Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keysville Classic Re-cap

March 20-21, 2010- The 22nd Keysville Classic Mountain Bike Stage Race, Keysville Ca.

This is one of the Toughest Mnt Bike Race courses in the U.S. and most enjoyable Mnt Bike Rec. areas in the Southern Sierra's. The course is an 8.2 mile figure eight loop with 1400 ft of climbing within it. A mix of punchy steep climbs, flowy single track, jeep trail and fire road keep you on your toes. The beginners (cat 4) do (1) one lap, sport (cat2) 2x, experts (cat3) 3x, and the Pro's do 4 laps, 33 miles and 5600 ft of climbing. The fast laps are 32-35 min. (mine being closer to 39-40 on this weekend) in the Pro's, and this weekend was no exception, as the field contained Carl Decker(GIANT), Vincent Lombardi (RocknRoad), Ramolo Forido, and John Nobil(both Big Bear Bikes/Speclzd). Even with a late start the pace was quickly on as the Pro left the gate. The weather was perfect and the flowers were out all over the eight miles of trail, adding something visceral to the suffering. I had been quickly dispatched from the front as the Big Bear Boys were lighting it up, doing there best to break Carl D. and the Frenchmen, Vincent, early. This was to the detriment of Nobil, who suffered a side wall cut and broken spoke, leading the charge has a price sometimes! My day came to a halt too, as I was on my final lap, my In-ability to put my water bottle back cost me my derailer cables, both front and rear, and my aspirations of a finish let alone a podium spot for the stage race were done,................ but the weather was nice!:)

Sunday was a bit hazier in the Valley but about the same in Keysville, a nice day for the Short Track and DownHill events. Again, off like a rocket we went, all be it a bit late. The field was a smaller but the pace was not, as I was sitting in third and second for a few laps, bringing back a gap, before blowing sky high. The gap that I did bridge, was the gap to have jumped to, as Carl Decker and John Nobil dropped the field(and me!). The finish was quite a dusty one as John and Carls bars hooked and John did "Pete Rose" style slide across the finish line, winning in style. As my hopes at the stage race were dashed on Saturday, and a 10th @ the short track, I was left with a bit of an empty feeling. I think it was more of an effect of the venue and the weather, as both were beautiful. The first of the two down hill runs were wrapping up and I had ridden up to pay my respects to Earth Quake Jake Watson, on the Dutch Flat trail, and I was wanting a bit more. With nothing left to do, I found my partner in crime for the afternoon, at the Big Bear camp, John Nobil. Off we went towards Kernville and Old State Road, the back way to the "Just Outstanding" trial, that starts at Alta Sierra ski resort. Well..... About three hours later, after several miles of climbing, a few miles of single track, snow and a half dozen fallen trees, we both started to get light headed and turned back. Within an hour we were back at the car, tired, but satisfied, and that's what I was needing! See ya next year.

Zac Griffin

Photos Via Six3Events

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