Eric Palmquist (Master Pro Men 40+ 2nd place) scores another lead image surfing this wave of loose volcanic dirt in prime form.
It was a surfin' safari
this past Saturday, July 13 for the third round of the 2019 California Enduro Series. The Mt. Shasta Enduro introduced riders to a new-to-the-series venue... and, for most, a vastly different type of terrain. Taking place at Mt. Shasta Ski Park on the south slope of northern California’s iconic Mount Shasta, the race course challenged nearly 350 riders with the mountain’s signature pulverized volcanic dirt, which gave a whole new meaning to loose.
Savvy riders quickly learned to stay loose themselves and “surf” the slope’s ever-changing drifty waves. All race categories from Beginner to Pro took on five stages with 4,000 feet of descending a mix of raw, technical tracks as well as fast, flowy sections. Irrigated sections teased riders with tacky hero dirt here and there before plunging them back into the unpredictable Shasta moondust.
Mt. Shasta Enduro Pro Men champ Todd Renwick was happy to keep it clean on a tricky course. He says, “I don’t think any of us are used to conditions like that. I think riding on flat pedals helped me stay upright a couple dozen times in those silty corners.”
Pro Women champion Syra Fillat was equally glad to run a clean race. She says, “The crazy deep moon dust definitely made for some interesting and fun stages!”
For many riders, race weekend began Thursday evening as they settled in to on-site camping and prepared for the next day’s practice runs. Lifts opened on Friday at 10am, and riders hit the dirt, feeling out the unique terrain. After a full day under a hot sunny sky, racers rested and refueled for the big day.
An early morning racer meeting in the bag, and it was off to slay the day. Beginner and Sport riders caught a lift to Stage 4, while Expert and Pro riders kicked off their race with a climb to Stage 1. Beginner and Sport raced in this order: 4 (lift) / 5 (lift) / 1 (climb) / 2 (climb) / 3 (lift); Expert and Pro took on Stage 1 through 5 in order.
Stage 1 started off at a creek on “Bridge” trail which, naturally, sent riders over bridges as well as through loose corners and rocky bits. Stage 2 ran on the park’s “Flow” trail, treating riders to swoopy berms and a wooden wall ride. Stage 3 took place on the “Beginner” trail — a fast, flowy track that invited riders to open up and let loose. Staying on trail, keeping in control, and going FAST were key to doing well on those three stages. Stage 4, “Backside,” boasted a raw, primitive feel, with plenty of rocks and roots which became more and more exposed as the day went on. Stage 5 ran on the park’s downhill track, which was naturally steep, technical, and aggressive. This stage featured steep drops, ladders, rock gardens, and jumps ... including Shasta's highly anticipated road gap — a racer favorite for sure. These two stages required strength and skill to keep upright ... and more than a little trust in your bike to do its thing.
Post-race, racers enjoyed a hearty meal, drinks, and live music by Plaid City before a lively raffle and awards ceremony.
Race director Skyler Mills was thrilled with how the inaugural event went, and has some fun ideas for next year (night stage anyone? !!). He says, “Being part of CES is an awesome opportunity for our small resort and its summer program. Our crew worked flawlessly with the CES team and the race went smoothly. Riders were stoked on the fast, steep, loose backwoods trails … I think this race put us on the map.”
CES director Steve Gemelos adds, “The CES team was excited to introduce this new venue with its wildly different terrain to the line-up this year. Always fun to change things up! Skyler and his crew worked hard to put on a top-notch event, and the rider feedback was super positive.”
Pretty much all you need, right here.
Mount Shasta made a majestic backdrop for the race.
Soaking up the sunshine and incredible Shasta vibes.
Eric Chapman (Sport Men 40-49) doing some pre-practice prep.
Trying on a bridge for size in practice.
Practice laps on a perfect Shasta day.
Getting a feel for the loose volcanic dirt in practice.
Practicing stage 5's now-infamous road gap.
Race director Skyler Mills addresses stoked racers at rider meeting.
It's Stage 4 go time for Sport Boys 12-15.
Nathaniel Peixotto (Sport Boys 12-15 9th place) navigating a tight section through the trees on Stage 4.
Bryant Segali (Sport Boys 16-17 7th place) keeping his focus forward on Stage 4.
James McEachen (Sport Men 18-29 6th place) finding a clean line on an ever-changing Stage 4.
Chad Mowery (Sport Men 30-39 4th place) in fine form on Stage 4.
Insane views on Stage 4.
Kimberlyn Bruton (Sport Women 4th place) committing to a steep bit on Stage 4.
Todd Renwick (Pro Men 1st place) charging fiercely out of a drifty corner.
Chipping in at the CES Live! booth between stages.
Stage 5 and Mount Shasta. Both equally kickass.
Mike Lee (Pro Men 2nd place) sending the Stage 5 road gap in style.
Vincent Kimber (Pro Men 13th place) making it look easy.
Myles Morgan (Pro Men 5th place) keeping it upright on Stage 5.
Tasha Thomas (Pro Women 2nd place) looking determined and ... is that a hint of a smile behind that full face? Hell yeah!
That oh crap moment.
And ... wiiiiiipe out.
Shasta local Mike Reed competed in the Expert Men eMTB category, taking third place.
Sara Schneider (Pro Women 4th place) was one of several MTB Experience ladies on course.
Orion Minty (Expert Boys U18 2nd place) keeping it lively on Stage 5.
Syra Fillat (Pro Women 1st place) keeping it clean in a soft turn on Stage 5.
The course threw in tricky features like this irregular bridge.
Nikki Peirtsegaele (Pro Women 7th place) catching a little air clearing the bridge.
Getting boosty on Stage 5.
Jay Lapides (Expert Men 30-39 31st place) dancing with his rig on Stage 5.
Matthew Snee (Expert Men 30-39 20th place) cleaning a rocky, loose stretch on Stage 5.
Brian Farrington (Expert Men 30-39 17th place) charging some tech on Stage 5.
Sarah Krammen (Expert Women 5th place) with her eyes on the prize finishing out the last stage of the day.
Checking standings and swapping stories post-race.
Racers enjoyed live music by Plaid City.
Pro Men podium: 1st Todd Renwick / 2nd Mike Lee / 3rd Myles Trainer / 4th Steven Godman / 5th Myles Morgan
Pro Women podium: 1st Syra Fillat / 2nd Tasha Thomas / 3rd Kathryn Lawrence / 4th Sara Schneider / 5th Jenna Kane
Good times in amazing venues with some awesome friends ... it's what enduro is all about!
View results and podium shots for all categories here
. Get current individual standings here
and team competition standings here
Next up: Round 4: Northstar / EWS
August 24-25 at Northstar California Resort in Truckee, CA. This race is already sold out, but the course offers some outstanding spectating, so please come join us and cheer on the racers. Needless to say, we’re very proud to be a part of EWS this year!
SPOTS still open for Round 5: Fox US Open Enduro / EWS Continental Series Finale
September 14 at Snow Summit Bike Park in Big Bear Lake. Register at race.californiaenduro.com
Support CES and get the chance to WIN a Specialized Enduro Elite (to be raffled off at Northstar/EWS) or Stumpjumper Evo (to be raffled off at our season finale, the Ashland Mountain Challenge
October 5. Learn more and buy raffle tickets at californiaenduroseries.com/specialized
. A portion of the proceeds benefit trails in Truckee and Ashland!
CES is a for riders, by riders non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting world-class enduro events that everyone from amateur to pro can enjoy, at a geographically diverse range of venues. Learn more at californiaenduroseries.com
Huge thanks to 2019 CES sponsors Specialized, FOX, Race Face, Maxxis, Voler, WTB, Peaty’s, Cranked Naturals, Michael David Winery, Kenda, Adventure Sports Journal, CushCore, Intense, and Zodiac Lights.
Words by Michele Charboneau / Photos by Kasey Carames