MTB race series delivers technical, tough courses in Nevada, California and Utah
Words by Stephanie Ruff • Photos by Pat Branch / PBmedia
The Benduro Race Series consists of three races hosted by Josh Bender – renowned as the inspiration for the Redbull Rampage – and his wife Lindsay Beth Currier, founder of Shine Riders Co. The 2017 series kicked off in April at Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, Nevada. The second race took place in the Eldorado National Forest in Georgetown, California, and below is a recap of that exciting event. The final race in the series is not to be missed and will be held November 17-19 near Zion in Virgin, Utah.
On Friday, June 9th, racers began trickling into the Mace Mill staging area in the Eldorado National Forest. Excitement filled the air in anticipation of two days of solid racing that included six stages, 34 miles, 6,000 feet of climbing, and an exhilarating 9,000 feet of descending through manzanita and pine forest with plenty of steep, loose and rocky technical terrain for a sweet adrenaline rush. Racers shredded the course through the cold, rain and hail.
Free camping was available in the staging area with two nights of live rock music performed by The GreenStone Trio from Ashland, Oregon. Shuttle service was provided by Tony of Cyclepath Outfitters based in Santa Cruz. Tasty beer from Ol Republic Brewery in Nevada City was enjoyed along with Rosé wine from Define, and plenty of Guayaki Yerba Mate to keep the stoke going.
Pro Men wins included Spencer Rathkamp taking first followed by Stan Jorgensen in second. Robyn Embrey took first place in the Pro Women’s category. The Red Lantern Award – a Benduro exclusive – went to Ashton Smith for needing three different bikes to complete the race.
Sponsors included Cyclepath Outfitters, Kali Protectives, Orange Seal, Dakine, Magura, FOX, Praxis Works, Mike’s Bikes, Clif Bar, Ol’ Republic Brewery, Guayaki Yerba Mate, PB Media, Terraplane Bikes, Define wines, Shine Riders Co., Greenstone, and Strong Silicone.
Special thanks to Pat Branch for being adventurous behind the lens capturing the essence of the Benduro Series through his photographs.