Popular mountain bike race series strikes it rich in Gold Country with brand new event

Words by Liam Ruff
Photos by Scott McClain

Spring is upon us and the enduro race season has officially begun with the first round of the California Enduro Series taking place in Auburn on May 6. An impressive 420 racers from near and far competed on four stages in the steep American River canyon with over 3,100 feet of climbing in just 16 miles.

The Mammoth Bar Enduro clearly showed who had been putting in the training over the winter months as the course included soul-crushing steep transfer stages and a good deal of pedaling within timed stages. Strong handling skills were a necessity, too, in order to navigate especially loose corners and sharp rocks. For many racers, this event was an ideal way to work out the kinks of a new season and see where they stand moving into the months ahead.

Exciting and competitive racing was seen in every category with a five-deep podium ceremony at the end of the day along with BBQ and pasta, beer and wine, and fun times. In the professional women’s category Rachel Anders finished 5th, Zephyr Sylvester in 4th, Essence Baron in 3rd, Janea Perry in 2nd, and Amy Morrison taking the top spot. In the Pro men’s category Ryan Gardener took 5th, Cory Sullivan in 4th, Evan Geankopolis in 3rd, Dillon Santos in 2nd, and Tim Krentz finishing 1st.

View full race results here.

Racers congregate for the riders meeting over breakfast burritos and coffee.

Tim Krentz put in a solid day coming out at first place Pro Men.

Amy Morrison (Marin) powered through the course to first place Pro Women.


Just a dog. Watching a bike race.

Ryan Gardner pushing hard to 5th place Pro Men.

Ian Massey making it look easy.

Those views. But who noticed?

Focus and determination personified.

Post-race BBQ was much appreciated.

So many caption options for this one featuring the two Ryans (Gardner and Gibson). Go for it, fill in your own. We love these guys.

Austin Smith, stoked to win a FOX fork. Big thanks to FOX for donating 2018 forks to be raffled at each CES event of the year.

TrailWorks’ Brian Astell debuted his CES race pre-ride program at the season opener. A new addition to the series, TrailWorks coaching will be available to participants before every race. For more information, email brian@ridetrailworks.com.

Pro Women podium: 1st – Amy Morrison 2nd – Janea Perry 3rd – Essence Florie 4th – Zephyr Sylvester 5th – Rachel Anders

Pro men podium: 1st – Tim Krentz 2nd – Dillon Santos 3rd – Evan Geankoplis 4th – Cory Sullivan 5th – Ryan Gardner

About California Enduro Series
CES is a for riders, by riders non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting world-class enduro events that everyone from amateur to pro can enjoy, at a geographically diverse range of venues. The series is renowned for fostering an exceptional sense of community, and encourages its participants to be involved in its planning.

The series is grateful for the support of VP Components, FOX, Clif Bar, WTB, Canyon, Kali Protectives, Michael David Winery, Cranked Naturals, Kenda Tires, DHaRCO, KMC, Adventure Sports Journal, Gamut, Voler, Mike’s Bikes, ESI Grips, and TrailWorks. Contact CES for information on sponsoring the 2017 series.

Check out the 2017 schedule and learn more about the series at californiaenduroseries.com.

ASJ is proud to be a founding sponsor of the California Enduro Series!

Liam Ruff is a full time UCSC student, bicycle advocate, trail builder, and mountain bike racer. He rides on the Whyte Bikes Retro Cellar Team with support from Whyte Bikes, Shimano, WTB, Raceface, Retro Cellars, Pit Viper and is a Zoic Clothing brand ambassador.