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2017 US Enduro National Championships - Race Recap and Results

Jul 21, 2017
by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur  




Racers from across the nation gathered at the Snowshoe Resort in West Virginia this week to battle for the USA Cycling National Enduro crown. This is the third year that enduro has been included in the U.S. National Mountain Biking Championships and a field of returning vets and newcomers duked it out in the heat and humidity on eight stages spread over two days of racing. Organizers put together a grueling mix of stages that offered everything from pedally suffer-fests to white-knuckle downhills. Day one began with a lengthy transfer to the first stage which featured a heart-rate spiking five-plus minutes of all out pedaling. Pro Terri Watts of Athens, GA tied for the win on the opening stage and would hold down the second spot at the end of day one.


Hands down one of the nicest people in the Enduro Terri Watts on her way to holding the Bronze for now at the end of Day One.

The last portion of 6000 Steps Stage One is flat. Once you cross this creek you had better kept some fuel in those legs gravity isn t going to lend much of a hand.
  The last portion of Stage 1, known as 6,000 Steps is flat. Once you cross this creek, you had better keep some fuel in those legs, gravity isn't going to lend much of a hand.

Emily Cox of Atlanta drops into a steep chute on Stage Two.
   After a lift transfer, racers faced a very different beast on Stage 2. Following a brief romp on a flow trail, the track drops precipitously down the fall line. Emily Cox of Atlanta dropped into a steep chute on Stage 2. Cox had the third fastest time on the stage but issues on Stage 4 sent her to the back of the pack for the first day.

Mason Bond of Cedar Ridge CA exits a plunge on Stage Two.
   Pivot Reynolds Enduro Factory Team rider Mason Bond of Cedar Ridge, CA rocketed out of the plunge on Stage 2. Bond was a top contender coming into the event but mechanicals on Stage 1 cursed his chances for a podium result.

Ben Hobbs of Watkinsville GA uses some body english on Stage Two.
  Southern speedster Ben Hobbs of Watkinsville, GA used some body english to keep his line on Stage 2. Hobbs sat in sixth place after the first day.

Rachel Strait of Costa Mesa CA surfs down the steeps of Stage Two.
   Rachel Strait of Costa Mesa, CA surfed down the steeps of Stage 2. After a big win on the fourth stage, Strait held down the second spot after the first day.

Defending champion Mitch Ropelato of Ogden UT tames a tangle of roots on Stage Two.
   Defending National Champion Mitch Ropelato of Ogden, UT tamed a tangle of roots on Stage 2. Ropelato won the second and fourth stages and sat in second just four seconds behind leader Seamus Powell at the conclusion of the first day.

Arille Verhaaren right at the entry of Trail M on Stage Three. Most riders were going rider right around the small drop which is more of a straight shot into the next section of trail.
   A pedal transfer up Easy Street took racers to the top of Stage 3, the shortest track of the day. Arielle Martin-Verhaaren of Williamsburg, VA dropped into Trail M at the start of Stage 3. Most riders were going rider right around the small drop, which is more of a straight shot into the next section of trail. Verhaaren had a solid day on the bike and was fifth at the conclusion of day one.

Cameron Joye enters the woods on Stage Three as the Basin side of the mountain loses its light in the late afternoon. It was DARK in some sections of the woods for all of us.
  Cameron Joye entered the woods on Stage 3 as the Basin side of the mountain lost its light in the late afternoon. It was dark in some sections of the woods but Joye sped to a fourth place finish on the day in the amateur 19–29 class.

The tech never ends whether you are on Trail M or O on Stage 3. Cameron Koblinger pictured.
   The tech never ends, whether you are on Trail M or O on Stage 3. Cameron Koblinger sat in fourth for the amateur 30–39 racers.

Daniel Worley flying in from the open slope into trail O on Stage Three Day One. Like flat tech rocks This is your trail if you can keep your speed.
  Daniel Worley flew in from the open slope into trail "O" on Stage 3. Like flat tech rocks? This is your trail if you can keep your speed.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  Another lift transfer brought racers to the top of Stage 4 and their first taste of the Western Territory, 1,500 vertical feet of gnar on the opposite side of the mountain. As a nod to the challenges in store, race officials allowed riders to stash a full-face helmet at the top solely for use on the stage. The day's final segment shared the upper portion of the pro downhill course, including an intimidating road gap huck that was avoided by many. Trey Davis was one of a number of riders in the 15–18 class to step up to the challenge.

Scott Countryman of Flagstaff AZ rockets off a boulder on Stage Four
  Much of the remainder of Stage 4 followed the confusingly named Pro DH track. Confusing because it wasn't the actual downhill track being used by the pros this week. The segment followed a rowdy line through scenic open woods. Scott Countryman of Flagstaff, AZ rocketed off a boulder high on the segment. Countryman took a stage win on the third segment and sat in fourth at the end of the first day.

Macky Franklin of Taos NM airs a rock feature on Stage Four.
  Macky Franklin of Taos, NM aired one of many rock features on Stage 4. Franklin held down the fifth spot when all was said and done on day one.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
   The signature feature on Stage 4 is a cascading series of rock drops. Most avoided this burly line but many of the pros and a few of the heartiest amateurs charged right through the suspension-testing section. Paul Broughton sent the drops and held the lead of the 50–59 amateur class on the day.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  The pitch eased lower on the segment but the terrain continued its assault on bikes and bodies. Keith Bohne pointed it through a rocky stretch and wound up fifth in the amateur 50–59 class on day one.

Seamus Powell on his way to wrapping day one with the top spot. But guess who was knocking on his door... that would be the defending champ Mitch Ropelato. He s gonna need to dig deep to fend him off they are both hungry.
  KHS Factory Pro, Seamus Powell wrapped up day one with the top spot. But guess who was knocking on his door... that would be the defending champ, Mitch Ropelato. Powell was going to need to dig deep to fend him off, both were hungry for the win.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  Day two was another warm one and racers set out in the mid-afternoon heat for a second round of fat tire fun. The day began with a hot pedal to a remote field high above the Silver Creek ski area.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  Racers waited patiently in the sun for their turn on Stage 5. The first two segments were essentially cross-country tracks with very little gravity assistance.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
   Lindsey Carpenter was the first woman pro on course on day two and she rode to a superb third-place finish in the overall.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
   Rachel Strait isn't afraid to hammer the pedals and recently came in second at an Enduro World Series qualifier in Vermont. Strait would take home the final podium spot with a fifth place in the overall.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  The top of Stage 5 did have some fast spots where racers could lay off the pedals and let the bikes run.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  Spencer Rathkamp was looking fly on his Trek test bike on Stage 5. Rathkamp piloted the Slash to 10th place result.

Trey Davis pictured on Stage Five the first stage of Day Two. The lower section is an old railroad bed along a stream. All gradual elevation change and nothing but circles turning circles to complete the stage.
  Trey Davis pictured on Stage 5. The lower section is an old railroad bed along a stream. All gradual elevation change and nothing but circles turning circles to complete the stage.

Jimmy Smith on Stage Five. Jimmy started Day Two 24.3 seconds back holding on to the Bronze. No doubt he was looking to improve on that just a bit.
  Jimmy Smith started day two 24.3 seconds off the leader, holding on to the bronze position. No doubt he was looking to improve on that just a bit but remained on the third step when the curtain closed.

Angelo Loskota Men 15-18 Category on Lower Beaver Dam Stage Five.
   Angelo Loskota plows through the flats on Stage 5. Stage 6 would offer no reprieve with more exhausting time in the saddle.

Amanda Propst putting her Specialized Rhyme through the paces. Just about 100 yards left before a break refueling some adjustments and the end of Stage Five.
  Amanda Propst putting her Specialized Rhyme through the paces. Just about 100 yards left before a break, refueling, some adjustments, and the end of Stage 5.

Harlan Price was shown as a DNS in Day One results. Not sure what happened but he was out for Day Two competition.
   Harlan Price was shown as a DNS in day one results. Not sure what happened, but he was out for day two competition.

Macky Franklin is just about to wrap up Stage 5 on Day two. Lots of flat lots of pedal strokes at this point you could hear the pain in each breathe of every racer that went by.
  Macky Franklin nears the end of Stage 5 on day two. The track offered lots of flat, lots of pedal strokes, at this point you could hear the pain in each breath of every racer that went by.

Ian Meintjes starts his entry into the thick pines on Stage Seven. He d end up 14th overall after two days of competition.
  After distant forays on the opening stages, the seventh segment returned racers to the Snowshoe neck of the woods. Ian Meintjes dropped into the thick pines on the penultimate stage. He'd end up fourteenth overall after two days of competition.

Dan Ennis on his way to a 6th pace overall finish in Pro Men. Stage Seven pictured.
  Dan Ennis took a loamy line on his way to a sixth place overall finish in Pro Men.

Scott Countryman was one of the first ones down Stage Five. From the strike of 3 00 and the start of Day Two it was 3 20 when the first rider past this point. Pretty good pace for the long ride and climb up to the start of Stage Five.
   Scott Countryman was one of the first ones down Stage 5. From the strike of 3:00 and the start of day two, it was 3:20 when the first rider past this point. Pretty good pace for the long ride and climb up to the start of Stage 5. Countryman wrapped up his race with an impressive fourth place in the overall.

Adam Snyder got a bit loose in the pine loam mix on Stage Seven but rode it out
  Adam Snyder got a bit loose in the pine/loam mix on Stage 7 but rode it out.

Nathan Mizener Men Juniors 15-18 with his head down and elbows out.
   Nathan Mizener, Men's Juniors 15–18, with his head down and elbows out.

This one corner seemed to give a number of riders some difficulty. It was very tight and the upper portion of Stage Seven was full of pine and loam. Weston Coker with a foot out to help him through the corner... it was actually pretty smooth and he kept his step.
  This one corner seemed to give a number of riders some difficulty. It was very tight and the upper portion of Stage 7 was full of pine and loam. Weston Coker with a foot out to help him through the corner... it was actually pretty smooth and he kept his step.

Michael Gaertner on his way to the 6th spot in Men s 40-49 after two days of punishment.
   Michael Gaertner on his way to the sixth spot in Men's 40–49 after two days of punishment.

Susan Haywood comes out of the dark thick woods about midway down Camp 42 on Stage Seven. Hold on Susan it s about to get nasty.
  Susan Haywood comes out of the dark thick woods about midway down Camp 42 on Stage 7. Hold on Susan, it's about to get nasty. Haywood finished in fourth place for the overall.

Camp 42 on Stage 7 starts out like any normal loamy trail ride but the last 100 yards is definitely downhill worthy. Very steep pic does no justice and lots of tech.
  Camp 42 on Stage 7 starts out like any normal loamy trail ride, but the last 100 yards is definitely downhill worthy. Very steep and lots of tech.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  The final stage once again brought racers to the Western Territory. Stage 8 took racers down the fast and flowy Ninja Bob and Ball-N-Jack trails before a final scare on the expert Sweet Dream. High speeds and jumps were sprinkled throughout the final stage.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  Ben Hobbs is comfortable in the air and Stage 8 suited him just fine. Hobbs took home a solid top-ten finish, holding down the ninth spot.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
   Did we mention berms? There are a lot on Stage 8. Bryn Bingham was pinned both days and wound up third in the 15–18 amateur class.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  Lots of air time for racers on the final stage. Maine resident Saben Rossi made a huge move on day two moving up four spots to take fifth in the overall.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  Joanna Petterson dominated the field on day one, but after taking a 22-second advantage into day two, the former World Cup downhiller lost her lead and then some in the first two stages of day two and ended as the runner-up.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  Things got more serious towards the bottom of the track with some drops and steep loose single track. Arielle Martin-Verhaaren sent a big drop on her way to just missing the podium in the sixth spot.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
   Speeds were approaching warp factor through open woods low on the final stage. Adam Snyder rocketed his Pivot Firebird to an eighth place result.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
   A final drop and steep plunge were the only obstacles remaining for riders towards the end of Stage 8. Mitch Ropelato worked his butt off but couldn't make up much ground on day two and the defending champion had to cede his crown.

2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
   After trailing by a big margin on day one, Terri Watts absolutely crushed the first couple stages on day two and rode her new-found cushion to a seven-second margin of victory in the overall. Watts has been racing local events for the past few years but is a relative newcomer on the national enduro scene and this was her first big victory in the discipline.

bigquotesI started this race with reserved expectations following a ligament injury in my hand two weeks ago at the Eastern States Cup in Killington, VT. I was thrilled during pre-riding that I could hold the handlebar adequately to survive the technical terrain and fast descents this mountain has to offer. The course was a perfect combination of pedally, technical riding, and true DH gnar with lots of rock and slippery roots added to the mix. By the time Stage 8 came, I was exhausted and sore but it's fast berms and rock drops put a smile on my face. And the best part: enjoying a celebratory beer with MTB legend, Sue Haywood, on the lift back up! Great day of racing with some badass lady shredders!"Terri Watts


2017 US Nationals Enduro at Snowshoe West Virginia
  Seamus Powell was in beast mode this week at Snowshoe. Powell has been a dominant force in Northeast enduro racing for years now and has three national titles for Super D and single speed XC under his belt already. Powell put the hammer down right out of the gate, taking Stage 1 by 19 seconds, and never looked back.

bigquotesI'm really happy to have taken the win this year at National Championships. After breaking my hand last year at Mammoth I dedicated a fair bit of time and energy to try and win this year. Can't thank my family, team, sponsors, and girlfriend enough for the continued support and motivation.Seamus Powell


Preliminary Results

Pro Men
1. Seamus Powell // 35:27.9
2. Mitch Ropelato // 36:11.5
3. Jimmy Smith // 36:43.7
4. Scott Countryman // 37:55.2
5. Saben Rossi // 38:01.6
Pro Women
1. Terri Watts // 45:19.3
2. Joanna Petterson // 45:26.8
3. Lindsey Carpenter // 45:55.7
4. Susan Haywood // 46:31.7
5. Rachel Strait // 47:00.7


Full Results (Preliminary)




MENTIONS: @jebcas / @gojammedia / @USAC


Must Read This Week

19 Comments

  • + 15
 @jebcas Awesome recap and article. This is probably one of the better quality reports I've seen on PB in some time. Great shots as always too!
  • + 6
 Shout out to 3rd place Pro Jimmy Smith, a relative newcomer to the MTB scene from my little hometown of Springfield MO, expect to see more podiums from this humble shredder! It would be in the best interest of some factory team to snatch him up while you still can! Great recap and article @jebcas
  • + 6
 So great to see WV represented by Sue Haywood and Ben Klimas. Beyond being true ambassadors to the sport in the mountain state, they're faster than green grass through a goose and pregame harder than you party.
  • + 4
 I completely agree. Not only does Benji Klimas run the WVMBA, he puts on the WV Enduro Series. He'll help fix your bike, and feed ya like a king. Good people.
  • + 7
 Hilarious when u see a rider with a full face but no knee pads
  • + 1
 Me every time I ride DH.
  • + 4
 Stoked to see the Carpenter / Haywood backcountry freight train on the podium. Nice work!
  • + 4
 Nice to see some difficult pedaling stages come back to enduro racing.
  • + 1
 Those ??? Are supposed to be !!!!!! Ahhhhh
  • + 5
 excellent pictures!!
  • + 2
 "The first two segments were essentially cross-country tracks with very little gravity assistance."
Really? Wow!
  • + 2
 Upper beaver dam is good fun, pretty gravity fed but lower beaver dam is ugh lol. (stage 5)

Enchanted Forest to headset adjust is pretty good. the first minute is a little flatter but once you get into headset adjust, its game on. (stage 6)
  • + 2
 Huge congratulations to Seamus Powell for the win!!!! Very well deserved ????
  • + 3
 Awesome Seamus! Congrats.
  • + 3
 Congrats Seamus. Nice shoutout to Lauren.
  • + 2
 Killer images , and rowdy course any video,s of it ??
  • + 3
 USAC does some video highlights. Here's the one from Day One:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb0rcmH_I_g&feature=youtu.be
  • + 2
 @jebcas: that dude does a great job of understanding cx and creating excellent content and analysis. Check out his Moment of Svenness series, where he breaks down the dominance of Sven Ness in certain races. youtu.be/J_RWvsvglhY Is an example. If he can get his head around enduro we will all be better off.
  • + 1
 Man, so stoked to make the pinkbike cut twice!!

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