Video & Race Report: Eastern States Cup Enduro #1 - Diamond Hill, Rhode Island

May 7, 2019
by Eastern States Cup  

Views: 1,088    Faves: 4    Comments: 2

Spirits are high in New England as the snow is gone and it's finally time put tires on dirt (or mud) again. It's been three years since we last raced at in Cumberland, Rhode Island's Diamond Hill and Maxxis ESC Specialized Enduro Series racers were stoked to return. This was the first enduro venue where the Maxxis ESC broke the 200 racer threshold back in 2016. This weekend had 277 riders eager to kick off the 2019 season. Two separate ski areas once operated on the steep hillside East of Diamond Hill Road until the 1980's and now the town park offers a roughly 10 mile network of mtb trails on both sides of the road, which provides a perfect venue for Enduro racing. Although the hill measures around 350 feet vertical, there's no shortage of large rock features here, as Diamond Hill is the largest mass of crystallized white quartz in New England. The place is literally one big, not-so-hidden gem tucked in the northeast corner of the Ocean State. Although the race stages here are shorter than usual, there are six of them all linked by pedal transfers, making Diamond Hill the perfect warm-up for the rest of the season.

New England saw 21 days of rain in April and that would again be the case this weekend, although not as much as the forecast called for. All things considered, the trails at Diamond Hill are still in great shape and the rocks here do maintain some grip in the wet weather.

Vans are cool but you know what's even cooler? An old UPS truck converted to a full blown bike shop.

With Rhode Island's turkey hunting season running through the month of May, racers were required to wear at least 200 sq. inches of blaze orange while riding. We didn't see a single hunter all weekend but at least everyone matched their new Box Components number plates.

Can you believe the Maxxis Eastern States Cup is 10 years old? Along with new medals, Specialized Bicycles has joined the party to sponsor the 2019 Enduro series. Several other sponsors are back again to provide prizing for racers, including the new SDR Clothing Rewards, which will pay podium finishers $100 for 1st, $50 for 2nd and $25 for 3rd on top of regular prize money when classes exceed 50 racers. This weekend we had three classes qualify, podium finishers in the 21-29, 30-39 and 40-49 all went home with some extra cash in their pockets.

Intense Cycles is also on board for 2019 with their Podium Payback Program for those who finish top 5 while piloting an Intense frame. They've also outfitted the Maxxis ESC crew with Tazer e-bikes to help make course setup and media coverage easier than ever. Want to take one for a spin? Go see Willem at the Intense tent!

The CLIF Kids class ready to rock the first Saturday practice laps of the season.

The top of Stage 1 started on a series of rock slabs which then transitioned to this muddy section littered with slick roots. Kim Quinlan kept it calm and composed on the high line, finishing just off the podium with a sixth place for the Pro Women.

Stage 1 winners from each class with their swag from the Flat Tire Defender Super Stage. Our fastest amateurs, Caroline Allen and Nick Girioni, each won a pair of FTD tire inserts to help with those square rocks which Diamond Hill has no shortage of.

NBX Bikes racer Luke Mello sends the biggest of many rock drops on Stage 2, he would win this stage and four others while besting the U15 boys by nearly two minutes.

Team IdeRide member Daymien Ide railing corners on Stage 2, he had a solid weekend with a top ten in the U20 men's class.

David Flynn chooses the fastest line on the giant Stage 2 rock feature, cracking the Pro Men's top 10.

Riders were able to find flow on Stage 3, as it contained the least awkward, speed-robbing rock features.

Stage 4 featured a combination of stone walls and this huge rock slab followed by a wooden gap jump to keep riders on their toes. Team Granite's Ryan Coleman points it and stays off the brakes to take the runner up spot in the 30-39 men's class.

Mark Schnepel throws some style for the camera toward the bottom of Stage 4, he would finish top 15 in the 40-49 men's class.

Stage 5 was no walk in the park, throwing racers into a loose rock garden followed by a series of steep corners right off the bat. Cycle Craft Fitness and Intense Cycles rider PJ Renquin handles the chunky rocks with ease, beating a stacked field in the 21-29 men's class with a final race time of 11:41.

Stages 5 and 6 were located on the steep hillside near the parking lot where the ski trails once operated. Bo Fuller demonstrates a flawless slalom turn on the switchbacks of Stage 6 while securing fourth place in the 50+ men's class.

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, Marie Vaine keeps it pinned through the greasy grass corners at the bottom of Stage 6, she would finish 4th for the Amateur Women.

Alex Rims Super Stage winners rewarded handsomely for their speed on Stage 6. Our fastest amateurs, Caroline Allen and Jeff L'Heureux, each went home with a fresh pair of Alex Rims.

After a long winter it's great to see familiar faces out on the trails, including Josh Tidman, who took a couple years off racing but is back to throwing shapes on the bike.

Caroline Allen won all six stages, earning her first Amateur Women's win by a commanding lead of 1 minute 20 seconds.

Jeff L'Heureux, riding for NBX Bikes, keeps it low and fast to win three stages and take second place in the 40-49 men's class.

JRA Cycles racer Ziggy Ribetto moved up to the Pro Men's class for 2019 and is already in good form with a seventh place finish at the first race of the year.

Bike Check

With off season team and brand contract changes aplenty, there were quite a shiny new rides rolling around the parking lot at Diamond Hill. Among those is Seamus Powell's Canyon Strive which is paired with components from brands the U.S. National Enduro Champion hand-picked while building a new sponsor program for 2019. Let's take a closer look:

Rider height: 6'4" Weight: 195 pounds
Frame: Canyon Strive 29er, Size: XL
Fork: MRP Ribbon Coil 160mm Travel (Medium-Firm Spring depending on tracks)
Rebound: 16 Clicks from full open
Ramp Control: 7 clicks from open
Spring preload: 5 clicks
Low speed compression: 4 clicks from open
Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe 150mm (soon to be MRP Hazzard Coil w/ progressive rear spring)
Compression: 3 Clicks of low speed
Rebound: middle to slowish
Brakes: TRP G-Spec DH
Rotors: 200 mm front, 180mm rear
Shifter and Derailleur: SRAM X0
Cassette: SRAM Eagle
Cranks: FSA Gradient 170mm
Chain Ring: FSA SLK 34t
Chain Guide: FSA Gravity, modified for Enduro
Wheels: FSA Afterburner
Hubs: FSA Afterburner
Tires: Vittoria Tires new Martello 29"x2.35" w/Graphene 2.0, 25 PSI front, 28 PSI rear w/ Vittoria Airliner
Saddle: Ergon
Seatpost: FSA Flowtron
Bars: FSA Gradient, 25mm rise, 800mm long
Stem: FSA Gradient, 45 mm
Grips: Ergon

Normally the Fox Transfer Seatpost Climbers Challenge is decided by a timed climb but since all the timing equipment was used on the six stages this weekend, the Fox Transfer dropper post was awarded to our fastest finisher in the Amateur Women's class, Caroline Allen.

CFM Cycles rider Alisha Darin is a frequent flyer on the Maxxis ESC Specialized Enduro Series Pro Women's podium. Strong results across the board this weekend, including a second place on Stage 6, would land her in third place come Sunday afternoon.

Kathryn Lawrence is an experienced XC and CX racer who entered her first Enduro race this weekend, won the final stage and ended up taking second place in the Pro Women's class. Not a bad start to her Enduro career!

Rachel Pageau has a new Pivot Firebird for 2019 but she's still up to the same old tricks, taking the win by 34 seconds, winning all but one stage. "It was so good to catch up with all the friends this weekend, I was so excited to come down to Rhode Island (also my first trip there). With the rainy weather, the miserable travel days and all the finals I had just been through, I didn't feel like I was riding to the best of my abilities but the trails were super fun and challenging. I love my new bikes, they're fire!"

Pro Women's podium: 4th - Alison Crocker, 2nd - Kathryn Lawrence, 1st - Rachel Pageau, 3rd - Alisha Darin, 5th - Christsonthy Drellos

Willem Cooper is no stranger to the terrain at Diamond Hill, he rides here often and had a hand in planning/building sections of trail used in the race. His local knowledge would pay off with a Stage 3 win and third place finish in the Pro Men's class.

Adam Morse's was head hunting on his orange Yeti SB150 this weekend, just 10 seconds off the win with the fastest time of Stage 4.

First race, first place for Defiant Racing's newest recruit Max Beaupre, winning four stages with a final race time of 10:19. Max and his dad John both won their classes and took home some extra cash through the Intense Cycles Podium Payback Program. "Linking up with Defiant Racing was a big move for me this year and I'm so grateful to have the chance to be on such a rad team. We have such a great group of guys who are 100% focused on racing and I'm super stoked to be part of that! Winning on my home track was a dream come true. I've been riding Diamond Hill nearly every day for the past couple of months trying to dial all of my lines in with that gold medal in the pro class on my mind. I'm in a really good headspace right now and I'm going full gas into 2019. Coming home to my family with both my dad and I having gold medals was such a great feeling."

Pro Men's podium: 4th - Saben Rossi, 2nd - Adam Morse, 1st - Max Beaupre, 3rd - Willem Cooper, 5th - Nathan Sterckx

Bike season has officially arrived on the East Coast, wash 'em up and get ready as we head south for the next Maxxis ESC Specialized Enduro Series and EWS Qualifier race May 19th at Glen Park in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The Maxxis ESC stop at Glen Park has sold out the past two years and holds the record for the largest mtb enduro race in the east at 289 racers in last year's series stop. get registered soon on the Maxxis ESC Website

Words and photos: Andrew Santoro
Video: Jason Scheiding

Full Results


May 5 Diamond Hill, RI
May 19 Glen Park, PA – EWS Qualifier
June 2 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 23 Blue Mountain, PA
July 7 Burke Mountain, VT PA – EWS Qualifier
July 14 Plattekill, NY
July 21 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 4 Killington, VT
Aug 18 Plattekill, NY
Sept 8 Victory Hill, VT
Sept 29 Mountain Creek, NJ
Oct 6 Thunder, MA Finals PA – EWS Qualifier

June 2 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 23 Blue Mountain, PA
July 14 Plattekill, NY
July 21 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 4 Killington, VT
Aug 18 Plattekill, NY
Sept 29 Mountain Creek, NJ
Oct 20 Plattekill, NY Finals

MAXXIS ESC BOX SHOWDOWNS - DH and Enduro on the same day
June 2 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 23 Blue Mountain, PA
July 14 Plattekill, NY
July 21 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 4 Killington, VT
Aug 18 Plattekill, NY
Sept 29 Mountain Creek, NJ

May 19 Glen Park, PA
July 7 Burke Mountain, VT
Oct 6 Thunder Mountain, MA Enduro Finals

CLIF ENDURO LITE presented by Maxxis ESC
Aug 25 Burke Mountain - Beginner Enduro Racers - Families - Kids - Fun!


  • + 17
 SO MUCH FUN! Thanks everyone!
  • + 8
 "I've been riding Diamond Hill nearly every day for the past couple of months trying to dial all of my lines in with that gold medal in the pro class on my mind."

The spirit of enduro is strong!
  • + 5
 Thank you so much for bringing the ESC back to Rhode Island this year. Bit of mud here and there but as usual, it was a blast! Big shout out to the trail crew, the 6 stages were the right mix of techy, gnarly and flowy.
I'm pumped for Glenn Park. :-D
  • + 5
 Great start to the season. Lots of positive vibe all weekend. The ESC community is something special. For the record, Max's dad (me) did not win the 50+ class, I got 2nd.
  • + 2
 Ah man, late night editing got the best of me on that one. Congrats on great results for the two of you anyway!
  • + 7
 Great pics and coverage as usual Santoro!
  • + 4
 Wicked event! Another well executed race setup. Thanks esc and see ya at the next one in my retired mail van Smile
- 1/2 fast racing-
  • + 3
 Thank you for such an awesome event. Looking forward to the rest of this race season. The rain was no match for the energy coming from the 1st ESC event, the stoke was real!
  • + 5
 Great Job as usual!! What a great community of riders!
  • + 4
 Pro win was well deserved. Pretty sure the same guy took the W at an early season event in Binghamton as well.
  • + 2
 Well that was fun! Sunday’s rain didn’t dampen anyone’s sprit and I can’t wait for the next stop, Glen park EWS qualifier.
  • + 4
 Shame I couldn't have been there, I gotta move back up North.
  • + 3
 Great event, great trails, great times!! Thanks for an awesome weekend of enduro fun!!
  • + 3
 Awesome world class event, can't wait for the next one!
  • + 2
 Awesome event. Cant wait to hit some more!
  • + 1
 Was really surprised what that little hill had to offer. Great trail work out there! As always esc putting on a great event
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