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Spring Thaw Mountain Bike Race Event – Ashland,OR

May 25, 2011

Recently the Ride Giant / Ride Northstar crew headed up to Ashland, Oregon for the annual Spring Thaw mountain bike race event. The trails were tacky and fast.

The Ride Giant / Ride Northstar crew had a great showing.  Robert Beaupre took 1st and Brad Howell took 2nd in Cat 2 30-39. Erik Hatch took 3rd in Cat 1 25-29.  Jordan Lopez also had a great run and Jon Wilson was flawless until his flat.  Three out of Five podium spots isn’t too bad to cash in for the weekend.

Here are some words from Jordan Lopez on his racing experience:

The XC consisted of 22 miles with 4800′ of fire road climbing and ripping single track dissents. With the course being dry, race started fast and immediately lead into the initial climb which lasted almost 45 minutes. I was feeling good at this point but this is where the true XC racers created their distance from me. After the first dissent and as we made our was back up the climb, I felt refreshed and this is where I got my second wind. I passed 6 of my fellow PRO racers on the climb and once the single track dissent started I walked away from them. I finished up in 15th in the PRO men category and 15th of overall. I am very pleased with this result and I had a blast mixing it up with the guys with 1.9″ tires and spandex

 The DH was a different story in that the face of the trail completely changed from practice to the day of the race. Throughout practice it was that a consensus among the riders that the track never felt faster; yet as the day progressed the rain clouds began to form over the surrounding mountains. As we drove to the top of the hill on the morning of the race it had not only been raining all night, but snow actually began to fall, so a track that was dry and fast became wet and slippery. With this many of the fast lines through sections became slippery and traction went from phenomenal to marginal at best. On my race run as I entered the small rock garden at the top of the course and as I was exiting I clipped a rock with my drive side pedal which launched me up and the back end of my bike to the left. I landed on my front wheel and as I looked up I saw that I was heading into the crowd of spectators along the left hand side of the track. I quickly turned the handle bars right and I barely made it behind a woman and back onto the course and off down the track. From this point of near death, I just had the thought to calm down and just finish the race in one piece. I took it easy through the slick sections and really pushed the flat and the hill climb at the end. I ended up in 13th in the PRO Men category and 13th of 200 overall. With racing XC the day before and with the conditions as wet as they were, I am very happy with this finish and my overall results.
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