WORDS BY THIBAULT – PHOTOS BY JAKE GOSS & THIBAULT
On Sunday morning a procession of competitors filled the parking lot as the sun’s first light illuminated the fog. Regional riders and traveling pros had made to pilgrimage to Q Burke Mountain Bike Park in the pastoral Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for Triple Crown Enduro stop three: The Kingdom Enduro.
Before long many familiar smiling faces could be seen in the crowd. Among the 215 riders were top Triple Crown competitors including local favorite Kimberly Quinlan, Lauren Peterson, tour leader Adam Snyder, Jeff Lenosky, Seamus Powell (back from his Mountain Creek injury), and Kingdom Enduro course builder Knight Ide to name a few. Also present was an awesome showing of our Francophone friends from north of the border. One notable absence was that of Marla Streb, pro women’s winner of the previous two races.
– Locals Dylan Conte & Isaac Allaire
Riders headed up the lift and were greeted with a grand vista. Due to an inversion the clouds hung low in the valley revealing the Vermont mountaintops with peak foliage the color of Fruity Pebbles.
Folks that weren’t used to “Kingdom Time” got a bit antsy when the race was delayed for nearly 40 minutes due to timing issues. Once the flood gates opened and riders were being released every 30 seconds, everybody got their game faces on and it was go time!
– Local course builder Knight Ide
– Tom Sampson drops in on stage one
– Young buck Grayson Brewster warms up while the old folks start
– Kimberly Quinlan on course
Stage one saw riders descending through the Bike Park’s flow trails to the lift bottom. It was a blistering short and fast stage that left even the fittest sets of lungs on legs dry heaving.
– Village Sports Shop’s Collin Daulong
– Poc rider Adam Morse
– Xprezo rider Dylan Conte
– Points leader Adam Snyder
Once completed riders made an about face to climb back up the shoulder of the mountain to the infamous Dead Moose Abuse; a raucous trail with burly granite boulders sprinkled among muddy roots and displaced loam. Stage two found the DHers in the group in their element… not so much for the spandex 120mm crowd.
– Andy Gould of Blue Steel Cyclery made this section look easy
– The always fashionable Nate Simpson
– Evan Chismark navigates the Dead Moose rock gardens
– This guy was there too
– Jean-Francois Carrier-Boucher
After the second stage Pros and Ams split paths. Pro competitors headed up a grueling climb on Burke Mountain’s paved auto road. Steep switchbacks lead them to the summit while the amateur competitors headed across the mountain to the mid point of the pro’s descent.
– Local yokels
The final stage offered riders with arguably one of the best descents in the northeast, Upper and Lower J-Bar. Now, if you have never heard of J-Bar, put it on your bucket list. The highly technical trail offers one of the longest single track plummets in Vermont.
– Rudy Gérard navigates the maple jungle
– Luc Pouls
– Giant rider Jeff Lenosky on the attack
– Mike Mader looking strong
– Gregory DiSanto on lower J-Bar
– Andreane Lanthier Nadeau looking strong near the finish
By the bottom of J-Bar racers were routed back to the base lodge to hit the final wooden step down.
– Chris Patton shows the crowd how it’s done
– Snyder off the final booter
– Left: Andreane Lanthier Nadeau drops the step-down Right: Isaac Allaire
– Iron Maiden fan Jackson Jenkins
– Xprezo frame builder Phil Benoit
– The blue groove
A crowd amassed at the finish line with Long Trail Ales and pulled pork sandwiches in hand, rocking out to a live punk rock soundtrack courtesy of Vermont’s mountain bike house band the CopOuts.
– CopOuts front man Jay Knecht
Once the dust settled the winners were announced and the Giant/Liv Bicycles after party commenced. What a way to finish the summer! So Enduro!
Kingdom Enduro Womens’ Pros:
1) Andreane Lanthier Nadeau
2) Kimberly Quinlan
3) Lauren Peterson
Kingdom Enduro Mens’ Pros:
1) Seamus Powell
2) Franck Kirscher
3) Adam Snyder
– The next generation of pros
And the overall Triple Crown Enduro Pro champs:
Lauren and Kim
Triple Crown Enduro Pro Women:
1) Kimberly Quinlin
2) Lauren Peterson
3) Marla Streb (not present)
1) Adam Snyder
2) Jeff Lenosky
3) Jason Scheiding
And your 1st place champs: Quinlan and Snyder
More podium shots:
All results can be found here
A huge thanks for the amazing work that the Q Burke Bike Park trail crew did in advance of the race.