Race Report & Video: Eastern States Cup Showdown - Blue Mountain, PA

Jun 25, 2019 at 11:40
by Eastern States Cup  

381 racers were on hand this weekend for the second Maxxis ESC Box Components Showdown stop of the season at Pennsylvania's Blue Mountain Bike Park. Nestled in the heart of the Poconos, Blue boasts the highest vertical you'll find in the state at just over 1,000 feet. The rocky trails here normally run fast and dry, becoming notorious with racers for their insatiable desire to eat up tires and rims. If you want to win here you've got to be light on the bike and have a little bit of luck on your side to make it all come together on race day.

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What's the soil made up of here at Blue Mountain? Razor sharp rocks, lots of them.

Don't be afraid to add a little extra sealant this weekend, the bike shop actually ran out of tires because so many racers were slicing through sidewalls during practice.

Box Components Showdown racers got an early 8:15am start on the five Enduro stages so they could make their afternoon Downhill start times.


Coal MTB's Jack Gilbert lost his chain somewhere between the rock littered switchbacks and sizeable drops of Stage 1, luckily he was able to recover it, add a master link at the bottom of the stage and continue on his way. How's that for Spirit of Enduro?

Kory Nagy was on fire this weekend, finishing top three on four stages including a pair of wins, but a mechanical on the lengthy Stage 3 would knock him back to 11th place overall. What could have been...

Don't get distracted by the Pocono views on the way down Stage 1 because you'll have plenty of time to enjoy them on the fire road pedal transfer to Stage 2.

The trails at Blue truly offer a little bit of everything, Nick Girioni blasts through the Stage 2 jump line on his way to a second place U21 finish.

Racers would take the Comet Quad lift to Stage 3, by far the longest and most taxing of the day with its punchy uphill sections. Fifth place 21-29 men's class finisher Christian Crum lets his bike dance through the rocks on Night Train, a trail which may actually consist of more rock than dirt.

Seamus Powell lets it roll through the berms at the bottom of Stage 4 on his way to the fourth place Pro Men's finish, gaining the series overall points lead after three races. After blowing up a carbon rim and only finishing 3 stages last year, surely he's happy with this weekend's performance.

Stage 5 ran racers through the gamut with another all you can eat rock buffet on King Tut before finishing off their day on part of Blue's dual slalom course. Jennifer Yanazzo was able to lock down Amateur women's class podium positions in both races this weekend, including the Enduro runner up spot.

Kim Quinlan was able to keep her tires full of air this weekend, taking third place in the race and first place overall in the Pro Women's Specialized Enduro series points battle.

CFM Cycles rider Alisha Darin kept it as smooth as one can here to earn the runner up spot and her third Pro women's class podium finish this season.

Rachel Pageau was representing for Canada again this weekend, smoking the Pro Women's field by 1:23 Sunday morning before setting her sights on the afternoon Downhill race. "As always, Blue was very chunky and rough (we even got a brand new extra-chunky stage) but it was a good time. Challenging tracks and sunny skies, what else can you wish for?!"

Pro Women's Enduro Podium: 4th - Clair Sick, 2nd - Alisha Darin, 1st - Rachel Pageau, 3rd - Kim Quinlan, 5th - Janel Demeter

Despite a shoulder injury earlier this season, Adam Robbins was able to endure the rocky chunder of Blue Mountain to secure third place and he appears to be in top form heading into the rest of the season.

Chris Miller won here last year and was on form again this weekend, just nine seconds off the repeat.

The top seven Pro Men all finished within a minute of each other but it was Vermont's Adam Morse who would have a slight edge on the rest of the field with a stage win and final race time of 18:13. "Blue Mountain is one of my long time favorite venues and I actually had my first ever pro win here in 2011 (pre-enduro while racing downhill at the time). I've had a good run of races here, but this mountain is notorious for shredding tires and smashing wheels with its plentiful deposits of unorganized rock. In fact, I once flatted 7 times here in a single weekend. I was able to keep air in the same set of tires all weekend long this time. A simple puncture would have been day over here with times absurdly tight for 18+ minutes of racing. There was no dominant winner this weekend with 4 of the 5 stages going to unique riders, so cheers to all the stage winners and podium finishers!"

Pro Men's Enduro Podium: 4th - Seamus Powell, 2nd - Chris Miller, 1st - Adam Morse, 3rd - Adam Robbins, 5th - Saben Rossi

Bike Check

Before we hop into the Downhill race action let's check out Dylan Conte's GT Fury race rig.

Rider height: 5’11” weight: 170lbs
Frame: GT Fury, size Large
Fork: Fox 49, 80 PSI, 6 tokens
Rebound: 5 clicks high and low
High speed compression: 17 clicks
Low speed compression: 10 clicks
Rear shock: Float X2 Air, 240 PSI, 3 spacers
Compression: 15 clicks high and low
Rebound: 10 clicks high and low
Brakes: SRAM Code
Rotors: 200mm front and rear
Shifter and Derailleur: SRAM XO1 DH 7spd
Cassette: XO1 DH 7spd
Cranks: Aluminum SRAM Decendant ,165mm
Chain Ring: 36t
Chain Guide: E*thirteen High Pivot, GT specific
Wheels: Industry Nine Grade
Hubs: Industry Nine Hydra
Tires: Schwalbe Magic Mary, 24 PSI front 28 PSI rear, no inserts
Saddle: Deity Sidetrack
Seatpost: Deity Retina
Bars: Deity Racepoint 35mm, 777 mm long, 38mm rise
Stem: Deity Intake DM, 50 mm
Grips: Deity Knuckleduster


Evan White sends the rock drop on his way to a respectable 8th place finish in the Amateur 16-29 men's class.

Liam Nichols decided to give Downhill racing a try this weekend and walked away with a pair of podium results.

Cutters Bike Shop rider Abigail Ronca smoked the rest of the Amateur women's class by over 22 seconds to take the win.

Riot Racing's Salvatore Martelli made no time to enjoy the view halfway down the course, he would earn his second top ten Expert 30-39 class finish of the season.

Matt Driscoll was the only Junior Expert to yank this sizeable root gap toward the bottom of the course and it paid off as he topped the rest of his class by over five seconds with the seventh overall fastest time of the day. Watch out Pro Men, he's only getting faster.

The fastest racers from each class as clocked through the Fly Racing Speed Zone.

Rachel Pageau capped off her weekend with another podium result, taking third place in the Downhill Pro women's class.

Local shredder Kristin Lenart was able to put it all together this weekend and take the Pro Women's runner up position, 2.62 seconds off the win.

Mazie Hayden is on fire in 2019, she laid down a scorcher of a run to take her second win of the season in as many races with a final race time of 2:55. "I had a lot of fun this weekend! Historically my results at Blue have not matched up with how I've felt...I always thought I'd had a decent run but my time would tell a different story. This weekend the way I felt actually matched the clock so I'm stoked for that. As always, the track was a blast and ESC put on an awesome event."

Pro Women's DH Podium: 4th - Ming Goetz, 2nd - Kristin Lenart, 1st - Mazie Hayden, 3rd - Rachel Pageau, 5th - Riley Weidman

After finishing 8th here last year, Dylan Conte has got to be stoked on a Pro Men's third place this weekend.

Filz Built Bicycles rider Ian Norris kept it rubber side down, taking the Pro Men's runner up spot to match his efforts from last year. He sits second in the overall series points battle heading into Plattekill.

Defiant Racing's Steve Estabrook was able to tame the rocky mountainside of Blue Mountain, putting nearly three seconds into the rest of the Pro men's field to land on the top step when the dust settled Sunday afternoon. "I had a big get off last run Friday and mangled my bike but thankfully I was fine, and we had Factory Phil there to take care of the bikes. Great weekend with great company, what more could I ask for?!"

Pro Men's DH Podium: 4th - George Ryan, 2nd - Ian Norris, 1st - Steve Estabrook, 3rd - Dylan Conte, 5th - James Frost

That's all she wrote from Blue Mountain, Downhill racers get a bit of a break before returning to Plattekill July 14th and Enduro racers will be back in action July 7th at Burke Mountain in Vermont's beautiful Northeast Kingdom.

Words and photos: Andrew Santoro
Video: Jason Scheiding

Enduro Results
Downhill 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!


  • 3 0
 As my local park- I try to make this race every year. Hopefully one year I’ll put a decent time down. That picture does not do that root gap any justice, I saw him pull it off while walking the track. Absolutely insane.
  • 3 0
 Torophoto coming through with the photos and the stan’s this weekend. Thanks for keeping my front tire inflated at least. Is it time for platty yet?
  • 2 0
 Great weekend of racing. My son and I raced DH first time at this race last year. Loved it so much we have ridden 2 DHSE races and are doing 3 ESC this year. Love the crew and the community at the events. Cheers ????
  • 2 0
 Blue Mountain is gorgeous and the trails rock (literally)! Last year I did not enjoy 'Night Train' but this year it was my favorite stage. :-)
  • 3 0
 Another amazing ESC weekend. See you all at Platty in a few weeks!
  • 2 0
 Fantastic race series. The folks that run the ESC do a bang up job. Love doing these races with my boy.
  • 3 0
 The woods were so quiet on race runs.
  • 1 0
 Blue mountain is always worth the trip. Stoked to get a few laps in myself ????

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