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CES '16 Round 3: Toro Enduro from VP Components on Vimeo.

Video by Mitch Nuyens and Sebastian Bauer.

Poison oak choked single track, sandy, off-camber turns, and gnarly elevation – plenty to love at The Toro Enduro, the newest addition to the California Enduro Series circuit. Close to 350 riders, including amateurs and professionals took on the four-stage race May 28 in Salinas, CA, and finished with wide smiles and only a few bumps and bruises.

“The terrain is different than what I’m used to riding,” reflected Amy Morrison, 27, an Auburn, CA local, who finished first in Pro Women with a time of 17.20. “Auburn has a lot of clay and it gets loose, but nothing like this.”

Coming off her recent win at the Battle Born Enduro, the series’ second race, Morrison, said she wants to keep the momentum.

“I see myself as a technical rider, so I’m really excited for the races to come,” said Morrison. “Ashland will be awesome and I’m really looking forward to Northstar, which is right in my backyard. I think there’ll be a lot of competition at those races, but it’s also getting into more of the terrain and style of riding that I enjoy.”

Designed by Keith DeFiebre, a rock in the Central Coast cycling scene and the organizer behind the local CCCX series, Saturday’s course paraded riders through the roughly 4,700-acre greenspace, giving them the chance to experience a good portion of the county park and all of its features.

“Toro Park is just awesome for riding! The four stages allowed all the riders, from beginners to pros, to get involved. The pros could really rail the course and the beginners and sport could take on something that wasn’t too intimidating,” explained DeFiebre, who has held races at the venue for almost 15 years. “The park has some major elevation and you have to work to get to the top, but the majority of the trails are just fun single track. There aren’t a lot of rocks, but there are some tricky turns and some really loose stuff.”

Morrison wasn’t the only one ripping up the 19- mile course. Hometown hero, Dillon Santos, crushed his local trails and finished first in Pro Men with a time of 15.05.

“It was dry, dusty, and super-fast; the pedaling was crazy, but it was a lot of fun,” said Santos, 20. “I got started riding about three to four years ago by doing CCCX stuff and it was a great time; I’m excited to see it back.”

Leveraging his deep knowledge of the trails and trading in a tent for his bed, Santos, who hails from Salinas, was well prepared for the race and said he was stoked to take the top spot at his local park.

“It was super nice to sleep in my own bed and be able to do my morning ritual. I had chocolate chip pancakes, which I unfortunately regurgitated on stage one.” Santos added.

Toro was the third race in the seven race series, which provides a sampling of the varying single track California and its neighboring states offer.

“This is a place where a lot of local people have been racing for a long time, so we’re excited to bring something new to the area,” commented Steve Gemelos, director of the California Enduro Series. “We try to mix up the races and give people a chance to ride a bunch of different terrain and courses. We want to find the overall best rider: are you good at pedaling? Can you handle the technical stuff? Can you put the power down?”

The Rabobank KOM/QOM challenge also put $100 up for grabs for the fastest times on stage two, the longest stage of the day. Dillon Santos and Amy Morrison took the KOM/QOM for the Pros. Santos had a time of 4.42 and Morrison had a time of 5.29. Keith DeFiebre and Madison Giger took it for the Expert category, with a time of 4.55 and 5.36. In the Sport category, Trenton Guthrie with a time of 4.59 and Brittany Cavaletto with a time of 5.49, walked away with the cash. Nathan Davis and Hanna Fleming were the fastest in the Beginner category, Davis had a time of 5.15 and Fleming finished with a time of 5.53.

The TRP “Brake Zone” was also set up for Saturday’s race, with Tracie Nelson and Keith DeFiebre sporting the fastest speeds on stage three. DeFiebre had a speed of 33.2 mph and Nelson had a speed of 27.5 mph, both walked away with a little extra green.

Full Race Results, CES Individual Standings and Team Standings are posted on the CES website - along with a new Leaderboard on the front page.

Nearly 350 riders took on the roughly 19‐mile course set in the Salinas hills. Photo: Called to Creation.

Amy Morrison pinned on the Toro Enduro course. Photo: Called to Creation.

The TRP “Brake Zone” was a huge hit at this event. Riders were clocked by radar through this speed trap, with the goal of bringing in the top speed. Photo: Called to Creation.

Flying through a fast, loose course. Photo: Called to Creation.

The Rabobank KOM/QOM challenge is back, and extended to all four category groups for 2016. These riders walked away with $100. Photo: Called to Creation.

Men's TRP Brake Zone Speed Trap 1st - Keith DeFiebre at 33.2 mph 2nd - Tom Doran at 32.6 mph 3rd - Ashton Smith at 32.2 mph

 Women's TRP Brake Zone Speed Trap 1st - Tracie Nelson at 27.5 2nd - Amy Morrison at 26.8 3rd - Madison Giger at 26.5

Pro Women Podium: (1) Amy Morrison, (2) Essence Barton, (3) Ali Osgood, (4) Janea Perry, (5) Lauren Gregg. Photo: Called to Creation.

Pro Men Podium: (1) Dillon Santos, (2) Evan Geankopolis, (3) Ian Massey, (4) Cory Sullivan, (5) Ryan Gardner. Photo: Called to Creation.

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