2016 California Enduro Series Round 6 (Golden Tour 2): Northstar Recap

Racers take on loose moon dust and burly rocks over two days of action packed racing at Northstar California Resort

Words by Liam Ruff • Photos by Called To Creation • Video by Mitchell Nuyens and Sebastian Bauer

The sixth race of the California Enduro Series (CES) and second stop of the CES Golden Tour took place at Northstar California and challenged all competitors with loose moon dust and burly rocks over two days of action packed racing.

For the past two seasons the Northstar CES race has been one of the most anticipated and technically challenging events of the series and this year was no different. Riders enjoyed two days of racing on some of California’s most demanding trails with a mix of pedaled and lift assisted transfer stages – a proper test of a rider’s technical skills as well as physical strength.

The weekend started off with practice on Friday. Riders utilized the lifts at Northstar and pounded out laps of the race runs, familiarizing themselves with the unpredictable terrain of the mountain.

On Saturday all racers competed on three stages that included a variety of trails from fast singletrack, double black diamond downhill runs, and a top to bottom physical stage. Stage one started on Coaster Trail, a fun flowing piece of singletrack that connected into the Livewire downhill run for a great first stage. The second stage challenged racers with a long top to bottom stage that included intense pedal sections on the Tahoe Trail as well as a few fun rock gardens. For the final stage of the day competitors tested their commitment and skill on Boondocks, one of Northstar’s most popular and demanding downhill trails.

On day two Pro, Open, and Expert racers competed on another three stages and Sport and Beginner riders competed on two stages. Stage four took place on Gypsy which proved to be a fun way to start the day with a never ending flow of wall rides, lofty jumps, and other challenging technical features. After this, riders ascended to the top of the mountain for a long technical downhill stage that sent racers through some of the most hair raising sections of the weekend. After a long and demanding stage the weekend was finished off with a action-packed run that included fast fun bomber trails and chunky rock gardens, finishing with the TRP Brake Zone “speed trap” – a fun and exciting feature of every CES race.

The award ceremony and raffle is always a good time at mid mountain and spirits were high as usual. In the pro women’s category Rachel Throop finished 5th, Ariana Altier finished 4th, Essence Barton finished 3rd, Amy Morrison finished in 2nd, and Kathy Pruitt took the win. In the pro men field Evan Turpen came in 5th, Derek Teel in 4th, Evan Geankoplis in 3rd, Marco Osborne in 2nd, and Curtis Keene taking the win.

As always the CES race at Northstar was a blast and left competitors hungry for more challenging racing and the season finale next month – the Kamikaze Bike Games at Mammoth Mountain!

Riders were excited to hit the trails on Saturday morning. The sea of riders was so large, we couldn't capture them all in the photo.

Riders were excited to hit the trails on Saturday morning. The sea of riders was so large, we couldn’t capture them all in the photo.

Northstar's Eric Whitaker addresses the riders at the racer meeting Saturday morning.

Northstar’s Eric Whitaker addresses the riders at the racer meeting Saturday morning.

Marco Osborne on stage 1, Coaster trail.

Marco Osborne on stage 1, Coaster trail.

Evan Turpen splits the trees on stage 1.

Evan Turpen splits the trees on stage 1.

Evan Geankoplis pinned through the rocks on the waterfall of Sticks and Stones

Evan Geankoplis pinned through the rocks on the waterfall of Sticks and Stones.

Essence Barton takes a different line through the garden on Sticks and Stones. She would finish 3rd on the weekend.

Essence Barton takes a different line through the garden on Sticks and Stones. She would finish 3rd on the weekend.

Kathy Pruitt negotiates the rocks on stage 6 to a top step finish for the weekend.

Kathy Pruitt negotiates the rocks on stage 6 to a top step finish for the weekend.

Curtis Keene on the V-Rock feature of Boondocks, which served as a technical stage 3, the final stage for day 1 of the two day Golden Tour event.

Curtis Keene on the V-Rock feature of Boondocks, which served as a technical stage 3, the final stage for day 1 of the two day Golden Tour event. He would finish on the top step for the weekend.

It's always great to see Rachel Throop, Factory GT rider from the Southern California area. She would finish 5th on the weekend.

It’s always great to see Rachel Throop, Factory GT rider from the Southern California area. She would finish 5th on the weekend.

Ariana Altier from the Kona NorCal Cooperative Team would finish 4th in Pro Women.

Ariana Altier from the Kona NorCal Cooperative Team would finish 4th in Pro Women.

Amy Morrison on stage 1. She would finish in 2nd place in the Pro Women's category.

Amy Morrison on stage 1. She would finish in 2nd place in the Pro Women’s category.

The TRP Brake Zone was in effect on the last segment of stage 6.  As riders came lofting over the jump the challenge was to put down the fastest trap speed on the day.

The TRP Brake Zone was in effect on the last segment of stage 6. As riders came lofting over the jump the challenge was to put down the fastest trap speed on the day.

The folks from Mammoth Mountain were out promoting the final round of the Golden Tour and the Kamikaze Bike Games.

The folks from Mammoth Mountain were out promoting the final round of the Golden Tour and the Kamikaze Bike Games.

VP Components, a founding sponsor of the series, had a booth set up at mid mountain to showcase their new products.

VP Components, a founding sponsor of the series, had a booth set up at mid mountain to showcase their new products.

SRAM was on hand to provide neutral support to racers and of course they donated a set of guide brakes as they do for every round of the series.

SRAM was on hand to provide neutral support to racers and of course they donated a set of guide brakes as they do for every round of the series.

Michael David Winery was a proud sponsor, providing a bottle of wine to the top podium winners.

Michael David Winery was a proud sponsor, providing a bottle of wine to the top podium winners.

Clif Bar provided a massive amount of product in support of the weekend's racers.

Clif Bar provided a massive amount of product in support of the weekend’s racers.

Rabobank KOM and QOM winners take home $100 for each male and female rider in each category. Pro KOM: Curtis Keene, Pro QOM: Amy Morrison, Expert KOM: Matt Guntert, Expert QOM: Lili Heim, Sport KOM: Mike Tomlinson, Sport QOM: Merel Witteveen, Beginner KOM: Tyler Roberts, Beginner QOM: Rachel Seymour

Rabobank KOM and QOM winners take home $100 for each male and female rider in each category. Pro KOM: Curtis Keene, Pro QOM: Amy Morrison, Expert KOM: Matt Guntert, Expert QOM: Lili Heim, Sport KOM: Mike Tomlinson, Sport QOM: Merel Witteveen, Beginner KOM: Tyler Roberts, Beginner QOM: Rachel Seymour

The TRP Brake Zone was in effect on the last segment of stage 6.  As riders came lofting over the jump the challenge was to put down the fastest trap speed on the day.

The TRP Brake Zone was in effect on the last segment of stage 6. As riders came lofting over the jump the challenge was to put down the fastest trap speed on the day.

SRAM donated a set of Ultimate Guide Brakes for their usual raffle. We've heard that brakes are over-rated but that couldn't be further from the truth on a mountain as technical as Northstar. The truth is the play a key roll in remaining smooth to the finish line. The new guides will certainly help in achieving that goal.

SRAM donated a set of Ultimate Guide Brakes for their usual raffle. We’ve heard that brakes are over-rated but that couldn’t be further from the truth on a mountain as technical as Northstar. The truth is the play a key roll in remaining smooth to the finish line. The new guides will certainly help in achieving that goal.

Another FOX fork was given away in a raffle. FOX donates a fork to be raffled at each race in the California Enduro Series. This guy was stoked!

Another FOX fork was given away in a raffle. FOX donates a fork to be raffled at each race in the California Enduro Series. This guy was stoked!

The Junior Expert Category has been close all season. 1st: Paul Serra - 43:12, 2nd: Nick Gallizioli - 43:49, 3rd: Max Sedlak - 44:40, 4th: Nicolas Bean - 44:52, 5th: Jake Yackle - 45:27

The Junior Expert Category has been close all season. 1st: Paul Serra – 43:12, 2nd: Nick Gallizioli – 43:49, 3rd: Max Sedlak – 44:40, 4th: Nicolas Bean – 44:52, 5th: Jake Yackle – 45:27

The fast ladies of the Women's Pro Podium. 1st: Kathy Pruitt - 46:47, 2nd: Amy Morrison - 47:22, 3rd: Essence Barton - 47:51, 4th: Ariana Altier - 50:10, 5th: Rachel Throop - 50:58

The fast ladies of the Women’s Pro Podium. 1st: Kathy Pruitt – 46:47, 2nd: Amy Morrison – 47:22, 3rd: Essence Barton – 47:51, 4th: Ariana Altier – 50:10, 5th: Rachel Throop – 50:58

The Men's Pro Podium was well decorated, with riders from the EWS level, down to Local Pro Riders. 1st: Curtis Keene - 40:09, 2nd: Marco Osborne - 40:20, 3rd: Evan Geankoplis - 40:44, 4th: Derek Teel - 41:25, 5th: Evan Turpen - 41:49

The Men’s Pro Podium was well decorated, with riders from the EWS level, down to Local Pro Riders. 1st: Curtis Keene – 40:09, 2nd: Marco Osborne – 40:20, 3rd: Evan Geankoplis – 40:44, 4th: Derek Teel – 41:25, 5th: Evan Turpen – 41:49 He would


The final stop of the 2016 California Enduro Series and the 2016 Golden Tour takes the series to Mammoth Mountain for the Kamikaze Bike Games in less than three weeks. The Kamikaze Bike Games is four days of fun: Enduro, Pro GRT Downhill, Slope Style, Cross Country, the legendary Kamikaze Downhill, and more. It’s the best four days on two wheels! Register for the Enduro and other events at Kamikaze Bike Games.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. ROUND 6 RESULTS: Northstar Enduro - […] Adventure Sports Journal recap […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

X
- Enter Your Location -
- or -