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Winter time is typically the time for either the dust to collect on your downhill gear, train in prep for the coming season, or hit the slopes with the board or skis. Hogwash! How about a two race series in one of the nastiest sets of trails in the SE? Why you ask? Why-a-not? In Windrock, TN there’s a core group of riders that come together almost every weekend and this would be the bunch that would answer the previous question with, “Because we can!” With a focus on keeping it “Grass Roots”, the trail of choice for round one would be Snakerock Trail with a slight twist making use of a section of Bedrock. Now Snakerock is probably the most tame trail that Windrock has to offer stretching about a mile over 959 feet of elevation, but it really never lets up. It constantly keeps you on your toes never giving you a second to relax…….. it really is what Downhill is supposed to be like.

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Leading up the race the entire Southeast region went through three days of constant rain followed up by a about a half day of snow. Most expected trail conditions to be nothing but a mix of peanut butter and soup, but surprising other than the short stint on Bedrock into the natural drain of the valley, it was just about perfect. Not too dry with about 85 to 90% of the trail tacky like you want it. Mornings were a tad on the chilly side, it is Winter, but no signs of powder to be found, clear blue skys and temps in the mid to upper forty for two day’s worth of riding is really the perfect formula for an awesome race weekend.

Staying true to the concept of keeping it real, the crew decided to keep it to just two classes for the 30 riders that showed up. Not a big turnout you say, no matter, that was EXACTLY what the crew wanted. Low key, Grass Roots and lots of fun. Lining up was totally up to the riders, though most of the Open (Pro) class did choose to wait til the end of the pack. 29 Amateurs would lay down the best they could. In the end it was 3. Chris Fisher, 2. Jerry Mailloux and 1. Wes Childers. The Open class would come down to a battle two east coasters and one surprise west coaster attending school in KY. Kyle Grau (EC), JD Swaguen (WC), and Jay Fesperman (EC). Kyle ended up just missing Jay Fesperman's time by 0.7 sec and it would be JD taking the top spot by an impressive 13.2 sec over Fesperman (suffering from a on course crash on Bedrock) with a time of 3:33.60. There is no doubt for the final race in the Windrock Winter Series, the east coasters will be anxious to take the crown back from JD Swaguen.

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Alex Ohman on his first event, “Our first event went really well. We had some beautiful weather with some world class competition and the racers laid down some FAST times. The weekend started out a little on the muddy side, but you can’t ask for a better race day than what we got. Everybody’s out here smiling and I don’t see anybody with anything less than a grin on their face. I couldn’t be happier!”

Next up for Alex Ohman and the crew? Back in a month for the last race of the series on February 17. And if you are going to come, bring your balls and your fitness as racers are in store for a treat…… a full run from the top of the world to the bottom, down Windmill trail. 1500+ feet of elevation, 2-ish miles of track, equals about a 10 minute ride (it’s not yet on Strava). A LONG RACE COURSE for sure!

Thanks to Clealan Watts for the shuttle, Alex Ohman for putting the effort forth to see this event come to life with some support the boys at the Trials Training Center (TTC) and lastly the event sponsors, Billy Goat Bikes and Red House Bikes. See you back in a month for the second and last race in the series on Feb 17.

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Open:
1 JD Swanguen 3.33.60
2 Jay Fesperman 3.46.80
3 Kyle Grau 3.47.50
4 Eric Vest 4.01.10
5 Josh Patton 4.07.20
6 Sally Wilkinson 4.28.10
7 Colonel Clealan 4.28.40

Amateur:
1 Wes Childers 4.16.60
2 Jerry Mailloux 4.20.10
3 Chris Fisher 4.21.60
4 Geoff Boone 4.32.10
5 Brett Zook 4.40.70
6 Craig Fitzgerald 4.50.30
7 Wendell Hatton 4.51.90
8 Zach Miller 4.53.40
9 Troy Roberts 4.55.40
10 Andy Riche 4.55.60
11 Nathan Hoff 4.57.10
12 Michael Kane 4.59.20
13 Tom Robertson 5.07.00
14 Randy Simpson 5.11.40
15 Dave Raymond 5.29.20
16 Jeff Pane 5.33.70
17 Shawn Tyra 6.11.90
18 Phil Marsh 6.49.00
19 Enrique Gaona 7.13.20
20 Dave Fopp dnf
21 Zack Slaybaugh dnf
22 Ace Savarese dnf
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