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2021 Trans New England Recap Part 1: Vermont

Sep 27, 2021
by Trans New England  




The 2021 celebration of jank, loam, and gnar otherwise known as Trans New England enduro kicked off on Sunday, September 19th in the middle of a fairly nondescript field next to the Saco River in North Conway, NH. 25 athletes and an event support team that included a media squad, medical professionals, and others gathered in North Conway on “Day 0” to load bikes, tents, and duffel bags into the back of a box truck and discuss the week ahead before departing in the early afternoon toward the Bolton Valley, Vermont. 12 passenger vans were the order of the day for transport, as most personal vehicles were left behind as the event would be returning to that same spot later in the week. Ahead of everyone was a massive week: 5 days of racing, much of it blind for a large portion of the field, across Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. Riders were told to expect between 4,000-5,000 feet of elevation gain and loss per day, with a strong possibility of wet weather during the second half of the week. Trails would be steep, technical, and loamy. Of the 6 overnights, 5 would be spent camping, and 1 would be in a hotel. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were provided. The logistics were extremely well planned, so when race director Pete Ostroski emphasizes "life management", it would be a fairly simply requirement. Eat, sleep, ride bikes, repeat. Once all bikes and gear were loaded into the yellow Penske box truck, athletes loaded into vans, and support team behind the wheels of their own rides, the event set off for their first stop.

The Trans New England caravan was greeted with sunny skies, warm temps, and a beautiful resort area in the heart of the Green Mountains a few hours after departing North Conway. Bolton Valley would host the event for the first night which would prove to be a near perfect sendoff to the summer as far as weather was concerned. Timing chips were handed out, beverages were cracked open, and people spent the first hour or two setting up camp, catching up with old friends and getting acquainted with new before the evening’s rider briefing and dinner. Plans for the next day were laid out, and riders went to bed slightly nervous for, and mostly eager about what was awaiting them the following day.

Day One: Cochran’s and Bolton Valley
The morning broke with a brilliant sunrise, with riders breaking down camp in the early light prior to coffee and breakfast sandwiches, which helped to clear the fog of sleep and fuel everyone for a large day ahead.

On tap was an untimed warmup lap at Cochran’s Ski Area, a beloved mountain that has flourished due to the work put in by dedicated landowners and volunteers, followed by the first stage of the week’s racing down Jimmy Cliff to Sully’s. The stage was the longest of the 4 that day, with the high speeds over lumpy and rough terrain. Halfway through the stage was the most pedally section of any on the day as well, but otherwise racers finished with large grins, eager to get back to Bolton and the final 3 stages for day 1 waiting there.

Bolton Valley is a much heralded, highly revered network of trails often regarded as some of the most technical and demanding on the east coast. The venerable mountain lived up to the hype throughout the day, with racers tackling massive and slippery root gardens, steep and chunky sections of rock, and awkward sections of trail full of holes and ledges.

Stage 1 was the longest of the afternoon at Bolton, which meant that it came on the heels of the longest gravel road climb. Racers dropped in on some rocky ledges before hitting the dirt, navigating arm-sized roots and tight chicanes all of the way to the bottom. Stage 2 was a fairly quick affair, with a handful of off camber corners and a fall away chute toward the bottom, before riders made one final climb for what many considered to be the most challenging stage of the day. The 3rd track was rarely steep, but was relentlessly technical, with many sections of pure mayhem that saw riders slipping, sliding, and crashing from top to bottom. The final section on the day proved to be a respite as racers were treated with beautifully manicured berms and a playful jump set before timing out.

Racers and crew alike convened at the camp to pack up bikes, share stories, and enjoy some recovery beverages before heading east toward their next destination: Burke Mountain, VT. The TNE circus rolled into the parking lot of the Burke Hotel shortly after sunset, devoured their burgers and fries, unloaded gear, and slept soundly in some extraordinarily comfortable beds with visions of Upper J Bar and Rude Awakening dancing in their heads.

Day 1 Results:
Pro Men

1- Adam Morse
2- Will Goody
3- AJ Pratt

Pro Women
1- Hannah Harrington
2- Rosy Metcalf
3- Ashley Stearns

Day 2: Burke Mountain Resort, VT
The Northeast Kingdom is one of the quieter corners of an already quiet state, but up on Burke Mountain things can get awfully hectic in a hurry. Home to one of two stops for the Enduro World Series in New England for 2022, Burke Mountain hosted the Trans New England for a massive day on one of the country's rowdiest mountains. Racers convened over coffee and breakfast early in the morning and were geared up and were pedaling the toll road toward the summit by 9:00 am.

The first of 4 stages sent the race slipping and sliding down a variety of cambers and wet rock gardens before crossing the toll road and finishing on flat corners and tight trees. From there the event traversed the mountain and raced stage 2 on a fast and playful tech-flow trail with a wicked climb to put some sting in the legs halfway through it. After a lunch break in the sun, riders were shuttled up to the top of the toll road for what might be the gnarliest descent in all of Vermont. The steep pitches, massive roots and wet rocks led to numerous crashes and hike-a-bikes from top to bottom. The final stage of the day was a massive pull from the summit to the base area starting some awkward cambers, steep corners, and amazing dirt, followed by some lumpy and loamy corners mid-mountain and finishing on a blazing fast trail under a dark canopy of trees, with slippery roots and stunning loam from start to finish.

The adrenalin took quite some time to wear off, and as racers and event staff loaded up the box truck and passenger vans for their next destination, the smiles, high fives, and stories echoed across the Northeast Kingdom. Trans New England was on, and in the days to come would cement itself as one of the most memorable weeks on the bike for everyone involved.

Day 2 Results:
Pro Men

1- Chris Wilke
2- Will Goody
3- AJ Pratt

Pro Women
1- Hannah Harrington
2- Rosy Metcalf
3- Ashley Stearns

Days 1-2 Cumulative Results
Pro Men

1- Chris Wilke
2- Will Goody
3- AJ Pratt

Pro Women
1- Hannah Harrington
2- Rosy Metcalf
3- Ashley Stearns

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bigquotesThe last 48 hours were pretty stressful to be honest with you. It’s a lot to get everything prepared and in place, but similar to racing once you’re there the work is done. Today was a really good intro to some of the tech and chunder we have on tap for the rest of the week.Pete Ostroski






bigquotesBolton and Cochrans was a perfect introduction to the NE; the sap lines I had to duck under, the acorns I was crushing, and the endless piles of muddy rocks I was expected to find a place to turn on. Sure the elevations weren't all that huge, but that made climbing with our entire group of rad riders fun. And dropping in, I was always surprised how well the builders had used the terrain.Adam Crane


The two masterminds behind the 2021 Trans New England enduro: Pete Ostroski and Adam Craig.

Timing chips, gear checks, and nervous anticipation for the week ahead.




Setting up camp for night 1 at Bolton Valley.


bigquotesIf the slog to the top of the toll road and spectacular views don’t take your breath away, most certainly any one of the gnarly trails will. Ease off the brakes and you’ll be rewarded with the best ego check you’ve ever had on a bike in Vermont or even the country.Matt Sawin


Adam Morse was integral to the first day of racing, as he had mapped out, taped, and developed the stage section at both Cochran's and Bolton Valley.

Cochran's delivered high speeds and high fives.



The warm up lap and first timed stage at Cochran's had everyone stoked.




bigquotesBurke was all new to me as was every location. The top half was very steep and technical, while the bottom had an awesome flow to it. This combination made it the most diverse location of the week in my opinion. Burke had it all: challenging terrain, views, accommodations, and a great vibe.Marty Christofferson



Dropping into stage 1 at Bolton down some fast, rocky ledges.



Burke Mountain is home to ever-greasy steeps, gnarly rocks, and loamy corners.


No time for taking in the views even when the trail leaves the forest.


The repeated toll road climb at Burke Mountain might have softened the legs, but they didn't soften the stoke.


bigquotesI was a bit nervous and excited, and today was really fun. I’ve ridden the trails at Cochran’s a few times so it was fun to revisit those. The stuff at Bolton was super gnarly and challenging, and some of the trails were new to me. It’s always mysteriously wet here too, but it’s so rad.Anna Svagzdys



bigquotesDay 1 was a shake down to a shake up. On the warm-up lap at Cochran's, everyone uncorked all the pre-trip stoke and let it go wide open. New voices were hooting and hollering down coffee colored trails. By the bottom no one was a stranger anymore. Goofy smiles, weird noises, and high fives were ubiquitous. At Bolton's the challenge of racing in new England became obvious as off camber roots and embedded rocks required a looseness I was wasn't familiar with.Matt Cork



Justin Laggassey was at the pointy end of the field all week long.

Post-Bolton racing was spent in the warm sun with warm beers.


Squids and racers alike were all smiles and completely cooked after 2 days of riding Vermont's rowdiest terrain. Little did they know what they still had in front of them.

Check out the Trans New England Enduro website for full results, media, and future announcements.



13 Comments

  • 11 1
 Adam Craig was already a New England legend, but the Iron Maiden shirt just solidifies that status more.
  • 10 1
 Trans-Cascadia heard about this event and got nervous so they started giving the riders massages to overcompensate
www.pinkbike.com/photo/21385615
  • 9 4
 Sick event that I would love to do, but I have some constructive criticism for the organizers: you should give us more than 3-4 weeks of notice so that we can actually plan to get there. Smile
  • 4 1
 they made the announcement in late July
  • 2 0
 @bppow: That must have been to the people who were on an email distro? Pretty sure the first time I saw it (on PB) it was just a couple weeks ago.
  • 6 1
 It was intentionally kept under the radar ... invite only, for the most part. others had to apply
  • 7 0
 Bolton Valley Resort and Surgical Ego Reduction Center
  • 5 0
 Great Job everyone involved! Especially Josh Lawless!
  • 5 1
 Whining in the comments section gets results!
  • 4 0
 awesome stuff!
  • 3 0
 Looks amazing. The ROBOTS wish they could be there.
  • 3 0
 Dig the stealth Brice Shirbach shot.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a great time!!

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