California Enduro Series Round 2 Recap: Wild Wood Adventure Enduro

Second stop for 2015 season brings racers to untapped spot for Enduro on the Mendocino Coast

Words by Liam Ruff; Photos by Called To Creation

2015 CES Round 2: Wild Wood Adventure Enduro from VP Components on Vimeo.

Hundreds of mountain bikers migrated into the redwoods of Mendocino County for two ripping days of enduro racing that was the inaugural Wildwood Adventure Enduro. Riders could find camping at the Jughandle Farm or at a private meadow down the road with post race festivities being held at the Caspar Community Center. Racers were treated to sweet singletrack all weekend thanks to the Mendocino Bike Sprites and an all around good time.

With eight stages over two days of racing it was challenging to preride all of the race trails and left a lot of racers with no choice but to race blind, this kept race day interesting and competitors on their toes all weekend.   Most of the trails were very tight and tricky to race on with some exposure to cliffs and the ever present challenge of threading through redwoods. A few stages however were the exact opposite with wide open sections and steep grades that kept racers at mock stupid and grinning all the way down. The first day of racing riders had four timed stages over thirty miles with five-thousand feet of climbing. The second day there was three stages with Expert and Open riders racing an additional stage. Ride profiles were similar both days making it one long, tough, but very fun race.

Expert and Open racers started earlier and rode stages in a different order than Sport and Beginner racers to avoid congestion at timed stages. On day one race stages consisted of Manly Gulch, Motorcycle, Linquist, and Caspar Crossing trails. Manly and Caspar were tight but flowy pieces of singletrack with the occasional log bridge or switchback that required consistency and conservancy to get a clean run in. Motorcycle followed an old road grade and saw the fastest speeds of the weekend making it a favorite for downhill oriented riders. Linquist Trail was a completely different animal with sandy dirt and loose blown out switchbacks that made it a challenge to stay on the bike and keep it fast.

For the second day of racing Sport/Beginner riders raced on Hi Chutes, Forrest History, and Big Trees, Expert/Open racers had an additional stage the Big Dipper trail. Hi Chutes was a true test of physical fitness and technical skill, starting with a short climb it made racers sprint for a decent time and soon after dropped down into a fast and rutted old road bed that saw scary fast speeds with a high penalty for failure. After climbing up Manly Gulch racers had Forest History trail a long and fun stage with everything from fast sections to pedaling, and sharp switchbacks. Big Trees started with the beginning of Motorcycle trail a fast plunge along a ridge top and then turned to tight cliff side singletrack that kept racers ducking around and under trees and even over a set of stairs. The Expert/Open stage Big Dipper was a fun mix of physical singletrack and wide open doubletrack with a few lips that could send racers hucking to flat if they were not careful.

The Wildwood Adventure Enduro was an awesome test of rider’s physical strength and technical ability on the bike as well as a fun weekend in the redwoods with great people. With the success of its first year this event should become a staple mountain bike race in the future. The top five Pro Women racers of the weekend were Brianne Spiersch in fifth place, Caroline Dezendorf in forth, Lauren Gregg in third, Abby Hippely in second and Megan Melack taking the win. In the Pro Men category Teddy Hayden took fifth, Cory Sullivan in fourth, Evan Geankoplis in third, Jeff Kendall-Weed in second, and Marco Osborne in the top spot.

View full race results here.

The Jug Handle Creek Farm was home for many racers over the weekend.

The Jug Handle Creek Farm was home for many racers over the weekend.

 

Amy Wynn from Mendocino Bike Sprites, Race Director for the Wild Wood Adventure Enduro, is spotted hard at work.

Amy Wynn from Mendocino Bike Sprites, Race Director for the Wild Wood Adventure Enduro, is spotted hard at work.

 

At the Caspar Community center, there were representatives from SQ Labs, Slime, VP Components, Kenda, and SRAM with on site race support.

At the Caspar Community center, there were representatives from SQ Labs, Slime, VP Components, Kenda, and SRAM with on site race support.

 

A hearty breakfast was provided each morning to fuel riders for their big days on the trails.

A hearty breakfast was provided each morning to fuel riders for their big days on the trails.

 

Evan Geankoplis of Marin Rabobank took third place in Pro Men with a time of 39m 22.94s over eight stages.

Evan Geankoplis of Marin Rabobank took third place in Pro Men with a time of 39m 22.94s over eight stages.

 

Abby Hippely came in second place in Pro Women with a time of 46m 15.65s on the eight stage course.

Abby Hippely came in second place in Pro Women with a time of 46m 15.65s on the eight stage course.

 

Brianne Spiersch with Marin Rabobank ripped into fifth place for Pro Women with a total race time of 47m 31.74s over eight stages.

Brianne Spiersch with Marin Rabobank ripped into fifth place for Pro Women with a total race time of 47m 31.74s over eight stages.

 

Buddy Gallizioli with Scotts Valley Cycle Sport / Valhalla Builders finished fourth place in Expert Junior u18 with a time of 42m 46.66s on the eight stage course.

Buddy Gallizioli with Scotts Valley Cycle Sport / Valhalla Builders finished fourth place in Expert Junior u18 with a time of 42m 46.66s on the eight stage course.

 

Austin Smith putting power to the pedals on his way to sixth place in Sport Junior u18 with a time of 42m 29.41s on the seven stage course.

Austin Smith putting power to the pedals on his way to sixth place in Sport Junior u18 with a time of 42m 29.41s on the seven stage course.


Adventure Sports Journal is a proud sponsor of the California Enduro Series (CES). For more information about the series, visit californiaenduroseries.com.

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