Massanutten sees record numbers at GES#1

2010 Gravity East Race #1 - Massanutten, VA

to find out who the winning rider was check inside

The perfect weather probably didn’t hurt, but Massanutten saw 263 entrants according to GES in this past weekend’s Gravity East opening race.  Like years past in the GES, Massanutten is the opening round for the 8 round GES series that travels along the east coast from May to October.  Details on the race inside.

In typical fashion Massanutten put on a great race and the weather could not have been better.  The course held up very well and had some new adjustments to the course in the event of water damage and heavily trafficked trail.


Helmet camera of the course

view from the top of the mountain (click to enlarge)

view from the top of the mountain (click to enlarge)

Previously a World Cup stop, many love to race Massanutten for a variety of reasons. It is a fun race for all who attend and it shows as entries to this race typically go up every year.

registration (click to enlarge)

registration (click to enlarge)

The first rock garden claimed well over 100 tubes this weekend and people were seen taking a scenic ride down the lift all day during practice. There were several ways to attack this section of the course illustrated below.

the bunny hop gap technique (click to enlarge)

fastest method - the bunny hop gap technique (click to enlarge)

easiest method - taking the lower route with less consequence (click to enlarge)

easiest method - taking the lower route with less consequence (click to enlarge)

wrong and slow method - slowly roll the gap or try to bunny hop and come up short (click to enlarge)

Come up short or try to roll this gap and chances are you'll get a flat (click to enlarge)

The course held up well throughout the beautiful weekend.  It bedded in nicely and come race time was in good shape considering the traffic that was running through it.

rocky corner at the start of practice on Friday (click to enlarge)

rocky corner at the start of practice on Friday morning (click to enlarge)

same corner at the end of Saturday practice before the race (click to enlarge)

same corner at the end of Saturday practice before the race (click to enlarge)

The men’s pro field was 34 deep and saw entrants from some talented riders like Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing), Geritt Beytagh (Morewood USA), Jason Memmelaar (Giant/HBG), Richie Rude Jr (Specialized Allride), and many more.

Neko was looking to be a contender for the top spot on the podium this weekend, but a fall in some roots during practice ended his race early as he was sent off to the hospital to get his arm examined.  Time will tell how long the healing time will be, but hopefully he heals quickly as the World Cup season is fast approaching for the new Trek World Racing athlete.

(click to enlarge)

Neko Mullaly (click to enlarge)

Neko’s younger brother Logan is another one to watch and he took the Cat1 18 and under category quite convincingly.

(click to enlarge)

Logan Mullaly (click to enlarge)

Geritt Beytagh raced here last year but he had some problems in his race run.  This year however he was able to pull it together for a win by almost 4 seconds (3:12.14).

Gerrit Beytagh 2010 Gravit East Race #1 winner

Geritt Beytagh 2010 Gravity East Race #1 winner (click to enlarge)

Second place, Jason Memmelaar is no stranger to danger and he put down a run that got him into second place with a 3:16.09.  He was looking pinned all weekend on the course.

(click to enlarge)

Jason Memmelaar (click to enlarge)

Third place for Richie Rude Jr.  In his first year on pro (his second pro race if you include Sea Otter) and he was only 0.4 seconds behind Jason Memmelaar with a 3:16.49.

Richei Rude Jr (click to enlarge)

Richie Rude Jr (click to enlarge)

Of no fault to Massanutten necessarily, the race only saw 2 Pro women and 13 in the Cat1/2/3 category out of the the field of 263.  Dawn Bourque is no stranger to the GES, as she won the pro women’s GES title last year quite commandingly. Ladies she needs more competition, so come out and race!

Dawn (click to enlarge)

Dawn Bourque (click to enlarge)

Gravity East Series race #2 stops at Seven Springs, PA next on June 12-13th.  See www.gravityeast.com for more information.

A lot of thanks is due to Massanutten and their dedicated crew for putting on another great race and stepping up their event every year.  They opened their doors to the racers this weekend with discounted hotel rates, lounge access for a pre-season party, and course work where it was needed from last year.  We’re excited to see them host a 2011 race as it is a great season opener and will be another hit with the racers without a doubt.

Full results [here]

Race pictures [here]