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With the light at the end of the tunnel shining ever so brightly for the biggest race in the US, the US Gravity Nationals, Team BGB-MK returned to what we like to call our “home track” for the first DH race of the season at Beech Mountain Resort. Over a 150 riders would also make the trek from as far away at Illinois, Texas, and Florida to get some invaluable track time for that race we all see in the horizon.

Rolling into Banner Elk, NC, weather conditions for the weekend looked great with a slight chance of precip forecast for just about the time the last Pro would make his way through the course. Track conditions on a chilly Saturday morning course walk looked dry, but those of us that have been there before know better. The water hides and just seems to come out of the ground on this mountain. She didn’t disappoint with just enough to make those rock sections a bit slick and have a number of rider’s ask, “Cut mud tires or DH tires?”

All racers would maneuver the amateur course of which is extremely technical for the inexperienced and filled with tight twisty sections which kept one on their guard. The weekend started out for Team BGB-MK with lots of “stop and go” trying to find that elusive smooth line in a very rocky course. I’d bet that each of our riders took at least three minor spills (if not more) over the course of the weekend.

After a day of getting into the groove, Nich Ifkovits, our youngest rider, put in a clean run placing third overall in Juniors and 3rd in category. Nicely done young gun! For the team, the weekend would belong to team Pro Rider Ryan Taylor who put in an impressive run after a huge crash during early morning Sunday practice where he introduced himself and his bike to a tree. That meeting didn’t go very well and each left on bad terms. Shaken, but not spoiled Ryan was able to muster up enough mojo to finish on the podium taking home the bronze behind two previous National Champions, Ethan Quehl of Chainsmoke Racing (Silver) and Gerrit Beytagh (Gold). Congrats Mr. Beytagh for winning the Pro class!

Ryan Taylor, ""I've been racing at Beech since the late '90's and this weekend the conditions were better than I have ever seen them. The track was super fun, constantly challenging and left no room for error if you wanted to have a clean run. I had a few mistakes in my run but my bike worked great and I had a blast. The level of competition is incredible in the region this year. Even though I competed against two former national champions in the pro class, I was actually more concerned with comparing race times with the super-dialed and dedicated juniors whom I think stand to become national champions in their categories here in July. See you at nationals!"

Finally a must mention, Jay FAST-perman (Fesperman – GROM Racing) laid down the fastest time on the mountain beating Gerrit’s time by a HUUUGGGE 0.01 sec. Running JrX, this is turning into the year of FAST-perman….. expect to hear this young man’s name quite a bit this season. Individual Team BGB-MK results are summarized below.

Pro Men:
3rd – Ryan Taylor
10th – Rob DeMao

Men Cat 1 Master 35-39:
3rd – Matt Haynes

Men Cat 2 Senior 19-24:
7th – Jay Guidry

Men Cat 2 Master 30-34:
4th – Nick Frantz

Men Cat 2 Master 35-39:
7th – Brook Buckelew

Men Cat 2 Junior 15-18:
3rd – Nich Ifkovits

Women Cat 3 Master 40-49:
DNS – Heither Schultz (Injury)

Official USAC Results Thanks to Talia Freeman, Chris Herndon, Danny Cesare, the Beech Ski Patrol, the rest of the Beech Mountain crew and all of the racers for making it such a great time. We look forward to the 2012 USAC US Gravity/DS Nationals in just four short weeks, in which all will fight to make the claim, “The Best in the US!” The countdown BEGINS!

Thanks to all our sponsors: Mountain Khakis, Billy Goat Bikes, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, Loaded Precision Components, Black Market Bikes, Feedback Sports, Smith Optics, Zerode Bicycles, POC Sports, Suspension Experts.


Website: Team BGB-MK
Website: Mountain Khakis
Facebook: Team BGB-MK on Facebook
Twitter: Team BGB-MK on Twitter


For any further information please contact: Jay Schultz, Pinkbike ID: waterdogs, Team BGB-Mountain Khakis – Public RelationsFor any further information please contact: Jay Schultz, VitalMTB ID: waterdog, Team BGB-Mountain Khakis – Public Relations

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