Race Report: Enduro East Mountain Creek

Jul 3, 2018
by Eastern States Cup  


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DAY 1:

The first heat wave of the summer has rolled into the East Coast just in time for the first CLIF Enduro East stop of the season. Day 1 of racing went down Saturday as entrants vied for the $5,000 cash purse and a chance to qualify for the 2019 Enduro World Series on a mix of existing and brand new trails built by the resort just for this two-day event. The existing trails we chose at Mountain Creek are notoriously rough and raw with a couple long transfers to round it out and make it a proper EWS qualifier.

This weekend's forecast called for plenty of sunshine combined with humid air and temperatures in the 90's. It's not a dry heat.

Thankfully our friends at CLIF are here with all kinds of new product and flavors to keep racers energized for two days of racing in the sweltering New Jersey heat.

CLIF Enduro East does Friday nights right, beers and karaoke at the Biergarten. Even if singing in front of crowds isn't your thing, you're sure to be entertained.

Last minute adjustments for Danny's Cycles racers Mauricio Estrada and Michael Maldonado.

After the riders meeting, racers headed up the Cabriolet coupled with a short pedal transfer toward the first of four stages on Saturday's menu at Mountain Creek Bike Park.

Mountain Creek spoiled racers with two freshly cut trails outside the current bike park boundary to kick off our race weekend. The lengthy Stage 1 began at Granite Peak with a steep decline combined with a few tricky corners such as this one featuring a particular sapling, which helped keep things interesting. Airborne Bikes pro downhill racer Tommy Zula heard the hype of Enduro and decided to give it a whirl his weekend, he's sitting in 15th in our EWS Open men's class after Day 1 despite this small mishap.

Fresh trails and fresh berms, George Ryan and The MCBP Trail Crüe have done it again. Ramerom Koblinger getting after it on Stage 1, he sits in 12th for the Amateur Men after four stages.

NBX Bikes' Max Beaupre working the suspension right out of the gate, he leads the U20 EWS men's class, winning three of the four stages on Day 1 with a total time of 16:07 which would currently place him sixth in Open Men.

After completing Stage 1, racers climbed Bear Peak to begin another hectic descent down another freshly cut trail. Cole Smith chooses the low line on this awkward off-camber section of Stage 2, he currently holds down fifth place in our U20 EWS men's class.

Following a hot and hefty climbing transfer out of Stage 2, racers welcomed a break at the CLIF tent and then began sizing up their next task.

Stage 3 began back at the top of Granite Peak with a blistering section of ski trail before making its way back down to the base. Daniel Lewis currently sits in seventh position for the Amateur Men.

All of a sudden, lightning fast ski slope turns into an unforgiving combination of rock gardens and firm trail. Jason Scheiding leads the Masters Men by nearly ten seconds through Saturday, clocking the fastest times on all but one of the four stages.

The bad news: KHS Factory racer Seamus Powell didn't ride this one out, he suffered a nasty high-speed crash on Stage 3. The good news: the speed is definitely there, he won both Stages 1 & 2, finishing out the day in fourth place for the Open Men.

You'd have no idea Zach Mehuron is relatively new to racing mountain bikes judging by the way he floats over the Stage 3 rocks, sitting comfortably in seventh for the Open Men with four stages in the books.

Danny's Cycles racer David Kahn pulled off a win on today's final stage, just 20 seconds off the top step for the U20 EWS Men.

The CLIF tent has everything you need to keep going for two days of racing, including solar cell charging stations, a shady spot to sit and of course, water.

One last trip up the Cabriolet and another lengthy descent down Mountain Creek with plenty of rock features toward the top of Stage 4 followed by a final ski slope sprint to the finish of today's racing. Ryan Phelan has no time to stop and smell the red clover, well on his way to finishing Day 1 in sixth place in the Men's Amateur class.

Numerous racers hung a foot out on the final sharp corner of Stage 4, but Rich Soffar did it with style.

Results rolled in Saturday night as riders enjoyed a BBQ dinner compliments of CLIF, delicious beers from Long Trail Brewery as well as a raffle with tons of swag from our sponsors.

Bicycle Express Racing's Rosy Metcalfe seemed to get faster as the day went on, finishing just .32 of a second off the fastest Open Womens' time on Stage 4, she sits in second place heading into Day 2.

Following one day of racing, Outdoor Gear Exchange racer Kimberley Quinlan is at the front of a competitive Open Women's pack by a margin of nearly a minute. Can she keep it together Sunday to take the win?

Adam Robbins has been on fire this year, landing on the podium in every Maxxis ESC Enduro race he's entered in 2018. He suffered a flat on Stage 1 which slowed him down a bit but he's still in second place and has potential to pull back significant time tomorrow.

It's Comp Edge Racing's Saben Rossi leading the Open Men by just .43 of a second after nearly 16 minutes of racing through four stages.


DAY 2:

As the calendar rolled over into July for Day 2 of racing here at Mountain Creek, the temperature and humidity climbed even higher than Saturday's scorcher. With forecasts calling for temps nearing 100 degrees, the CLIF Enduro East & MCBP teams decided to start the race an hour earlier than scheduled to help riders cover more ground before the cruel afternoon sun hit the mountain. Four more stages awaited racers with a bit less pedaling than Day 1. We may be at a bike park but the New Jersey terrain remained relentlessly raw and rugged throughout the weekend.

When there's a thick haze in the air before our 8:30am riders meeting you know you're in for a warm one.

Our best advice to riders: It's wheelie hot out there, don't forget to stay hydrated.

A huge thank you to all of our volunteer officials who helped racers chip in and out of stages and cheered them on all weekend.

Max Beaupre letting the dust fly to kick off Day 2, even with a tweaked wrist and a few crashes he was able to take the top spot for the EWS U20 Men with a time of 30:49, which would have placed him 5th in the EWS Open Men.

Jason Scheiding putting the power to the pedals on Stage 5, he would win this as well as three other stages to take top spot for the EWS Masters Men by just over a second.

Drummer Racing's Joshua Nordheim hitting lightspeed through the New Jersey forest on Stage 5, he would go on to finish fifth in a fast, stacked Amateur Men's class.

Although most of the bike park trails were firm and dusty, riders found sections of loamy goodness and swampy holes on Stage 6. Pivot and RST VeloSports racer Nathan Sterckx skips a mud bath on his way to take fourth place for the EWS U20 Men's class.

Pro ladies making the climb up to Stage 7 halfway through the day. They rode together throughout the whole race, encouraging each other and keeping it positive in the sweltering heat.

Stage 7 was full of awkward uphills linked together with fast and flowing downhills. Shirks Racing team member B.J. Treglia squishes a jump in this speedy section on his way to take fourth place for the EWS Masters Men.

Adrian Hayden full send on his way to finish Stage 8. He was on his A game all weekend, winning four stages and topping the U16 boys by over a minute.

Light at the end of the tunnel on the final stage for Luke Hursh, who would go on to finish in second place for the Amateur Men.

Bike Check

This is a big race and he's a big guy, before we get into podium results let's check in with 2017 US National Enduro Champion Seamus Powell as he walks us through his KHS Factory Racing rig.

Rider height: 6'4" , weight: 195 lbs
Frame: KHS 7500, size XL
Fork: FOX Float Factory Team 36 170mm, 85 PSI, 2 spacing tokens
Rebound: 6 clicks from closed
Low Speed Compression: 9 clicks from closed, High Speed Compression: 17 clicks from closed
Rear shock: FOX Float X2, 225 PSI, 4 volume spacers
Low Speed Compression: 13 clicks from closed, High Speed Compression: 12 clicks from closed
Low Speed Rebound: 11 clicks from closed, High Speed Rebound: 16 clicks from closed
Brakes: Shimano Saint
Rotors: 200mm front, 180mm rear
Shifter and Derailleur: Shimano XT
Cassette: Shimano XT 11-42
Cranks: 175 mm
Chain Ring: 34t
Chain Guide: modified Gravity (FSA) Grid Chain Guide
Wheels: Enve M735 & FSA Grid Wheel set. Mixing & matching between aluminum and carbon the remainder of the year. depending on course conditions and race needs
Hubs: Shimano XTR & FSA
Front tire: Kenda HellKat ATC 2.4, front PSI 26: rear PSI: 30-31
Tire inserts: Cush Core at least in the rear when racing
Saddle: WTB Silverado
Seatpost: FSA Flowtron Dropper Post, 150mm
Bars: FSA Gradient, 800mm wide, 25mm rise
Stem: FSA Gradient 60mm
Grips: ODI Elite Motion Lock-on Grips

Let's find out who took home the big checks, medals and bags of swag from our sponsors.

Amateur U17 from left: 4th - Michael Maldonado, 2nd - Ethan Zysman, 1st - Adrian Hayden, 3rd - Danick Guilbault, 5th - Sam Kahn

Amateur Men from left: 4th - Rich O'Neil, 2nd - Luke Hursh, 1st - Evan Gilardi, 3rd - Joshua Poirier, 5th - Joshua Nordheim

EWS U20 Men from left: 4th - Nathan Sterckx, 2nd - David Kahn, 1st - Max Beaupre, 3rd - Jason Becker, 5th - Cole Smith

EWS Masters Men from left: 4th - B.J. Treglia, 2nd - Ryan Leech, 1st - Jason Scheiding, 3rd - Kevin Simard, 5th - Jeremy Fahey

Sarah Howerter styling out this fun roller on a fast and firm section of Stage 7, taking third place for the EWS Open Women.

Rosy Metcalfe, racing for Bicycle Express, sends it toward the bottom of the final stage of the weekend. She would clock the second fastest time in her class on this stage as well as the race itself.

The rest of our EWS Open Women just couldn't keep up with Outdoor Gear Exchange and Julbo rider Kimberley Quinlan this weekend, she won all eight stages and finished the race nearly a minute and a half ahead of the pack. "Practice and racing in the intense heat was definitely taxing, but the Mountain Creek crew put together an awesome course with a bit of everything to challenge us, including a good amount of pedally sections! I’m psyched that it all came together over the 2 days with clean stages, and no mechanicals or overheating. Best of all, I got to race with a group of rad women representing Vermont!"

EWS Open Women from left: 4th - Brooke Kasman, 2nd - Rosy Metcalfe, 1st - Kimberley Quinlan, 3rd - Sarah Howerter, 5th - Clair Sick

KHS Factory team rider Seamus Powell was on a heater, winning the first two stages before crashing hard twice on Stage 3. Despite being shaken up and sore, he powered through the rest of the weekend and found himself on the EWS Open Men's podium.

Saben Rossi did not win any of the eight stages but instead remained incredibly consistent throughout the weekend to land himself in second place come Sunday afternoon.

Devinci Cycles racer Adam Robbins sat less than a second off the lead after Day 1 and was able to pull it back by winning all four stages on Sunday to take the EWS Open Men's win by over 30 seconds with a final time of 29:32. "The tracks at Creek were as raw and as rocky as usual. After a tough Saturday with a flat halfway through Stage 1 and getting off track a couple times, still somehow finishing second I felt confident going into Sunday. Just had to keep it smooth and consistent, it all worked out and I'm stoked to take the win!"

EWS Open Men from left: 4th - Kory Nagy, 2nd - Saben Rossi, 1st - Adam Robbins, 3rd - Seamus Powell, 5th - Derek Bissett

The party's over for now but we have more good times planned for next weekend with our CLIF Enduro Lite at Vermont's Burke Mountain. If you or anyone you know would like to get into enduro racing this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try at one of the most fun bike parks on the East Coast. You can find all the info here and register for the race here. Tell a friend or bring your kids!

Thank you to all the racers who joined us to sweat it out at Mountain Creek, have a great fourth and we'll see you next weekend or for our second stop July 29-30th at Thunder Mountain in Massachusetts.

Full Results
Enduroeast.com

Words and photos: Andrew Santoro
Video: Jason Scheiding




13 Comments

  • 7 0
 Thanks again for putting the race together at Mountain Creek, that was definitely one of the best weekends of my life, regardless of the heat! You guys rock!
  • 7 1
 Good to see Seamus racing and amazing he walked away from that crash. I know those rocks personally and they will take a bite out of you with pads on.
  • 7 1
 Loved every minute of it!! Such a rad community of racers that make these weekends so awesome.
  • 7 1
 We could listen to Ant Knee sing all night
  • 5 0
 This was an awesome weekend! Thanks for putting together a great race. See y’all again in a month ????
  • 3 0
 Such a rad weekend of racing! Thanks Cliff for keeping me fueled up and hydrated. Thanks mcbp trail crew for the sick new trails. And Thanks Eastern States Cup and MCBP for having an awesome event!
  • 3 0
 damn that looked like such a good time, bummed I missed it. but keeping the girlfriend happy and passing my finals where more important.....I guess
  • 5 1
 Kudos to all riders, knowing how hot it was that weekend it must have been a gruesome (but fun) race!
  • 4 0
 Thanks Guys for a great Weekend!
  • 3 0
 Thanks ESC, CLIF, and MCBP for an awesome event! You guys had things dialed all weekend!
  • 2 0
 Awesome race. Thanks ESC and MCBP
  • 2 0
 Great job on the video, Jason.
  • 1 0
 The dude with the Banshee Rune was running avid mechanicals. Did he survive Creek??

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