racer Craig Kuzia Jr., pops off the second step into a rough landing area.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Racers got one more chance to breathe as the relatively smooth top section of the course came to an end. Madkats racer Ben Bodycoat shows some of the speed that would carry him to the overall title in the Junior X New England series.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Oliver Racing's Scott Bureau drops off a shelf that marked the start of the track's technical middle section.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The course dropped steeply down the fall line at this point and racers like Giant Northeast Pro Brian Scolforo had to choose their line carefully.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
A rock drop into a steep loose chute was a major psychological and technical hurdle for many racers. The lower rock nose in the middle of the drop was the preferred line, but Lupine Lights racer Judson Umberger, who knows Plattekill like the back of his hand, opted for the big boy line.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
DRRT racer Nicole Murray would take the big girl line on her way to a third place finish. The biggest challenge in this section was checking your speed after the drop and then negotiating a hard right hander at the the bottom of the chute.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
As the weekend progressed, a fast alternate line developed around the drop. The section was not taped off so was fair game. Jacob Dallegro and many other racers opted for the new line as it set you up better for the exit at the bottom of the chute.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
After the chute, a bouldery turn dropping into another steep chute tripped up numerous racers.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
A direct line and some speed, as exhibited by Shirks Bikes pro B.J. Treglia, was the best approach to this obstacle.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
A wood feature popped racers, including Catskill Cycles rider Ernie Reale, out of the woods and onto a road.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The loose right hand corner on the road was one of the trickier spots on the entire track with a delicate balance of braking and cornering skills needed to maintain momentum into one of the only pedally spots on the course.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
No stranger to pedalling, enduro regular Lauren Petersen brought her trail bike to the race and rode away with a win in her first and only downhill start of the season.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
A rock wall drop into a very steep chute marked the end of the technical middle section of the course. Danny's Cycles Cat 2 junior David Kahn flies over the wall with the speed that would earn him a sweep of both regional championships this season.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The bottom section of the track was pure bike park bliss, but first riders had to negotiate a surprisingly tricky off camber rollover at high speeds that took down a number of racers.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Oliver Racing riders Steve Avery and Aidan Casner drop into the bottom section of the course. The Plattekill trail crew was busy in the days leading up to the race with the lower third of the track receiving the lion's share of their efforts.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Xprezo pro Dylan Conte rails one of the many berms that dotted the lower portion of the track.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Mountain Creek Bike Park's Nelson Maldonado launches the signature feature on the track, the freshly renovated Maxxis drop.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The deep landing zone meant the drop could be hit at almost any speed, Josh Tidman opted for the full-throttle approach.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Riders, including Vermont pro Jordan Newth, really railed the exit berm, though a few hearty souls opted to venture through the rocky chunder on the inside of the corner.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Atlantic Cup pro champion Mauricio Estrada did his course walk with Jon Hanson during the race. Estrada raced to a 4th-place finish in the Colombian National Championships on Saturday then took a red-eye flight back to the U.S. for the Eastern States Cup finals on Sunday. His race run was his first time down the track and he managed a top-ten finish just 2.73 seconds off the pace.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Berkshire Bike and Board rider Mike McBride leans it over on one of many berms to come.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Marzocchi pro Dan O'Connor launches the transition between berms.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Riding Forward racer Joshua Ribeiro speeds into the final snakey section of berms.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
And one last freshly-dug power berm for good measure as racers near the bottom of the course.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The power berm set riders up for a new lippy table in the open. The take-off was deemed too lippy by some racers who were over-shooting the landing and course workers shaved it down. Junior-X racer Cole Michie didn't seem to mind the original shape as he threw down a stylish whip in practice.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Danny's Cycles' Jake Kahn speeds through the final woods section which featured a steep wooden step down.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Exiting the woods, racers faced a natural drop to flat which was a real head snapper if not taken correctly. Hard-charging Vermont Gravity Racing pro Tim White handled the landing with ease, but many racers opted to transfer to a grassy bank and avoid the impact.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The track concluded with a couple park features including a hip jump off a wooden bridge, hit here by Brian Kibbee.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
A final table made for a photo-friendly finish to the track. Junior-X winner and Atlantic Series champion Joshua Rogers from Grom Racing whips off the final jump. The lip on this table was also shaved down over the course of the weekend.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
With top pro times in the two-and-half to three minute range, the Plattekill track was on the shorter end of the race spectrum but it managed to pack in an amazing variety of terrain and challenge.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
When all was said and done, Evil Bike pro George Ryan squeaked out a .2 second win in just his fourth ESC start of the season.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The Plattekill race featured one of the season's largest contingents of women riders.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Plattekill owner Laszlo Vajtay, pictured with ESC head honcho George Ulmer, manned the mic and kept the energy level high during the epic season finals awards session.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The afternoon also featured the debut of awards ceremony twerking, courtesy of Cait Fields.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Speed Legion's Mary Elges continued her dominance in the women's field, winning the Plattekill race, the Atlantic Series overall, the New England Series overall and the DP Brakes Women's Challenge titles.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The men's pro podium: Dylan Conte, 4th, Leland O'Connor, 2nd, George Ryan 1st, Brian Scolforo, 3rd, Isaac Allaire, 5th.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
Despite the double points awarded, nobody could catch Mauricio Estrada who was crowned overall champion of the POC ESC Altlantic Region. Brian Scolforo finished second and, thanks to his race victory, George Ryan finished third.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The New England Region overall title was very much up in the air coming into Plattekill. With two seconds and two thirds in his final four races, Brian Scolforo charged up the leader board to claim the overall title. The MadKats pro team had a great season with Alex McAndrew taking second in the overall with teammate and first-year pro Isaac Allaire taking third.


POC ESC Atlantic and New England DH Cup Finals at Plattekill
The Plattekill regional finals were the perfect ending to the regular season Eastern States Cup downhill race series. But the fat lady hasn't quite sung yet. Mountain Creek Bike Park will host the POC Eastern States Cup East Coast Super Championships this coming weekend, October 18-19. The top ten point getters in every category in both the Atlantic and New England series are qualified for the finals. The top ten finishers in qualifying on Saturday will also make it to the finals. There is a $5,000 purse and lots of great prizes up for grabs so you get one last chance to race for glory before this race season officially comes to an end.
Text and Photos by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur

COMING THIS WEEKEND
POC Eastern States Cup DH Two to Go and Three for the Money

Eastern States Cup Round 1 2014.



34 Comments

  • + 14
 I like the one chick just gazing into the other one's ass
  • + 5
 East coast racing makes the southwest look like crap! Yes I'm talking about Fontana, not the riders but the professional looking venue.
  • + 5
 I don't appreciate you using my comment to spew your combative rubbish!
  • + 8
 no... he's right. East Coast riding (and racing) makes the southwest look silly.

I'm still struggling to understand why the East Cost gets so little exposure in the MTB world.

The Dirt: Superior

The Natural Features: Superior

Access To & Quality of Trails: Superior

I think it's all got to do with the fact that a lot of bike companies are based out west, and the journalists & magazines are all out west, and the pretty landscapes are out west. And the blah blah blah is out west. It's a mental block that the entire industry can't seem to get over. People also used to think Earth was the center of the solar system... it just took a few people not buying into the hype to prove it really wasn't.

It's time for the MTB world at large to recognize the East Coast for what it is. An AMAZING place for mountain biking.

"Oh, wait till February when we're still riding in shorts", they say... Well, the snow and cold don't stop those who love to ride. Same as the extreme heat out west doesn't stop people either.
  • - 2
 I thought that Plattekill was supposed to be rocky. That trail looked like a paved highway!
  • + 3
 Looks can be deceiving
  • + 5
 East coast has nice layered rocks and the roots fore miles n miles
  • + 4
 platte is no paved highway, like the article said, the middle tech section is very rocky, rooty, and filled with super steep/super deep chutes. There is a reason this place is so likey by riders
  • - 2
 I dunno, nothing in those pictures looked above an intermediate difficulty. In my experience since that are really popular, are generally not challenging. No matter where you go, whether it's Mountain creek, Northstar, or Whistler, the most popular trails are the blue or easy black trails.
  • + 0
 ^The fact that the female victor rode a "trail bike" supports your statement as well
  • - 1
 Exactly. That trail looked flat, smooth and pedaly as hell. It's probably a close call as to what's fastest on there, a burly single crown type bike or a DH bike.
  • + 1
 Sometime flow is fun. I always ride a single crown bike and its always fast.
  • + 2
 The female victor on the trail bike is a Pro level racer that no longer holds a yearly USAC license, so is forced to ride out of the pro category when doing the select DH race. If she were on an actual DH bike her time would have been much quicker.
  • + 0
 Smgshot I bet you hold a pro license
  • + 0
 Nah, I'm in a "post racing" world now.
  • + 1
 Explains it all, armchair quarterback
  • + 1
 Right, because if I don't time myself down some random trails, I clearly lack the ability to successfully ride them or critique them. Brilliant.
  • + 2
 Right. Glad you figured it out. When's the last time you rode the trails you are critiquing from your keyboard?
  • + 7
 awesome write up! these trails look really fun, just enough man made features
  • + 4
 Jay Dallegro! That crazy old man! Ha! And way to go George Ryan! Good to see everyone having fun. I got goose bumps just seeing that shot of the mountains in the horizon.
  • + 3
 Women Racer "I want to be known for my riding, and not so much focus on my sexuality" Then tweaks on the podium..
  • + 3
 Dial 1900-MIX-ALOT and shake that nasty butt. Baby got back.
  • + 2
 Here's a rough preview for this weekends course for the East Coast Super Championships
youtu.be/YwKtAmnyAB4?list=UUH4BKGuI6zZru_OmKs0VHPQ
  • + 2
 it would be nice, if for once, somebody spelled Colombia correctly
  • + 1
 Good catch, thanks. It has been fixed.
  • + 1
 Great write up. Looking forward to this weekend at MC.
  • + 1
 low 30s? how come theres only one flannel?!?!?!
  • + 1
 it was nice during the day high 50s only at night did it get cold
  • + 1
 Good job Mauricio for a great year of racing! Proud of you bud.
  • + 1
 It'd be nice if the official results were posted, or at least a link...
  • + 1
 agreed
  • + 1
 not a problem, thanks for posting!
  • + 1
 Air Mare for the wins!!!

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