In the northwest corner of the Garden State, tucked neatly away in the rolling hills of Vernon, New Jersey, you'll find one of the most heralded downhill and freeride destinations in the country: Mountain Creek Bike Park. The 2015 Mountain Creek Spring Classic weekend marks the 2nd stop for USAC's Pro GRT series and this year drew over 100 pro riders and many more amateurs to the picturesque mountain resort. Racers were free to walk the track on Thursday before limited practice runs opened up on Friday. Saturday would provide athletes with the largest opportunity to practice their lines before Junior X and Pro men and women would take their seeding runs.
With conditions on Saturday more closely resembling those of southern California than what most would expect from the northeast, the track was unbelievably fast and loose for the athletes. Traditionally known for its rocky and technical sections, in addition to a handful of sizable features over the past several years, the Trail Crue kept things largely the same for 2015, with a handful of additions; including the sizable Red Bull drop roughly halfway down the track. Several heavy hitters were in attendance along with some of the east coast's finest.
Once the dust actually settled, it would be Aaron Gwin and Jill Kintner taking the fastest times for the pro men and women on the day. The loose and fast conditions coupled with some windy moments led to a handful of scary moments, including Kona's Rae Gandolf getting blown off of her trajectory on the massive finish line jump which would result in serious injury. Our hearts go out to her, along with her husband Heath; two of the nicest people you'll ever meet trackside, and we wish her a speedy and full recovery. Aside from a few scary moments, the day was full of dusty berms, stylish jumps, and rocks: lots of big, square edged, and nasty rocks. Enjoy!Stay tuned to Pinkbike for Updates from Sunday's Race at the Mountain Creek Spring Classic Pro GRT.
Check out the full gallery of images from Saturday's practice and seeding round here.
Full results from Saturday's seeding can be found here.