Mountain Creek held stop #2 in the Pro GRT circuit this year and the attendees were treated to a very fun and fast course with many challenges placed down the mountain. Mountain Creek has a long running history of putting on some great races and this one would prove to be another good one.
Mountain Creek has been improving their facilities for some time but they’ve always had an impressive layout for racers looking to make the most of their stay. The lift at Mountain Creek is impressive once you see the speed in which it can get so many riders to the top of the mountain quickly. The view from the lift is quite scenic and the pits were bustling with activity when riders weren’t on course.
Riders arrived early in the week to enjoy the many trails Mountain Creek has to offer. Each year their trail crew spends a lot of time refining and improving the vasy range of trails they have to offer. There are berms, jumps, wall rides, rock gardens, and much more.
Beginning on Friday, riders were on course practicing and looking for the fastest way down the race course.
The final jump at the bottom of the mountain is always one that many spectators can easily enjoy. Come race day this area was busy with fans waiting to see who would come down in the top spot.
For those of you who may have rode previous Spring Classic race courses, they integrated a few new features on the course this year to add some additional excitement and updates for the racers and fans.
They placed a Red Bull cabin in the woods that rides dropped off of. KHS rider, Kevin Aiello sends it with a little style.
Aaron Gwin likes Mountain Creek a lot and he was relaxing in the FOX pit space most of the weekend when not turning some blazing lap times.
The Pro Women field had a lot of fast riders in it. Jill Kintner is doing the Pro GRT series this year and went on to win yet another Pro GRT race.
Lauren Daney took second place in the Pro Women category.
Missy Giove didn’t compete but was present and was hooting and hollering the whole way down the mountain as a ghost rider to help test the timing.
Local racer George Ryan knows his way around Mountain Creek and it’s rare not to see him at a race on this mountain. He had a good run in the finals and had some good lines picked out on the course.
Dakotah Norton (11th) was fresh off a win at ESC #2 Plattekill the prior weekend and he was looking poised to get a good finish but just barely missed out of the top ten.
Luca Shaw is always a threat to the top position these days at a Pro GRT. He went on to take 2nd place on race day with a 2:09.11.
His brother, Walker Shaw (9th), ended up with a top ten after having a rough go in qualifying.
Austin (Bubba) Warren (10th) is no stranger to the East Coast and he’s had some good success at Windham and many other races. Below he throws it sideways on the huge hip midway down the course.
Mauricio loves racing on the East Coast and he’s always a contedor for a spot on the Pro podium.
Seamus Powell loves riding Enduro but has done many downhill races as well. Riding a small bike on a bike bike course may result in a flat tire or two however.
The weather leading into the race weekend yielded some unusually dry and dusty conditions. Heading into Sunday however, there was some rain that worked its way into the area on Saturday night. During practice on Sunday morning the track got a little wet but cleared up by race time.
Aaron Gwin had a storming run in the finals on Sunday and went on to win the race with a 2:05.83. While many weren’t surprised it still takes a lot to win these races as the talent pool is deep at a Pro GRT event.
The Jr-X category (18 and under Cat 1) represents the future of downhill racing. Many of them are showing a tremendous amount of skills and bike control for their age. A lot of these racers have been racing downhill for quite some time already given their age.
Charlie Harrison (JrX) laid down a killer run in qualifying on Saturday with the #1 spot. He was the man to beat on Sunday as a result in the Jr X category. On Sunday he ran into some trouble during his race run and still managed to take second place.
The Shaun Palmer JrX Intense team was out in force at the Pro GRT and these boys have a lot of skills!
Bruce Klein (JrX) won the JrX category with a blazing time of 2:17.41 besting Charlie Harrison by 0:00.10
Be sure to check out the gallery below for more photos.
The remaining Pro GRT Calendar.
June 19-21 Chile Challenge Angel Fire, NM UCI C2
July 26 Snowshoe Wild Hare Snowshoe, WV UCI C2
September 26 Kamikaze Bike Games Mammoth Lakes, CA UCI C2
Learn more about Mountain Creek and the Eastern States Cup on their websites and facebook pages
Full Results can be viewed here
Complete category results including seeding