Video & Race Report: Eastern States Cup EWS Gold Qualifier - Arrowhead, NH

Aug 24, 2021 at 8:23
by Eastern States Cup  

While most of New England hunkers down for Hurricane Henri, the Maxxis ESC series headed back to New Hampshire to race at a brand new venue. Claremont's Arrowhead Recreation Area may not be on most people's radars, but after this weekend we can confirm that it has the goods. Steep, loamy trails wind their way down the 500' vertical hillside nestled in the Granite State's Monadnock region. The excitement was high all around, with racers commenting how much fun they had riding the trails and the Claremont town officials were on hand to check out this world-class event. Racers battled six loose stages in hopes to secure their trip to next year's Enduro World Series rounds and it was two youngsters who took the Pro class wins.

Straddling the Vermont border, Arrowhead Recreation Area serves as a great place to have a blast in any season. Add EWS Gold Qualifier venue to the use list which previously included skiing/snowboarding, tubing, hiking, snowmobiling and ATVing.

Just 500 vertical feet of pedaling can get you some pretty amazing views around these parts.

Those views don't come easy though, especially when you have to make the pedal (or walk) six times in 90% humidity.

Fresh race day rubber for Ryan Bigham.

Another happy rider's meeting giveaway customer with his new Fox Transfer dropper post.

Tough year for tire availability, John Foody says plugs with a rubber cement garnish make them last.

The dirt here in the Granite State is fresh and grippy, but the slick roots will drag you into the low line when you least expect it.

21-29 men's class winner Michael Stuck gives the media squids something to snap a shutter at toward the end of Stage 2.

Luke Melo sampling some of New England's finest loam, 7th in the U20 class.

Second place U15 finisher Matthew Gagnon showing us just how steep the trails here are.

P7 for first-year Pro Adrian Hayden with the ProBuilds team.

Solid weekend for Outdoor Gear Exchange's Sammy Hedlund, ninth place in a stacked Pro men's field.

Lauren Breza earned a stage win and fourth place for the Pro ladies.

Todd Alix threads the needle to find the hero dirt, second place for the 50+ Men.

Fresh off his trip to the Maribor World Cup and right on the pedals, second place in the U20 class for Jack DiChiara.

There's a much lower consequence line to the right of this, but Saben Rossi gives the people what they want. Fourth place for the Pro Men this weekend after spending some time racing a couple EWS rounds in Europe.

Longtime Maxxis ESC racer Rob Westover sails it into fourth place for the 40-49 Men.

Coal MTB's Mark Gilbert lets the foot loose for stability, he would go on to win the U20 class with a couple of stage wins.

Ryan Bigham takes the fast way down Stage 6, first place in the 30-39 men's class.

Just 1.7 seconds off the 40-49 men's class win for Greg Jackson.

Liv Racing Collective's Riley Miller slotted into third place for the Pro Women.

A pair of stage wins and second place in the Pro women's class for Sarah Howerter.

14 years old Kale Cushman picked a good race to take her first Pro victory, three stage wins and a margin of over ten seconds overall. "Rolling into a small town that is collectively psyched for a mountain bike race is the welcome that sets the mindset for the weekend. Fresh tracks thanks to the local builders - stacked with steeps, jam-packed with features and flowing with fresh loam – absolutely icing on the cake. Arrowhead is at the top of my fun list of venues for sure. Most of us that set out early lucked out with good weather, and I managed to keep it mainly upright through all the stages. A top spot on the podium is one that I’ve been working hard for a long time – and I couldn’t be more excited. We were all pretty close with times at the end of the day – stoked for the rest of the season!"

Pro Women: 5th - Hannah Harrington, 3rd - Riley Miller, 1st - Kale Cushman, 2nd - Sarah Howerter, 4th - Lauren Breza Photo: Chris Gilbert

Alex McAndrew rounded out the Pro Men's top three, who were within five seconds of each other.

Second place for Adam Morse this weekend, 3.24 seconds off the win.

Max Beaupre showed the vets how it's done this weekend, taking top honors with a final race time of 11:32.999. "Had such a great time being back up in the northeast seeing all the ESC locals! The trail crew at Arrowhead absolutely killed it with these tracks! The super deep loam combined with the wet roots and rocks made for constantly changing tracks, which made it that much more fun to throw down on! Had a super solid day on the bike with minimal mistakes and kept it rubber side down. The Jekyll was working so well in these conditions and I cannot wait to push this rig harder in the NE jank! Huge shoutout to the Arrowhead trail crew and the ESC officials for putting on a sick event as always! Massive thanks to Motorex, Cannondale, 100%, and Maxxis for keeping my program rolling!"

Pro Men: 4th - Saben Rossi, 3rd - Alex McAndrew, 1st - Max Beaupre, 2nd - Adam Morse, 5th - Steve Estabrook Photo: Chris Gilbert

That's it, that's all from New Hampshire. What a weekend of loam surfing and although it was a wet ride home, Hurricane Henri didn't even spoil the fun. Thanks for joining us, see you at another Maxxis ESC event soon!

Words and photos: Andrew Santoro
Video: Jason Scheiding

Full Results


May 23 Powder Ridge, CT
June 27 Blue Mountain, PA
July 11 Thunder Mountain, MA
July 25 Windham, NY
Aug 1 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 29 Blue Mountain, PA
Sept 12 Sugarloaf, ME
Sept 26 Jiminy Peak, MA
Oct 3 Powder Ridge, CT
Oct 24 Mountain Creek, NJ - Series Finals

May 2 Diamond Hill, RI
May 22 Powder Ridge, CT - Outbound Lighting Night Enduro
June 6 Glen Park, PA
July 11 Thunder Mountain, MA
Aug 1 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 22 Arrowhead Recreation Area, NH - EWS Gold Qualifier
Aug 29 Blue Mountain, PA
Sept 12 Sugarloaf, ME - EWS Gold Qualifier
Sept 26 Jiminy Peak, MA - EWS Gold Qualifier
Oct 2 Powder Ridge, CT - Outbound Lighting Night Enduro
Oct 17 Mountain Creek, NJ - Series Finals

May 2 Diamond Hill, RI
May 22 Powder Ridge, CT
June 6 Glen Park, PA
July 11 Thunder Mountain, MA
Aug 1 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 22 Arrowhead, NH
Sept 12 Sugarloaf, ME
Oct 2 Powder Ridge, CT

May 22 Powder Ridge, CT
July 11 Thunder Mountain, MA
Aug 29 Blue Mountain, PA
Sept 12 Sugarloaf, ME
Sept 26 Jiminy Peak, MA
Oct 2 Powder Ridge, CT

May 1 Diamond Hill, RI - XC
July 10 Thunder Mountain, MA - XC

Aug 14-15 Blue Mountain, PA - DH - DS - XC - Enduro


  • 11 0
 I’ve been going to ESC races since 2011 and this was definitely in my top 3 events. The tracks were awesome, the volunteers were great and thankfully the weather held off. Hats off to the locals that put in the work at the venue, the effort definitely showed.
  • 6 0
 Loam fer days!! This race was incredible. Big tech, fast stages with insane dirt and a bunch of slippery as hell roots/rocks thrown in for good measure to keep you on your toes.
  • 5 0
 Although I didn't race I live in the area and ride these trails a fair amount and a huge shoutout is needed for Claremont Cycle Depot for cutting some of the sickest enduro trails in NH. This place is super special and by the looks of it there potential for even more tails to be carved in there.
  • 4 0
 That place looks DAMN fun. Can't wait to find a window to get up there and ride this fall. Great job Claremont community in building something awesome.

A kind request to the video editing department to switch up the soundtrack.... the early 2000's scream rock is killing my ears Smile
  • 3 0
 This place has been the biggest surprise of the year thus far. From what I hear the only place with better loam will be Sugarloaf. The people at Claremont put in a ton of work and ESC put together a perfect/fun weekend once again, thanks to all involved.
  • 2 0
 All 6 stages were seriously fun. The loam was other level and made for great racing. Definitely rewarded those with downhill chops who were ready to "let er eat". ESC and the local trail crew knocked this one out of the park. That climb tho...
  • 2 0
 More than excited to see the secret get out.......Arrowhead is a party. A few more runs should be opened by the fall. Stay tuned!
  • 1 0
 Hell yes! So excited to see what's next for arrowhead. Hopefully new trails keep getting built, there's so much potential there!
  • 1 0
 Amazing trails to race on and incredibly tight racing, cheers to the builders.
  • 4 3
 Great looking venue! But it is not in the Monadnock Region.

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