Killington ESC East Coast Showdown Trifecta
Words: Alison Zimmer
Photos: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
1pm Friday the 4th- After a busy morning busting out house and garden chores Dan and I found ourselves at a crossroad on Rte 100, turn north to go to our camp in Averill for some dearly needed R&R, riding in Burke, and fun with our daughter who was there with family, or turn South to ride and race Killington. After 10 mins of hemming and hawing we were heading South.
The Enduro Race was a mix of 5 stages which utilized both the gondola and the new (for mtb use) snowshed lift, which Killington is using to promote newbies to DH, families and people looking for flow in the mtn, not gnar. Although there was some pedaling/riding to get to each stage, they were all short and non timed. This set up allowed for a sweet mix of trails true to east coast style: ski trails, high speed fire roads, plenty of single track, doubles, bridges, berms, g-outs, rocks, and plenty of awesome views. Friday I had enough time to run through the entire enduro course, ride with friends, and walk the DH course, before heading to Gifford State Park for a beautiful night of camping.
Saturday – Morning dawned clear and bright. With the lift opening at 10am, there was only a 1/2 an hour to practice, so I warmed up on Stages 4 and 5, went to the riders meeting and was ready for my first enduro race of the year. Stages one and two were fast and super fun, and my Xprezo Ad Hoc was feeling nimble under me. A quarter of the way through stage 3 a large chunk of dirt lodged in my eye, and I struggled to see and stay on course in the woods, slowing me down considerably. In the finishing pedal section I put the hammer down, only to slide into the timing post, landing with the bike on top of me… funny stuff!
Stages 4 and 5 were the longest tracks, but went well despite my muscles starting to protest. Enduros remain my favorite race events and there were a impressive number of ladies racing this weekend, which was so great to see!
DH practice went well, the track was ridiculously fast with some tech and serious line choice near the end. Only 2 practice runs and I called it good, so I could be able to get a long run in with Dan.
Sunday- I pulled into the lot at 8 am so that friend Matt Henderson could graciously install my new Fox Air 40 fork (thank you team mate Dylan Conte and Fox!) on my Furax. My low grade boxer was super stiff, bent, and badly in need of an overhaul. Thanks to Matt’ss skills I was on the course by 9:15am, with a shit eating grin on my face after 2 more practice runs, blown away by the serious upgrade I had experienced.
Time for the Super-D next, which was stage 5 of the enduro course. Although it took a minute or two for me to loosen up it was a super fun track, although I missed the mass start excitement that is typical to Super D.
The DH Race was delayed 35 mins due to an athlete sustaining a femur fracture, never what you want to hear waiting to take your run. My run started smooth, but got a bit hung up on the high speed right hand corner finding myself in the outside chunder. The last wood section went well until the last small drop, when my eyes fixed on the deep tire trench in the landing and I came to a near stop. Reminder to self- always look where you want to go!
Taking all 3 wins and the overall was a treat! Rolling back into the race scene with some momentum, and loving the new Ad Hoc and Furax upgrades!