Race Report: Enduro East EWS Qualifier - Thunder Mountain, MA

Jul 31, 2018
by Eastern States Cup  

The CLIF Enduro East series rolled into the town of Charlemont this past weekend, nestled in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, for the second stop of 2018. Enduro World Series points and $5,000 on the line, riders tackled eight stages over two days with terrain ranging from loamy goodness at the Warfield Trails to the gnarly roots and rocks of Thunder Mountain Bike Park. With rain almost every day leading up to the race, including both Friday and Saturday night, skill sets were put to the test throughout a wet and wild weekend of racing in the Berkshires.

  Recent rain meant the nearby Deerfield River was flowing high and fast, good news for floating enthusiasts and those who know how to ride fast in wet trail conditions.

Day 1

  A heavy fog rolled into the Pioneer Valley Friday night and stuck around in the morning, luckily rain held off until we wrapped up Saturday's racing.

  After a brief riders meeting at Charlemont Fairgrounds, riders began a scenic two mile transfer toward their first stage of the weekend.

  Although things were more greasy than usual, where the ground was dry riders found beautiful loamy sections on the Warfield Trails.

  Racing kicked off on the Red Zone with said loam toward the top which transitioned into slick muddy turns toward the bottom. Adam Hursh keeps it pinned through a sketchy river bed crossing, he would earn second place in an extremely competitive Amateur Men's class.

  After a pedal transfer back to the top, riders dropped into New Zone for a high speed descent. Max Beaupre has been flying all season, fresh off a National Enduro Championship win he was right back at it this weekend, taking the top spot for the U17 boys by over 30 seconds.

  Slippery tight corners at the bottom of Stage 2 caught many riders by surprise. When in doubt throw a foot out, Josh Poirier does just that on his way to finish in seventh place for the Amateur Men.

  Justin Lagassey takes advantage of the free bike wash at the bottom of Stage 2.

  The first three stages of Warfield Trails met at the bottom, allowing riders to hydrate and fuel up on all kinds of CLIF products.

  Evan Gilardi got loose through this tricky section of Stage 3 and it paid off, taking the third fastest Amateur Men's stage time and eighth place when racing wrapped up.

  Upon completion of the three Warfield stages, riders made the pedal transfer to Thunder Mountain Bike Park for their final Saturday stage on Wine Tree. Luke Hursh does the vertical limbo around this tree, he racked up seven stage wins on his way to best the Amateur Men's class by nearly two minutes.

  Griffin Barnes keeps it as smooth and fast as one can on a wet Wine Tree, he took second place for the U17 Boys.

  Following the first day of racing, riders gathered at Thunder Mountain's Crazy Horse Bar & Grill to watch results roll in while they feasted on BBQ compliments of CLIF. Beers were flowing thanks to Long Trail Brewing Company and the CLIF Enduro East crew handed out a ton of raffle prizes from their sponsors.

Day 2

  For the second day of racing, racers departed from Charlemont Fairgrounds and pedaled down the road to Thunder Mountain Bike Park for four more stages under mostly sunny skies.

  After Saturday's lengthy pedal transfers, the chairlift at Thunder was a welcomed sight for racers.

  Racers were faced with the gnarly stuff right off the bat on Sunday morning with Stage 5 consisting of Back of the Shack, Thunder Cliffs and Billy Badger. Knight Ide goes full gas off a drop midway down Badger on his way to a second place EWS Masters Men finish.

  Following a lift and pedal transfer combo, riders dropped off the backside of Thunder Mountain for Stage 6 on Hawks Brook Trail. NBX rider John Beaupre keeps it low and fast, he ran stage sweeping duties for us this weekend, keeping riders on their toes with a fifth place finish for the EWS Masters Men.

  After a pedal transfer riders took on our longest stage of the weekend by far, which ran outside the bike park boundary and took most of the field over ten minutes to finish. Canadian racer Tyler Pratt feeling the burn toward the bottom of Stage 7, he would finish just two seconds outside the top ten EWS Men.

  One final lift transfer and it was time to hit the final and perhaps most technical stage of the weekend, a relentless combination of Juggernaut and The Schist. Enjoy the view at the top while you can, Stage 8 is 100% action all the way to the base of Thunder Mountain.

  Adrian Hayden attacks the rock garden at the top of Juggernaut, he won four stages including this one and topped the U17 boys by over a minute.

  Exhausted and still smiling, that's the spirit of Enduro.

Bike Check

  Let's check in with the fastest lady from our first CLIF Enduro East event of 2018, Vermont speedster Kimberley Quinlan gives us a full rundown of her Yeti SB5.5.

Rider height: 5', 6" weight: 129 lbs
Frame: Yeti SB5.5, size medium
Fork: Fox Factory 36 160mm, 55 PSI, 2 tokens
Rebound: 10 clicks, Compression: 2 clicks
Rear shock: Fox Float Performance DXP2, 140 PSI
Rebound: 6 clicks, Compression: 3 clicks
Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
Rotors: SRAM Centerline, 180mm front & rear
Shifter and Derailleur: XO1 Eagle
Cassette: SRAM 10-50
Cranks: SRAM XO1 Carbon Eagle
Chain Ring: 34t
Chain Guide: OneUp Components
Wheels: NEXT Huck 29r Carbon Trail
Hubs: Industry Nine Torch
Tires: Vittoria Martello 2.35, 19-21 PSI front, 20-23 PSI rear
Saddle: WTB
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Dropper
Bars: Yeti Carbon, 760mm wide, 20mm rise
Stem: Race Face Turbine, 40mm
Grips: Ergon GA2
Pedals: Shimano XT trail

  Swag bags and big checks ready to go, let's find out who took them home.

  Amateur U17 Boys from left: 4th - Luke Mello, 2nd - Griffin Barnes, 1st - Adrian Hayden, 3rd - Daymien Ide, 5th - Ethan Zysman

  Amateur Women from left: 2nd - Sara Godek, 1st - Riley Miller

  Amateur Men from left: 4th - Tom Kupfer, 2nd - Adam Hursh, 1st - Luke Hursh, 3rd - Bassil Silver, 5th - Ben Farrell

  EWS Masters Men from left: 4th - Brett Severson, 2nd - Knight Ide, 1st - B.J. Treglia, 3rd - Odin Adolphson, 5th - John Beaupre

  EWS U20 Men from left: 4th - Matt Driscoll, 2nd - Emmett Avery, 1st - Max Beaupre, 3rd - Preston Lortz, 5th - Wesley Sava

  Riding for Vermont's Outdoor Gear Exchange, Kimberley Quinlan grabs another EWS Women's class podium this weekend with a third place finish and a stage win.

  Sarah Howerter was able to take a stage win on each day of racing with a final race time of 45:37 and a second place EWS Women's finish.

  Bicycle Express team racer Rosy Metcalfe was on it this weekend, winning five of eight stages and topping the other EWS Women by over thirty seconds to capture her first pro class win. "I loved the stages this weekend. I had a blast on some of the newer stuff on day 1, especially since tracks 1-3 were less familiar to me. Plus, Wine Tree in the wet was crazy! Kind of amazed I made it down the whole way rubber side down. It was silly sick! I really enjoy the two day schedule, it's easier for me to settle in and enjoy the process of racing. You never know what can happen, even with a crash on Stage 5 it all worked out."

  EWS Women from left: 4th - Lisa Chamberland, 2nd - Sarah Howerter, 1st - Rosy Metcalfe, 3rd - Kimberley Quinlan

  Competitive Edge Racing's Saben Rossi won the final stage and was able to land on the podium with a third place EWS Men's finish.

  Kory Nagy earned his fourth podium in his first year in the pro class with a final race time of 35:31 and a second place finish for the EWS Men.

  After eight demanding stages of racing it was KHS Factory rider Seamus Powell who recorded the fastest race time of the weekend, winning six stages and topping the rest of the EWS Men's field by 1:12, gaining forty of those seconds on Sunday. After suffering mechanicals and crashes through the beginning of the 2018 season he seems to have turned things around after recently winning the US National Enduro title for the second year in a row. "The stages this past weekend were awesome. A balance between finesse and all out smashing DH runs each day. At first I was not too stoked about the rain but it made for some interesting stage tactics and racing. Knowing that the majority of the timed racing was on day 2 I rode the same way I did on day 1 to maintain my lead, knowing that pace was plenty. I actually didn’t expect to extend the lead like I did, I had one big mistake on stage 7 where I blew completely off the track down a steep hill side. I just laughed it off and kept it smooth after that. After that huge crash I had at Mountain Creek in early July things started clicking for me...it’s like that crash knocked some sense into me. I feel really good now and I’m peaking just right for the busy season. I’m taking every race as a new journey and opportunity to explore myself as an athlete. I plan accordingly, I work on the process not the outcomes and I’m smiling a lot more. I’m excited for the second half of the season, good bad or indifferent."

  EWS Men from left: 4th - Chris Wilke, 2nd - Kory Nagy, 1st - Seamus Powell, 3rd - Saben Rossi, 5th - Cory Rimmer

  That's a wrap from Massachusetts, the third and final stop in the series will be held in the Northeast Kingdom in the towns of East Burke and Victory, Vermont September 15-16th for the EWS North American Continental Enduro Series Finals.

Full Results


  • + 8
 I just want to give a shout out to 'that nice guy in orange' Justin Lagassey. Dude seems to ride every single ESC and Enduro East event, always with a big smile on his face. George and Chris should get him to be the official ESC mascot. :-)
  • + 4
 J-Lagz is master of both bikes and cider brews too!
  • + 5
 Thanks bru! Trying hard never felt so good. =) I like bikes and I'm gonna keep doing it until it's my turn to watch. Cheers!
  • + 6
 So stoked on the weekend, such a rad intro to enduro!
  • + 2
 I love spending weekends with you guys/girls! When people travel 10-12 hours to ride/race with us, we know we must be doing something right! Thanks again everyone, hope to see you all at Victory Hill.
  • + 2
 Great group of riders and staff! I had a fantastic weekend with a ton of fun fast riding and lots of laughs Smile Thanks ESC and Thunder
  • + 4
 Yeah Adrian!!
  • + 4
 Super fun weekend!
  • + 1
 Thunder and the Clif Enduro crew never disappoint. Can't wait for the series finale in VT.
  • + 1
 Thanks for another great Enduro weekend! And sweet writeup and photos, Andrew. Looking forward to Victory/Burke!
  • + 1
 Good coverage, nice pics. Congrats to everyone involved.
  • + 1
 Way to go Oden , that's awesome buddy!!
  • + 1
 Thanks to the ESC and Thunder Mountain staff for such a fun weekend!
  • + 1
 Thanks ESC for an epic weekend!!

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