Words: Alison Zimmer
Following a full season of racing, traveling, working and summer craziness the weekend approached tremulously as I waffled on going at all to the last Eastern States Cup Enduro. Missing 2 of the ESC races put me at a disadvantage with the points for the overall, however being tied for second place and having a weekend of epic late summer weather had me packing late Friday night.
Photo: Eastern States Cup
Saturday – Training Day
Perfect conditions, sunshine, and smiling friends greeted me at Killington. Training with the FastLine Racing Team was great, in the sense of getting worked, but also starting to push myself to keep up. By the end of the day I was beginning to keep up with the fast guys, almost, that so graciously let me train with them! Stage one was about endurance with a nice rock garden early, a long pedaling techy section, then drawn out flow. Stage 2 was true VT style singletrack, tight turns, short pedals, and similar to the shorter and less tech Stages 3 and 4…the shortest overall. After a climbing transfer stage 5 was fast and furious, being dominated by one of the ESC DH courses with a very short pedal and some berms and flow at the end. At the end of the day, a flat tire and sorry looking rear wheel had me a bit anxious. However, with the help of a handful of ESC racing friends, the wheelset won at Plattekill in July made the Xprezo Super D look spiffy. What a day of riding some of Killington’s best!
Sunday – Race Day
After a starry night, and gorgeous morning, it was time for a practice run. The new wheels were awesome, conditions were fast and loose… note to self!
Stage one was conservative, fun and flowy; a perfect way to start the race ending with a boost of energy and stoke for a great day of riding. Stage 2 was my best, overtaking the guy in front of me, who pushed me to keep riding hard into the finish. Stage 3 led to couple missed lines and some lack of flow, but I tried to make up for it by pushing the pedals hard. Stage 4 was the worst for me, struggling to keep online, feeling choppy and coming close to crashing, but I held it together. Stage 5 was solid until my chain fell off the rear cog near the finish and I had to run my bike across the finish line!
After getting schooled in the world events it was a needed confidence builder to take the win for the last enduro and as luck would have it, to also claim the overall for the ESC enduro series! The icing on the cake was standing on the podium with good friends and VT rippers Susan Clifford and Brooke Kasman!