Saturday, June 30, 2012

Angel Fire MSC #2 Chile Challenge Race Report

The roots crew represented at the MSC #2 Chile Challenge in Angel Fire, NM.  Not only was it an MSC race, but also a stop on the ProGRT Gravity Tour meaning that there was a lot of fast riders.   This race also had the only dual slalom race of the season.

Kevin, Jesse, Eric, Pete & Porter taking a photo with the famous Chris DelBosco (Center).
Our 7 hour trip started out with Myself, Jesse Ruland, Noah Sears, and Amy Knepper in my new “farm truck” which a 99 F250.  We ended up running out of gas 3.3 miles from Angel Fire at 2am because the fuel gauge doesn’t work all that well and still showed we had 1/8 of a tank left.  Luckily Kevin Soller was staying in the condo with us and was only about an hour ahead of us so they were still unpacking at 2am.  He came to our rescue and towed a loaded down F250 with his little Ford Ranger about a mile to the next gas station.  Thanks again Kevin!!!

Pete on the Podium in DS.
Due to the circus the night before, we all slept in a little later than usual on Friday morning, but managed to get some solid runs in on the dual slalom, downhill, and super D courses.  Saturday started out with dual slalom practice and qualifying early in the morning followed by some DH practice.  DS racing started in the afternoon and everyone did really well.  The course was on the old 4x course but ended before the three huge old jumps which made the hike to the top much easier!  This was probably one of the best DS courses I have ridden.  It had a lot of flow and held up very well under heavy racing and.  Jesse Ruland placed 9th in his first every non-Ranchstyle DS race on CAT 2 30+ men.  He was knocked out in round one (probably because he slept through morning practice... haha).  Curt Clemetson and I raced in the CAT 1 30+ and got 7th and 3rd respectively.  Eric was knocked out in round 1 by less than 0.1 seconds but still managed to end up 11th out of 19 racers.  Everyone threw down some impressive runs and it’s too bad that was the only DS race of the season.
Super D started early on Sunday morning and so did the wind. 
Noah hauling on the big wheeler!

Noah Sears was the only team rider to race SD, and killed it in the pro class with an 11th fastest over all time. 

Pete soaking up the rough on the DH course.
Eric getting some pedals in.
Pro DH qualifying started at 11am on a brand new course.  Angel Fire originally had a shorter flowier course built, but the MSC came in and vetoed it the week before which led us this monster of a course.  The top section was filled with relentless off camber rocks, roots, and tons of dust, followed by a 2+ minute catwalk pedaling section with a massive headwind before diving back into the old race course which it followed all the way to the bottom.  Times were in the 6-8 minute ranges with the winning pro time of 5:46.14.  Craig Carlson flatted in his qualifier while Eric and I laid down some solid runs with no real issues.  By the time racing started the wind started to howl even harder making the long catwalk pedaling section much more difficult.  Curt Clemetson turned in an awesome time of 6:48.13 in CAT 1 40+ with landed him in 4th.  Next up was Jesse Ruland in CAT 1 30-39.  He sprinted through the finish with a 7:13.97 trying to make up time for the two crashes he had on course.  That time landed him in 13th in his first ever CAT 1 race.  With only the Pros left to go and the wind blowing even harder, the pros started rolling through the line with the same or only slightly faster race run times.  Craig Carlson ran first and destroyed the course with a 6:10.69 landing him in a tie for 25th.  I ran next and had a really solid run with a 6:27.56 placing me in 46th.  That was only 2 seconds faster than my qualifier due to the wind.  Finally, Eric came down with a 6:18.20 which was within 1 second of his qualifying run giving him a 35th overall. 
It was hot for Gingers

It was a wicked good time, and we hope to see you all at the next one!  Thanks to all of our sponsors, wifes/girlfriends, and friend who helped us out.  Without you guys, all this would be extremely difficult!

Peter Knepper (Team Racer/Rider)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Resort Season Is Here!!!

With multiple resorts opening this last weekend, we can finally say resort season has started. So far I have gotten to hit SolVista and Winterpark for their opening days and both have been a blast.

If you haven't already heard, James has been working at SolVista building new trails and enhancing the existing. With a fresh addition of flow and some fun new jumps, this place is going off. With the recent opening of Winterpark you should expect to see the crowds here begin to dwindle.

The trail crew at Winterpark has also been busy. Many of the trails have been refreshed and some new ones have been built. The addition of a new road at the bottom of the resort disrupted Boot Camp (lower half is still closed) and Beall Ucanb. Beall Ucanb has seen some major changes on the lower half of the trail. The step up has been moved slightly and now leads into a drop zone. You have the choice of a rollable drop which you can send to make about a 10 footer or you can take a large 15' drop on the left.

The other major change was the addition of the new trail, Cruel and Unusual. This is an advanced trail with multiple features that are back to back.

With the lack of moisture, expect dry and loose conditions.
First Ride: Cruel and Unusual Trail at Trestle Bike Park - More Mountain Bike Videos