California Enduro Series: Round 2 VP EnduroFest Recap

Jun 24, 2014 at 19:07
by Michele Charboneau / CA Enduro  

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014

200 racers entered and took on the challenging terrain. Jackie Harlow made short work of the loose dirt and chunky rocks that set the tone for the race. Beginners and juniors rode 7 miles and climbed 1500' while everyone else rode 14 miles and climbed nearly 3000'.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014

China Peak opened up the lifts for the first time this season for race practice. Riders who raced round 1 in Reno were relieved not to have to climb to get practice runs in on course. Racers were able to get multiple runs in on each of the courses 3 stages. The downside to lift assisted practice is that the trails got beat up real quick. The course changed markedly from the beginning of the day to the end. Turns deteriorated into deep, deep, sand traps. The chatter of the day began with talk of lines through the rock gardens of stage 3 but as the day wore on and the sand deepened, talk shifted on techniques for keeping the shiny side up and carrying speed through the soft loose turns. All kinds of theories were floated, from laying off the front brake, running a softer rear end to keep the front end up, slowing rebound way down, all the way to rubbing some snake oil on it and sacrificial offerings to the gods of enduro.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Lauren Gregg (FOX) dialing in her line through the rock garden during practice. The rock gardens on stage 3 had people fired up, and were the site of much sessioning during practice. Gregg went on to a fifth place pro womens finish.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Lots of ladies came out to China Peak for the race. Liz Miller pinned through the soft steeps in practice.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Boostin the bridges in practice. The bottom of stage 3 was a flattish pedal out to the finish through some sharp rocks, some tight trees, and over some narrow water crossing. After nearly three miles and with pro times approaching the ten minute mark, no one looked this hyphy here during the race.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Erik Saunders of VP Components, who put on the race and is an integral part of the California Enduro Series, drops knowledge on racers during the riders meeting. He covered the usual stuff about safety, starting protocol, course marking, etc. He also let all the snipers out there know that the race organizers had gone out after practice and taped and blocked off all of the cheater lines. Sorry bout it.

Race shots from CES round 2 VP EnduroFest at China Peak Mountain Resort June 21 2014.
No lifts on race day. Beginners climbed once, everyone else made the ascent to the top of the mountain twice. Ain't no birthday party at China Peak.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Cedar Kyes (Marin Bikes) made a good showing in the expert mens field, impressive considering he hadn't been on his bike since the last race in Reno.

Race shots from CES round 2 VP EnduroFest at China Peak Mountain Resort June 21 2014.
Scott Chapin (Santa Cruz) and his mustache kept it casual as they dropped into the trees on stage 1. Not too casual though as they sauntered into a 4th place pro mens finish.

Race shots from CES round 2 VP EnduroFest at China Peak Mountain Resort June 21 2014.
Jon Buckell (Incycle/ODI) showing that though he may have been rocking the lesser mustache of the mens pro podium, that a mustache aint everything, taking 3rd for the day.

Race shots from CES round 2 VP EnduroFest at China Peak Mountain Resort June 21 2014.
Jeff Kendall-Weed (Ibis/Retro Cellars) took the monster truck right side line right through the gnashing teeth of the rock garden on stage 3. Good enough for a second place pro finish.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Jeremiah Newman (Felt/WTB) came into the rock garden on stage 3 at mach loony and absolutely crushed it, leaving spectators slack jawed and downright perplexed. His brazen bike handling brought him a first place pro finish. Cheers Jeremiah.

Race shots from CES round 2 VP EnduroFest at China Peak Mountain Resort June 21 2014.
Jackie Swider put down power and took third place for pro women.

Race shots from CES round 2 VP EnduroFest at China Peak Mountain Resort June 21 2014.
Rachel Throop (GT/SRAM/KENDA/TLD) had clean runs all day and took second place for pro women.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Amy Morrison (Mikes Bikes) came with the quickness and took first place in the pro womens field.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Pro men: 1st Jeremiah Newman, 2nd Jeff Kendall-Weed, 3rd Jon Buckell, 4th Scott Chapin, 5th Casey Coffman.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Ahhh yes, the selfie. Pro womens podium: 1st Amy Morrison, 2nd Rachel Throop, 3rd Jackie Swider, 4th Christine Hirst, 5th Lauren Gregg

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Hella schwag for the fast folks, and $5000 pro purse. Not bad.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
The post race atmosphere was kinda like this.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
...and this

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
...and some of this.

Race shots from CES round 2 VP EnduroFest at China Peak Mountain Resort June 21 2014.
And a bit of this. Casey Coffman kicking back after nailing down a 5th place pro finish.

Race shots from CES 2 at China Peak resort 2014
Big ups to this guy, Steve Gemelos, for helping to put together the California Enduro Series. Thanks Steve.

Aaron Bartling Giant Team Bike amp Bean not only walked away with 2nd place in his category he also won the brand new 2015 FOX Float 36 raffled off at the end of the race. FOX donated five of these highly anticipated forks to be raffled off one at each of the five California Enduro Series events with the proceeds benefiting Stafford Lake Bike Park and Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz for the Soquel Demonstration State Forest flow trail projects . There are three more forks to raffle off the next one at round 3 the Northstar Livewire Classic Enduro. You need not be present to win so support your California trail projects and take a shot a winning the hottest new fork from FOX

WIN A 2015 FOX 36
Aaron Bartling (Giant Team Bike & Bean) not only walked away with 2nd place in his category, he also won the brand new 2015 FOX 36 fork raffled off at the end of the race. FOX donated five of these highly anticipated forks to be raffled off—one at each CES 2014 event—with proceeds benefiting Stafford Lake Bike Park and Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (for the Soquel Demonstration State Forest flow trail project). There are three more forks to raffle off—the next one at round 3, the Northstar Livewire Classic Enduro. You need not be present to win, so support your California trail projects and take a shot at winning the hottest new fork from FOX Tickets are $5 each. Buy tickets now for the next drawing.

California Enduro Series race 1 of 2014

WIN A MARIN MOUNT VISION CARBON XM8
Are you stoked on the series so far? You can help California Enduro series continue to offer world-class events by spreading the word about their Marin Bikes Mount Vision C-XM8 fundraiser raffle... and purchase a ticket or two yourself.

Marin generously donated the super light, full-carbon trail bike, which will be raffled off at the series finale, the Santa Cruz Super Enduro (need not be present to win). Tickets are $5; proceeds offset series operating costs. Purchase tickets here. (Photo: Marin Bikes Team Factory rider Brian Astell ripping round 1 Battle Born Enduro on the Mount Vision C-XM Pro.)

VP EnduroFest at China Peak results
Series Standings
Series Schedule

Words: Matt De Young
Photos: Scott McClain, Called to Creation
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30 Comments

  • + 10
 i hated that juniors couldn't ride the third stage, first of all we paid the full price of registering, so we should race the full race,
  • + 7
 thanks for racing with us this year throughout the series..

for next year we will definitely have a junior expert class that will ride the expert course, and a junior beginner class that will ride the beginner course... in the past three years of putting on enduro races i have never had riders who i would consider fit enough to make the expert course, so we never considered it before, our juniors have always been at a beginner/sport level and some quite young... but now that we are seeing the super juniors out in force we will make the change in the series for 2015...

there were the handful of you who wanted to ride the full course, but there were just as many who were glad that they didnt have to ride course three because they were not at that level in fitness to make the climb or in skill to make the descent... as far as value for dollar goes we set the entry fee based on fixed costs, like venue fee, insurance fee, catering fees, timing fees, which have nothing to do with how far you ride... all our riders got a great value for the money and great prizes ten deep which is not the norm... next year we will go to 5 stages and it doesnt really cost us that much more... so at least you will get 5 stages next year in JR X and not have to pay 150% more...

stick with us, we are all growing together and we have a lot of years to develop as riders, as events and a series, and as a community...

when you get out of JR how do you feel about a u23 category?... that way we can create a showcase to promote the next generation of riders and create a platform for you that will give you value in the eyes of sponsors so you can have a few years to grow and develop before hitting the pro category... its an idea that i have, and i will post it in the CES forums to get a convo going...
  • + 3
 thanks a bunch, it means a lot that a 14 year olds comment on pink bike is even noticed, let alone responded to and considered, I will defiantly stick with the series, a u23 category might also be a smart idea because of the huge age gap in the 19 to i think it was like 30 something category
  • + 8
 no worries... all the riders are important to me... i was a junior once and your racing is just as important as the pro's racing in my eyes...
  • + 1
 An u23 cat is definitely a good idea
  • + 6
 Let's get some mention of the amateur racers...
  • + 0
 stay tuned... more to come, Ryan!
  • + 2
 the 35X category is probably the most competitive out there.. their lap times are lightening quick and the top ten positions are separated by 1-3 seconds!
  • + 1
 Yep, we worked pretty hard for the podium too...
  • + 2
 Wait...lift service so Enduro racers can get in multiple practice laps? I must not be understanding this Enduro thing at all because it sure just seems like DH on shorter travel bikes with some unnecessary, untimed climbing thrown in.
  • + 3
 The lift servise was on friday for practice. On race day we had to climb but it wasnt bad at all.
  • - 1
 The ingenuity of Northern California prevails again... Enduro without the annoyance of needing endurance or going on an adventure.....
  • + 6
 it is a far cry from DH, stages that are 10 minutes with lots of pedaling flat bits and short climbs aint no walk in the park. And to say we got in multiple practice laps is a joke that lift was slower than a salted snail..
  • + 2
 tell that to europe. they use lifts in practice and even in race stages. the VP enduro race day was two 4-mile climbs (we did it twice) up a ski resort in the freakin sierra nevadas. We had a GREAT time this weekend. vibes were good and everyone got along. yall should come out and hang
  • + 1
 @cuban-b, I seriously had no idea that they were using lifts in Europe for enduro race events. I was always under the impression that a big part of the allure of enduro was that the track was relatively unpracticed and fresh, both physically and in the minds of the racers. When I read in this article that the track was all beat up, it just made me think of every DH event I've ever been to. I understand that the stages are different and a lot of people think it's a hoot, but lifts and shuttles doesn't seem to be in the "spirit of enduro".... If climbing fitness is part of the enduro design, then it should matter in practice just as much as it does in the race.
  • + 3
 @cuban-b even the EWS has some lift action on it at times.
  • + 1
 There's many different formats for enduro. If you're concerned that this format was not appropriate to your perception of enduro, then my advice would be to contact the race organizers to share your concerns, or hold races yourself so that you may determine the desired format, or just don't race them.

BUT despite the criticisms we received from online members who did NOT attend the race, we somehow still had an awesome time and surprisingly nobody complained about the fact that we were forced to take the ski lift on practice day. Again the invite is always open for anyone to join us for a weekend of great fun and good company. that includes you b-mack, if you're ok with the lifts that is Wink . Good times!
  • + 2
 @cuban-b, Haha, no worries man. I'm downhiller though and through and lifts are where I live my summers, no problems with them here. I was just confused as to how the whole format works but I guess that's understandable as it's really still being solidified. I only piped up as it seemed that with the inclusion of lift practice, it seems the line between dh and Enduro is getting blurrier and not more defined. Just an observation really. Enduro-on homie...
  • + 2
 China Peak is an awesome resort, lucky that it's only 40 minutes away from where I'm at. Free MTB up there this weekend, too!
  • + 0
 Thanks for the info brother. I'll be going to yosemite this weekend... now I know to bring my bike too.
  • + 0
 FYI - Only free on Saturday, and about 3 hours drive from Yosemite Village. www.skichinapeak.com/biking.aspx
  • + 3
 Finally a CES event where I didn't see one lycra-clad rider. Things are looking up for enduro here in the states!
  • + 1
 that's a good start... I am wondering why hardly anybody is riding with a real helmet though...
  • + 3
 Amy slaughters trails. More balls then most men
  • + 3
 Totally digging the mop Cedar. Can't wait for opening day this Saturday.
  • + 2
 That was tons of fun! Can't wait for more!!!
  • + 2
 Why do I have to live in Tennessee?
  • + 2
 Anyone have a race map?
  • + 0
 Check the CES Facebook page. Somebody posted a stage map there.
  • + 1
 Cedar good to see you man.

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