Video and Race Report: California Enduro Series Finals - Kamikaze Bike Games 2015

Sep 29, 2015 at 22:26
by Michele Charboneau / Cali Enduro  
Views: 4,306    Faves: 7    Comments: 1


Racers faced a series of switchbacks on Skid Marks Trail at the top of Stage 3 the roughly 15-mile course s longest stage. Photo by Called to Creation
Racers faced a series of switchbacks at the top of Stage 3, the roughly 15-mile course’s longest stage. Photo: Called to Creation

Words by Patrick D. Rosso


Slick pumice-laden dirt, elevation that left racers gasping, and plenty of bloody shins and broken bikes—it was just another day at the Mammoth Enduro, held September 26-27, 2015 at the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park.

The last stop of the California Enduro Series and part of the larger Kamikaze Games, the roughly 15-mile event in the eastern Sierras took racers, from pros to beginners, out of their comfort zone and hurled them down some of the most technical runs seen in the six-race series. Full-face helmets and kneepads weren’t required, but most racers opted to protect their mugs.

Tim Krentz made quick work of Stage 1 s lower section. Photo by Patrick D. Rosso
Tim Krentz made quick work of Stage 1’s lower section. Photo: Patrick D. Rosso


The terrain was diverse and intense: boulders, exposed scree fields, plenty of punchy mid-stage climbs, and one leg that saw close to five-miles of pure descent with wood features, sharp rock gardens, and wide open sprints. Luckily for the 600 riders that braved the alpine terrain, lifts shuttled them to elevations of 11,000 feet for practice and the race.

Christopher Chandra muscled through the final portion of Stage 3 in Saturday s Sport and Beginner races. Photo by Patrick D. Rosso
Christopher Chandra muscled through the final portion of Stage 3 in Saturday’s Sport and Beginner races. Photo: Patrick D. Rosso


In Pro Men, Oakland, CA local Ryan Gardner, made quick work of the four stage course and took first with an overall time of 33:26.30. Tim Krentz wasn’t far behind in second, followed by young-gunner Teddy Hayden in third, Evan Geankoplis in fourth, and Tim Langdon in fifth.

I felt really, really strong. I’ve been racing cyclo-cross lately and I think it has really brought my fitness around,” Gardner, 29, explained post-race. “Some of the runs were super long and you can definitely feel the fatigue set in.

Pro Men s Podium for Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro.
Pro Men's Podium for Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro. Photo: Called to Creation


In Pro Women, Essence Barton of Thousand Oaks, CA, let off the brakes and fought her way to the top, finishing first with a time of 39:48.20. Amy Morrison was in hot pursuit, finishing second, followed by last year’s overall series winner Lauren Gregg in third, Nina Porcelli Fenn in fourth, and Brianne Spiersch in fifth.

It was good. I felt confident on Stage 1 and I wanted to start strong and I feel like I did, but two, three and four were crazy after that,” said Essence, 23. “I had a few crashes and I was a little disappointed, but I didn’t want to touch the brakes anymore.”

Pro Women s Podium for Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro.
Pro Women's Podium for Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro. Photo: Called to Creation


Rabobank was also at the race with its KOM/QOM challenge- putting $100 up for grabs to the fastest Pro/Expert and Sport/Beginner riders on longest stage of the race, Stage 3, which made up close 40-percent of the overall race. Ryan Gardner, with a time of 12:40.20, and Essence Barton, with a time of 14:43.70, took the KOM/QOM for the Pro/Expert, while Matt Guntert, with a time of 13:26.68, and Amanda Propst, with a time of 16:14.71, won the KOM/QOM for the Sport/Beginner.

Ryan Gardner s style and strength on display at the infamous elevator shaft on Stage 2. Photo by Patrick D. Rosso
Ryan Gardner’s style and strength on display at the infamous “elevator shaft” on Stage 2. Photo: Patrick D. Rosso


The weekend’s victories were awesome, but bitter sweet. Mammoth marked the conclusion to another radical California Enduro series, which featured races everywhere from the lush forests of Northern California to the granite of the Sierras.

Marco Osbone took the series win for the Pro Men with 188 of 200 possible points, followed by Evan Geankoplis, Ryan Gardner, Cory Sullivan, and Doug Thayer.

Marco Osborne - 2015 California Enduro Series Overall Pro Men Winner - VP Enduro on Gnarly Trail at China Peak. Photo by Called to Creation.
Marco Osborne - 2015 California Enduro Series Overall Pro Men Winner - VP Enduro on Gnarly Trail at China Peak. Photo: Called to Creation


Amy Morrison took the series win for the Pro Women with 160 of 200 points, followed by Lauren Gregg, Brianne Spiersch, Jackie Swider, and Nina Porcelli Fenn.

Amy Morrison During her race run on stage 1 - Amy took 2nd in Pro Women for the race and 1st Overall for the series. Photo by Called to Creation
Amy Morrison during her race run on stage 1 - Amy took 2nd in Pro Women for the race, and 1st Overall for the series. Photo: Called to Creation

Ryan Gardner on the rock drop of Stage 1 - Ryan took 1st in Pro Men for the race and 3nd Overall for the series. Photo by Called to Creation
Ryan Gardner on the rock drop of Stage 1 - Ryan took 1st in Pro Men for the race, and 3nd Overall for the series. Photo: Called to Creation

Brianne Speirch on stage 1 during her race run. Photo by Called to Creation
Brianne Speirch on stage 1 during her race run. Photo: Called to Creation

Andrew Stallings in the woods on Stage 3 - photo by Called to Creation.
Expert 19-29 rider Andrew Stallings in the woods on Stage 3. Photo: Called to Creation

Brianne Speirch on stage 1 during her race run. Photo by Called to Creation
Brianne Speirch on stage 1 during her race run. Photo: Called to Creation

A bike takes a nap while it s rider scouts lines. Photo by Called to Creation
That's a wrap folks! 2015 California Enduro Series is in the books - and the bikes can take a nap. Photo: Called to Creation


MENTIONS: @MammothMountain, @calienduro




23 Comments

  • + 15
 Ryan crushed it, so happy for him. But the pic of him in the elevator shaft showing his "style and strength" is actually jimmy lucchesi. His kona teammate with far less style and far less strength and sucking far more wind
  • + 2
 He is just aerodynamically challenged.
  • + 5
 Pinkbike says you look like a winner. Take it.
  • + 4
 jimmy that style makes my pecker woody
  • + 2
 ^hahaha gj Jimmy
  • + 2
 yah jimmy you killed it too. maybe behind... Ryan is in the back catching you? jk i dont think it is.
wish i didnt flat stage 4.
  • + 1
 Haha he would have passed me much sooner if he was behind me. Sorry you flatted
  • + 16
 I'M FAMOUS! EATING SHIT AT 1:43!!!
  • + 9
 Love this kind of coverage. Also--please include even more women and older categories ! For me at least, a beautiful part of enduro is that so many different groups can participate--'taint all about the elite! You already have that going but just want to support the notion...peace
  • + 9
 Kuddos to the two SRAM guys working over the weekend, they worked their butts off and couldnt be nicer. Got my bike fixed and many more for the races. Thanks!
  • + 7
 The SRAM guys have been working hard all summer fixing bikes at the CES events - huge props to them!
  • + 7
 Andy has done a miracle on my bike pretty much every round.
  • + 12
 Andy Jones, aka. "SRamdy" has led many folks towards SRAM through extensive and professional race education and outreach - his team support to all racers regardless of knowledge level consistently exceeds expectation. I truly hope his boss or team manager continues to support his work around the Western US in future. His interactions build rapport and personal relationships which go beyond any marketing campaign, he is a true ambassador for his company and address all challenges and riders with humility. Thanks SRAM!
  • + 5
 Huge Props to the SRAM dudes, especially Dan for helping me out big time with my shifter issue after Stage 3. I would have had a horrible time on Stage 4 if it wasn't for them.
  • + 4
 When SRAM Red first came out, back in like 2006 or 2007, I blew up my RD in a SuperWeek crit up in Wisconsin.

As a broke-dick college kid racing on a team bike that I didn't pay for, I couldn't afford to replace it, and I was more or less stuck in WI/Chicago for a week until I could hitch a ride home with a teammate. I was racing to put food in my mouth, working for faster teammates who shared their winnings with me.

At the suggestion of one of my teammates, I rolled my bike up to the SRAM neutral service pit during one of the lower category races in the early afternoon. Asked them if there was any hope for my RD. They said, "Let us check it out. Come back in an hour." I did, and when I got back, they'd put a brand new SRAM Red RD on it, adjusted my shifting, and cleaned my drivetrain. I've been riding their products ever since.
  • + 4
 Andy "sramdy" treats us all like pros! Thanks SRAM for great rider support all season!
  • + 2
 @LeDuke those were the days... in 2006 they started the SRAM NRS program that is run by Butch Balzano and Jose Alcala... they are super pro and ran the NRS for Campagnolo before they switched to SRAM so lots of pro-race mechanicing from them (they have definitely hung out of the car to work on my bike at 35mph more than once).... they are still going to races and supporting riders for road and cross... the SRAM team at CES comes from the Demo/Tech side (not NRS) but you certainly couldnt tell because Andy is every bit the team mechanic (fast and excellent) as anybody else... so we are super lucky to have the support of a company like SRAM who understands what it is to race and need the service...
  • + 1
 @eriksaun I remember watching you, on DVD, my first winter while riding the rollers. You were on Ofoto, and the race was Philly. Still the national championship back then. And yeah, I remember Jose quite well. Great guys.
  • + 1
 Andy is the man and goes above and beyond in every way. Hope his bosses are taking note. Stellar!
  • + 2
 Boom! ???????? Double Cannondale overal wins on Lefty forks!
  • + 1
 Shocking!
  • + 3
 Pdrosso killin it
  • + 1
 what's wrong with the video.. or is it just me?

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