Race Report: Eastern States Cup Showdown DH & Enduro at Mountain Creek, NJ

Aug 28, 2018 at 9:44
by Eastern States Cup  


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After a year hiatus, the MAXXIS Eastern States Cup returned to Mountain Creek Bike Park in northern New Jersey for the fifth Box Components Showdown weekend of season. The MCBP crew put together five demanding Enduro stages linked together with a mix of pedal and lift transfers while Downhill racers would take on a legit course somewhat similar to the Pro GRT track used earlier this year. With temperatures in the 80's and sunny skies (finally!), the trails were running prime and there were smiles on all 250 racers' faces.

Despite a busy weekend with a combination of two races, regular bike park traffic and scenic rides, the Cabriolet at Mountain Creek is one speedy contraption, so lift lines weren't an issue.

While MCBP features plenty of enjoyable trails with jumps, berms and wallrides, racers know it for being notoriously tough on equipment. You'll find every variety of rock here; large, small, loose, jagged and some even polished smooth.

No tire or tube is safe here.


Enduro

While the downhillers were still rolling out of bed, our enduro racers got things started bright and early with an 8:30am riders meeting.

Riders were put to the test before reaching their first stage of the day with a timed FOX Seatpost Climbers Challenge leading to the top of Granite Peak.

FOX Seatpost Climbers Challenge winners with their new FOX swag.

Line scoping party before dropping into Stage 1.

Lots of sketchy moments in the first woods of Stage 1 thanks to firm, slick dirt littered with roots and that sapling to the left of sixth place U15 finisher Ben Smith.

Flat Tire Defender Super Stage winners who clocked the top times on Stage 1 in their respective classes, including fastest amateurs Zane Mack and Miranda Gajda.

After completing their first stage, riders had a long fire road transfer ahead of them back to the top of Granite Peak. Central Maine Cycling Club racer Justin Lagassey flies through the wooded hillside of Stage 2, he would win one stage and take second place in the 21-29 Expert class.

Michael Della Donna gets loose on this steeps of Stage 3.

Vibe Optic racer Zane Mack staying off the brakes and letting the bike roll through this chunky rock section toward the top of Stage 4, he rode his way to a fifth place finish for the 15-20 year olds.

Nathan Sterckx trying to keep his bike clean or putting on a show for the condos at the bottom of Stage 4? He was all business on race day, winning every stage and finishing 1:39 ahead of the rest of the 15-20 year olds with the fifth fastest overall time of the day.

With pedal transfers behind them, riders headed up the Cabriolet for one last stage, perhaps the most grueling of the day. Lisa Chamberland sends it over the log gap in the final woods section of the day, she would find a spot on the podium with fourth place in the Pro Women's class.

Alex Rims Super Stage winners, including fastest amateurs Kale Cushman and James Shepherd with some fresh hoops for their efforts on Stage 5.

Liv Co-Factory Team team member Clarissa Finks took third place for the Pro Women with a final race time of 25:35.

Clair Sick, racing for IRIDE out of Vermont, was able to put together a solid race day and finish runner-up for our Pro Women's class. She's racked up seven podium finishes this season between MAXXIS ESC & CLIF Enduro East races.

Devinci Development Racing's Rachel Pageau was on point this weekend, winning all five stages and managing to put 1 minute 32 seconds between herself and the rest of the Pro Women when the dust settled. "I think most of the stages were fun but they were very physical and technical! Pretty solid day of racing with transfers being mostly pedals, but it's good to have an ESC that is mostly physical. My Enduro race went well, I was satisfied with my riding and had a pretty clean day on the bike."

Pro Womens Enduro podium from left: 3rd - Clarissa Finks, 1st - Rachel Pageau, 2nd - Clair Sick, 4th - Lisa Chamberland

Adam Morse was just a few seconds off the leader until the final stage on which he lost a solid chunk of time, finishing in third and 36 seconds off the win.

Chris Miller was able to put together two stage wins for second place, his third Pro Men's podium result of the season.

Adam Robbins rode his Devinci Spartan to his second win of the 2018 MAXXIS ESC season with a final race time of 18:20, beating the rest of the Pro Men's field by 13 seconds with three stage wins. "Racing the CLIF Enduro East earlier in the year at Creek may have helped with line choice but nothing could help with the amount of sprinting that was needed to go fast on Sunday. Pumped to carry the momentum into the EWS Continental Championship Finals at Burke Mountain / Victory Hill on September 15-16!"

Pro Mens Enduro podium from left: 5th - Jason Scheiding, 3rd - Adam Morse, 1st - Adam Robbins, 2nd - Chris Miller, 4th - Jason Memmelaar


Downhill

The Trail Crue at MCBP put together a legit downhill course, similar to the Pro GRT course used earlier this summer. Alex Negersmith was the first of 125 racers first to drop in from the top of the Cab.

Some chose to scrub over the Oakley drop toward the top of the course, Sean McKnight keeps it low and stylish on his way to a fifth place finish in the Expert 19-29 class.

Others chose to just send it deep, local racer Adam Hubbard finished 3rd for the 40+ Men and was just one second off the win.

Fernando Mota makes quick work of the first rock garden on his way to win the Amateur 30-44 class.

While the whoop section has mellowed out since last year, it still requires a rider's full attention. Wulfpak Racing's Jack Lancelin goes full throttle to take third place for the 30-39 Experts.

Everyone was raving about how fun the track was all weekend, it certainly helps when your trail boss knows his way around a bike. George Ryan flies off the container drop and into the finish area to finish sixth in the Pro Men's class.

Mauricio Estrada had a solid run at his home mountain, fifth place and his fourth podium finish of the season, just 3.61 seconds off the win.

Fly Racing Speed Zone winners including fastest amateurs Michaela Albanese and Nick Negersmith

Canadian racer Maxine Bergeron skips over the rocks in the final woods section on her way to a third place finish for the Pro Women.

Spoke Apparel racer Riley Weidman has earned podium results at every MAXXIS ESC Downhill race she's entered this season and kept that streak going with a second place this weekend, just 3.7 seconds off the top step.

Kristin Lenart was on form this weekend, having fun on track and laying down a scorcher of a race run to take the win with a final race time of 3:17. "This track was a blast! It's been a while since I've had this much fun learning a track! It was so fast and rowdy, I loved it! With so many fast ladies in the race, you had to push hard every inch of the track. There was no place to relax. I'm so excited to find that top step again!"

Pro Womens DH podium from left: 4th - Rachel Pageau, 3rd - Maxine Bergeron, 1st - Kristin Lenart, 2nd - Riley Weidman, 5th - Heather Munive

Defiant Racing's Jordan Daigle leaves a trail of dust behind him as he gets on the pedals in the final sprint toward the finish line, he would finish in third place for the Pro Men.

MAXXIS ESC Downhill points leader Isaac Allaire extended his lead this weekend with another win and the fastest time of the day at 2:36. "Mountain Creek is a great venue and the races here are always nothing but fantastic. The track layout was similar to the Pro GRT which is one of my favorite tracks. I was stoked before I even rode the track. I felt dialed on the bike all weekened and with the support of Defiant Racing it was an easy one to put together, I knew exactly what I needed to do. Thanks George and the MAXXIS ESC crew for such a great series."

Pro Mens DH podium from left: 5th - Dylan Conte, 3rd - Jordan Daigle, 1st - Isaac Allaire, 2nd - Steve Estabrook, 4th - Mauricio Estrada

Our top Box Components racers from the weekend who competed in both DH and Enduro from left: 3rd - Adrian Hayden, 1st - Rachel Pageau & Luke Hursh, 2nd - Clair Sick & Matt Driscoll

Get your bike and body mended back together because it ain't over yet! Enduro racers, we'll see you at the CLIF Enduro East EWS North American Continental Championship Finals in Burke and Victory Hill, Vermont September 15th, Downhill racers will be back at it with another Box Components Showdown at Thunder Mountain September 23rd.

Words and photos: Andrew Santoro
Video: Jason Scheiding

Full Enduro Results
Full DH Results
Easternstatescup.com


2018 MAXXIS ESC SCHEDULE

ENDURO
April 22 Glen Park, PA
May 6 Plattekill, NY
May 20 Binghamton, NY
June 3 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 17 Blue Mountain, PA
July 15 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 12 Victory Hill, VT
Aug 26 Mountain Creek, NJ
Sept 23 Thunder Mountain, MA
Sept 30 Wilmington, NY
Oct 21 Thunder Mountain, MA Finals

DOWNHILL
May 6 Plattekill, NY
June 3 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 17 Blue Mountain, PA
July 15 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 19 Windham, NY
Aug 26 Mountain Creek, NJ
Sept 23 Thunder Mountain, MA
Oct 14 Mount Snow, VT Finals

BOX SHOWDOWNS - DH and Enduro on the same day
May 6 Plattekill, NY
June 3 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 17 Blue Mountain, PA
July 15 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 26 Mountain Creek, NJ
Sept 23 Thunder Mountain, MA

CLIF ENDURO EAST presented by Maxxis ESC
July 1 Mountain Creek, NJ - EWS Qualifier
July 29 Thunder Mountain, MA - EWS Qualifier
Sept 16 Victory Hill / Burke Mountain - EWS North American Continental Championships FINALS

CLIF ENDURO LITE presented by Maxxis ESC
July 8 Burke Mountain - Beginner Enduro Racers - Families - Kids - Fun!

ESC Showdown 2 2018



19 Comments

  • 13 0
 I raced there this past weekend with my son and had a great time. Even though my 12yo broke his wrist at the top of stage one after handle barring one of those “sniper saplings”. The course was extremely physical, technical, steep, and gnarly. Honestly one of the toughest things I’ve ever ridden. Both my son and I can’t wait to go back and really learn how to clean some of that stuff. Hats off to the trail crews, race staff, and everyone involved. Thanks to Justin Lagassey, and Adam Morse for taking some time out to show this an old dad weekend warrior some cool lines on the various stages.
  • 7 0
 that last dudes bike gollllly
  • 7 0
 Great shots A.S. Keep it up.
  • 4 0
 Thanks buddy!
  • 3 0
 That mashed up back wheel pretty much sums up Mt Creek. Great shots and racing !
  • 4 0
 So glad we could make it down to NJ this year and MCBP did not disappoint. DH track was straight fire, while the Enduro was a psychical battle through all 5 stages. Hope to be back in 2019
  • 5 0
 Panshot game on point. Bummed to miss this one, MCBP is one of the best venues.
  • 6 0
 Morsepower!
  • 2 1
 Great shots! Looks like a great race! Can anyone shed some light on the enduro transfers? Sounded like three, or four pedals to top? what kind of elevation gain and distance were those?
  • 2 0
 there were technically 4 pedal transfers, the first one to stage 1 was pretty short after riding a short trail down from the lift, 1-2 was the longest of the day, 2-3 was another and then 3-4 was the same one as 1-2 but only about half way. the transfer from the lift to 5 was downhill and a flow trail Smile
I checked my buddies strava from the race and looks like approx 600m elevation and 5km of climbing total.
  • 1 0
 @richsoffar: sweet! Thanks for the info. Transfers are a critical part of racing, I wish more attention was given (just a bit, exciting part is DOWN, I get it) to what racers deal w/ to get to the starts of stages. Thanks!!
  • 3 0
 Did Mike ride that across the line?
  • 3 0
 I believe he did.
  • 3 1
 Dropping a comment because you said toSmile Honestly, what other series is there that does what you guys do?....
  • 3 0
 What a weekend!!
  • 3 0
 awesome race
  • 3 3
 Anybody besides me think that was his gut hanging out on the pro enduro podium?

Also, fanboy internet searches for "Clair Sick" on the increase this day. Wink
  • 2 0
 Nice work Riley!
  • 3 6
 That DH course was epic, i wish my local hill had something like that. Why the hell didnt they run the enduro on the DH track as well? The enduro track was lame

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