Race report: Plattekill Eastern States Cup Trifecta

Words: Ali Zimmer

The Plattekill Independence Bike Fest/Trifecta marked the first Eastern States Cup Enduro of the season, and the first in ESC history, as well as a Super D, and DH race.

The Enduro was the most enjoyable event I have yet competed in. Riding with a bracelet/chip allowed riders to group ourselves as we rode the 7 stages of the event (5 of which were timed.) It was like riding great trails with friends, but giving each other space and timing ourselves on the downhills! A few of the downhill sections had a couple of shorter hill sprints and cross country bits, coupled with steep descents, flow and tech. The “transfers” were untimed climbs that brought you back up the mountain to the next timed stage. The course was really fun to ride, and with sunny weather all weekend it was a real treat to be out of the mud! The only disappointment with the event was the lack of women competing, with only 2 pro women and 3 amateurs, taking the win was not challenging. However I took it as a training ground for the big events coming up, and my times would have placed me 10th in the pro men category (out of 19!).

Click image to enlargePhoto: Paul Hanson

The Super-D was the same course from the event in May, but this time it was hot and sunny, not snowing! Again the field was small, however some unexpected taping changes/near sabotage made it exciting as I went off the track while well in the lead, and had to hike back to the trail, to catch my opponent on the next climb! It was a great bit of training, albeit unexpected, and I earned my second win of the weekend!

The Downhill was true to Plattekill style; steep, fast, gnarly, riddled with drops, jumps and loose shale. Racing all 3 events had me at a bit of a disadvantage as only one other Pro Woman also took on this feat, however the jumps and drops played to my advantage. I kept my practice runs to a minimum to keep my strength, but did have a good crash the first time I hit the road gap step down. I quickly learned the key was to not go too fast, and to be smooth. My race run turned out to be the smoothest of all giving me the win by a 6 second margin.

Click image to enlargePhoto: Paul Hanson

What an Awesome weekend of riding, racing, training and having summer time fun with my family and a great group of riders!

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