Daily Archives: 05/15/2018

Spencer Paxson Wins Inaugural XC-Enduro Combined at the Vedder MTB Festival

 

‘Enduro! It has what XC racers crave!’ my buddies and I joked as we rolled in to Day 2 of our “Vedder Doubleheader” weekend up in the Fraser Valley. The Idiocracy reference was a double entendre of sorts; the easy, no-pressure climbing and ripping downhill in enduro, along with questioning our own sensibility for racing two hard days in a row.

Why two days in a row? The true prize of the weekend, for me at least, was the newly minted King/Queen of the Mountain Trophy devised by the organizers of the Vedder Mountain Classic. It would go to the man and woman with the fastest combined time in the XC and enduro. Day 1 was the Vedder Mountain Classic, a 30km marathon-format cross country race. Day 2 was the opening round of the Canadian National Enduro Series. Combined, the days would tally around 11,000 feet of vert up and down. Imagine some of the best dirt conditions you’ve ever had (and that is not hyperbole!), and any sensible MTB-er would have taken up the challenge.

 

Well…I’m not sure if sensible is the correct word, but how about eager? You could say that Saturday’s XC was an aggressive practice day. The course was challenging, but the immaculate conditions took the edge off of the effort. Teammate Cory Wallace and I battled out on the start loop and up the first huge climb to the top of The Den with Canadian cyclocross National Champ Micheal Van Den Ham in the mix. My Hei Hei (size Large) equipped with MRP Ribbon fork and WTB Trail Boss tires was feeling spry, and I sneaked around Mr. Wallace on the long descent back down to the lake, beginning lap two with a comfortable gap, and pressing on up the second half of the race to take the win. Cory rolled in 2nd, we traded some high fives, went to the beer garden, jumped in the lake, and even collected some Canadian cash. Day 1 done!

Phillip Jones

Sunday’s enduro is captured well-enough in the images. It was a ripping good time! I raced three out of five stages blind (good prep for TransCascadia coming up later this summer) and executed a quick-but-conservative day to get through cleanly. My result on Sunday was lackluster compared to Saturday’s XC, but it was good enough to claim the first-ever Vedder KOM Trophy! Truth be told, there weren’t many who went for the double header, so it had a bit of a tree-fell-in-the-woods level of accomplishment, but given the caliber of this event, I’m hopeful to see this “omnium” format more hotly contested in the future. It has to start somewhere! So with that, the weekend was wrapped up, and it was time to get back home to finish celebrating Mother’s Day.

James Lissimore

As I said of last year’s experience racing the Vedder Mountain Classic, there is no pretense to riding or racing mountain bikes in this part of the world, no matter your skill level, because in BC, mountain biking and racing just is. It’s a f*@#% good time!

Connor Fearon Rides in Gamble, Now on iTunes

Connor Fearon is part of a steller downhill cast in Steel City Media’s newest film, Gamble. Fearon along with other legendary downhill racers, take on some of the world’s most creative tracks. Narrated by Snatch’s Alan Ford, Gamble is sure to entertain the mountain bike crowd. Here’s the trailer. You can buy the film now on iTunes.

All photos by Boris Beyer.

Alexander Kangas Finishes Top 25 at EWS Round Three in Montagnes du Caroux, France

All Photos: Sven Martin

Kona Global Enduro Team rider Alexander Kangas recently competed in the third round of the Enduro World Series in Montagnes du Caroux, France. He had a strong weekend and finished in 23rd place overall. Check out his race report below.

Another World Enduro is in the books, and damn this one was a tough one. I Arrived in Toulouse on Tuesday afternoon and meet up with my buddies Dan Wolfe and Sam Flockhart. We picked up our car and drove over to our accommodation, a really nice cabin located up in the mountains, an old-school French style houses rock.

On Wednesday we signed in and did a little track walk of the urban stage on and got ourselves and our bikes ready for Thursday, the first day of practice.

Practice started in reverse order, on Thursday we did stages five through eight. These were really fun, awesome stages. Stage five went really well for me, as did half of stage 6. I got midway down the stage, came into a corner a wee bit too hot and had a silly crash- nothing major. I picked the bike up and started to adjust my brake levers as the left one got twisted down, grabbed the bars and was gonna take off when I realized something was wrong. My left little finger (pinky) was dislocated at the top joint, basically pointing the completely wrong direction.

I pulled the finger out and dragged it back in to place. I never want to do that again. After that I took it easy and did the next few stages, the finger was sore but it was rideable.

Friday was the second day of practice and after hitting stages five to eight on Thursday it was time to hit stages one to four. Stage one was a bit rank, but stage two was fricken awesome. It has to be one of the best trails I’ve ever ridden. Three was good as well, really long and rocky and it featured a bit of everything. Stage four was another street race stage, which I don’t like at all, but it is really good for the sport to put them in there and to have that visibility.

The first day of racing! I made a few mistakes on stage one. I hit my left foot on a big ass rock and thought I’d broken all my toes in the process, but it was all good. I rode on and had a sweet bottom section of the stage ending it in 27th place which was a good start to the day.
I had a really good stage two (besides from losing my Allen keys midway down), and finished the stage in 10th place!

Stage three was good apart from a crash midway down, it was just a small crash but it cost me a lot of time since my bars got twisted and I had to stop again and put my cockpit back in place. I lost valuable time on stage three and finished in 33rd place. After stage two I was sitting in 15th place overall before but after the crash on three and the urban stage I got dropped down to 25th place overall.

Sunday saw the second day of racing and the rain arrive. I put a mud tire on for the front, which would turn out to be a bad call. I should have stayed on the setup I was running on Saturday but that’s part of the game sometimes.

The second day of racing was a bit tougher, I struggled a bit more with the stages but was consistently inside the top 30. After a weekend of good racing, I ended the weekend in 23rd place, which is my best EWS finish ever! I’m stoked with my speed at the moment and how I’m riding, and beyond excited to finish in 23rd, that top 10 on stage two Saturday was pretty damn rad too.

Follow Alexander on Instagram here.