Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Team Geronimo race report - Crushing the Canyons

Tunes from the nearby concert further entertained those gathered at finish. Photo  Mike Schirf//Enduro Cup
Brian Buell reports once again on his experience racing the NAET series race at Canyons Resort near Park City, Utah. It was a one day race with 3 stages and some good un-timed transfers in-between. He was the only member of Team Geronimo in attendance and was utilizing the event as a tune up for the upcoming Enduro World Series event in Winter Park. He wound up finishing in 14th place overall against some world class competition, but wasn't satisfied as he had some major mistakes and didn't ride to his full potential.  
Fallow the signs and get your tickets to a great event, thanks Dan Roper and crew.  Photo Mike Schirf//Enduro Cup
Feeling a bit worn out from the previous weekend I rolled into Canyons Resort looking forward to racing at a new venue. The mountain is laid out in an interesting format, multiple lifts are utilized to get to the start of all of the stages, or if your Mike West, you frown upon this and ride your way to the top. The trails were dry, the vegetation was tall and on one of the stages there were vertical rocks set in the trail, axle hight just waiting to take you out. It took me a second to adjust to the terrain, but I managed a few laps on each trail and called it once I was unable to hold onto my bars. They weren't the most technical, nor the longest runs, but all of the stages were extremely physical with lots of sprinting. I put some fresh rubber on for the next day and awaited a 8:30am mass start to the top of the first stage the next morning.
Rider Brian Buell with his trusty steed the Banshee Rune.  Photo Devon Balet//

With nearly 50 strong at the start line we started riding up the first un-timed stage which was a good 30 minute effort to the start of the first timed stage. I was one of the only riders who opted to wear a full face helmet due to the amount of peddling, but I felt that the tracks warranted full protection at race pace and I would deal with it on the climbs. I waited an hour up at the start as I was near the end of the start list, but by this time my muscles had relaxed and I felt sleepy. I tried to fight this feeling but I never really got into my run, combined with a mechanical I finished 15th on the stage and was looking from the outside in. 
Brian mixing it up on the 3rd row wearing his POC Cortex full face helmet.  Photo Mike Schirf//Enduro Cup
I was pretty determined to make time up on stage 2 and after another liaison climb to the top and fixing my mechanical I was the last pro rider down. The tight nature of the trails proved difficult, lots of riders had issues seeing where they were going or were caught by surprise by a 180 degree hairpin turn. I kept it clean, but was still slightly off the pace in 11th place. The liaison stages were quite enjoyable, and the last one of the day was a long peddle through thick aspen tree forests. 
Devon captures Brian taking the high line on the final stage.  Photo Devon Balet//
The last stage was a mix of DH inspired steeps which ran back into the first timed stage. I enjoyed the top and kept it clean, but ran out of gas at the bottom. Another 15th place, but a fun weekend of racing. It was very low key, but the Enduro Cup Series put on a great show and all the riders kept a very quick pace. Disappointed with my result, I look forward to the next weekend and the Enduro World Series in Winter Park.
Riders hang up their bikes and head to the beer tent after a great day of racing.  Photo Mike Schirf//Enduro Cup
Check out some media from the event: 

Thank you so much to our wonderful sponsors and Team Geronimo supporters for your continued support.
Ride On!

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