Race Report: H2H MTB Race Round 4

May 12, 2019
by Kristine Contento-Angell  
Finkraft Cycling teammates Sierra Vasquez and Finley Aspholm charging the rock drop. Sierra beat out Finley by a mere second, winning the Category 2 Open Women's class.

MTBNJ Stewart Poison Ivy Mousetrap Mountain Bike Race | A.C. Daughtry Security H2H Series Race #4

MTBNJ's Stewart Poison Ivy Mousetrap was the 4th race of the A.C. Daughtry Security Highland to Hudson (H2H) Cross Country & Endurance Mountain Bike Race Series. In contrast to the previous MTBNJ race (Mooch Madness), this is one of the easier courses in the series and rewards racers with more fun and flow than you can imagine. As an added bonus, the race was held under a clear blue sky, something we haven't had much of this year.

MTBNJ teammate Jeremy Short checks in athlete Neal Burton at registration. Neal took the top step for the Open Men's Endurance class.
Fat Bike Open rider Jon Mitchell handles the slippery trails with ease.

Endurance Men's class heading down the double track prologue. Matthew Smith & Nelson Odrreman cranked out 6 laps, covering over 50 fast miles. Nelson's overall time of 3 hours 50 minutes put him in second place, just 2:09 behind the winner.

Austin Moskowitz, Team Town Cycle, getting rad as he raced to a second place finish in the Junior Men 15-18 Category 2/3.

Shane Ferro, CRCA/ CityMD Racing, getting after it. She took 3rd in the Women's Pro/Open Category.

Heidi Backs is all smiles at the start. The Category 2 & 3 Women were out in force, thanks in part to MTBNJ waving their entry fees in a successful effort to increase female participation.
Getting a close inspection of the results board.

Oscar Rincon handling the slick grass.

Greg Ocdinaria, team Ave Care, rolling the rock drop ahead of Jeremy Klopper from Team Marty's.

A heavy downpour overnight turned the first 2 miles of single track into a sloppy mess. The remaining 6+ miles were perfect hero dirt.
Tom Pellegrino of Brands Factory Racing hammering down the single track.

Jeremy Short set a blistering pace for the Category 1/2 Men 15+ through the prologue.

Photographer, MTBNJ teammate, and creative mastermind Eric Capers.
Those early stretches of sloppy trails put a thick coating of mud on everyone's bikes.

Brett Bauman, Burnside Forge Racing, showing some style atop a frame he built himself.

Melissa Nash-Mertz, Rescue Racing, showing Erik Leishman the line.

Mountain bike racing is a family affair.
Racers enjoyed the sunshine and warm temps.

Diana Almeida had no trouble on the rock features.

Pro Men's leaders. Roger Aspholm leads Jeff Dickey & Szymon Niemotko over the roots. Jeff would ultimately snag the win by a single second.

Chris Brawly shows off the menu - free food courtesy of MTBNJ.
Pro/Open Women's podium. Kristine Contento-Angell, MTBNJ took the top step with a commanding 12+ minute lead, Wendi Sebastian-Takaku took 2nd and Share Ferro finished 3rd.
Stephanie Mckeon, team Cyclecraft / Bulldog, is all smiles riding to the top spot in the Category 1/2 open women's class

Category 1/2 Men 15+ podium: 1st place - Brian Ackerman, MTBNJ; 2nd place - Steven Ellinghaus, TiTS Racing; 3rd place - Jose Jimenez.

Men's Pro/Open podium: 1st place - Jeff Dickey, Juggernaut ESF; 2nd place - Roger Aspholm, Finkraft Cycling; 3rd place - Szymon Niemotko, CJCT.
See ya next year!

Official results

Race Promoter Contact: Norm Zurawski www.mtbnj.com
Follow MTBNJ on Facebook @mtbnj or Instagram @teammtbnj

H2H Race Contact - H2Hraceinfo@gmail.com
H2H Race Schedule & Series information: h2hrace.com
Follow H2H Race on Instagram: @h2h_race or Facebook @h2hrace

Photo credits: Eric Capers, Brian Ackerman, Norm Zurkawski, Brian Ruane & Chris G.


  • + 1
 This park is in Rock Tavern NY. about 30 miles north of Jersey. It was created as a buffer zone for the SST to land at Stewart Field. Terrain is waves hills of smooth shale where the Wisconsin Shelf shoved the ground just right.
  • + 1
 I don't think it's the registration fee that keeps woman participation in the series low.
  • + 1
 Would love to hear what your thoughts are. Any help here to encourage more women would be greatly appreciated.
  • + 1
 Photo credits: Eric Capers, Brian Ackerman, Norm Zurkawski, Brian Ruane & Chris G.

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