It was blue skies at Blue all day, everyday for GES race number three this past weekend at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton, PA USA. The track was running super fast and rider turnout topped out at 127 riders. Practice on day one consisted of riders working their hardest to pick their way through the rocky, rooty and steep terrain typical of US trails on the East Coast. Lift line conversations surrounded around feet staying planted on flat pedals. In the pits, the buzzword was "rebound" as riders dialed in those precious clicks to find the perfect setting.
Smooth is fast. Those who raced this course last year were at an obvious advantage, able to compare the speed with which the track changed while adjusting their line choice to further streamline their race run.
Christian Golden looking like he's got that line.
Pro rider Amy Leishear off the double at the bottom.
Pro rider Cait Fields passes through the finish bubble, complete with RedBull rainbow, music, an MC announcing each run, free iced Red Bull, custom made Milwaukee Tools hot seat, and plenty of sponsor representation. Pro Women and Men were off first. The crowd at the bottom grew in this area throughout the race.
Mauricio Estrada took the Pro Men's win with a 2:29.18 beating out 2014 Gravity East Series champ John Hanson who ran a 2:33.40. It was all love for the friendly rivals. The field is stoked to see Jon back on a bike after a long winter off nursing a now healed shoulder injury. It's only a matter of time before he is up to speed. Nicholas D'Emidio in third, Justin Gregory in fourth, and Scott Cooper rounding out the Pro Men's podium.
Amy Temarantz took the win with a strong 3:03:20 to the finish. Amy Leishear was six seconds back and Cait Fieds took third to round out the Pro Women's podium. Big congrats ladies!
It's all about the groms!
The GES has worked especially hard in prizing and giveaways for 2015. For this race, the series honored the top five in each class. Outside of the Pro's cash prizes, winners were allowed to choose their own prize from designated sections of the tables. First place winners could pick their size MAXXIS tire or an entire case of Red Bull. Second and third place could choose from an array of 661 helmets, knee/elbow protection, and so on down the line.
The awards ceremony held a sizeable crowd. At least ten raffles were drawn. Prizes ranged from cases of Red Bull to several MAXXIS tires, Milwaukee Tool backpack, and even a complete 2015 Fox 40. Look at this lucky guy! So stoked he almost whacked that poor woman attempting to walk by with her own raffle-won MAXXIS skin-wall. Madness! Fox has donated plenty of suspension product and these raffles will continue to go down at GES 4 and 5 in the upcoming weeks.
Photos by Steve Coleman, Mike Karfakis and Mike Render. Video by Gravity Soul. Words by Mike Karfakis
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