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The weekend of January 22 saw the second race of the Southridge Winter Series presented by Shimano take place in Fontana, CA. Mother nature was up to her tricks again and treated all of us here in Southern California to something that we are not quite accustomed to: RAIN! Those of us that live here love to boast about the 300+ days of sunshine that we enjoy all year long, however this weekend held something that most of us who ride downhill sometimes look forward to and that is rain. The norm here is dry, dusty and loose. But add a bit of rain to the equation and we end up having riding conditions that are almost ideal. The rains started coming down Friday evening and ended up lasting through the night into Saturday morning. But mother nature knew when to stop the rain and it let up mid day and left cloud cover and nice weather. Thanks Mom!

Cody Johnson getting aero. Yeah buddy! - Photo by Blue Fire

Race day on Sunday was absolutely ideal.  Tacky dirt, mild temps and none of the tricky wind that plagued the previous race two weeks earlier.  The course was one of the better courses that Don Jackson has done, including a steep rocky chute with an almost 90 degree left hand turn mid way that was used in last years Fontana City Nationals.  This one section was a hot area for spectators to watch and see who had nerves of steel and could keep it pinned all the way to the first pedal section.  Fontana is different in that no two race courses are ever alike, since Don has so many choices and options when he lays out a course.  Picture a jig saw puzzle.  In one corner is the starting line and in the opposite corner is the finish line. The number of options in connecting the start and finish are almost infinite.  He just chooses different pieces of the puzzle.  We all seem to remember certain sections of a race, and its funny to hear the racers describe the current course in terms of “he used this section in last years Nationals and then it went to the part in July where we…”.  This is a big part of the allure of Fontana.  No matter how you prepare, you never know exactly what the track will be with the exception of “The Wall”.  
Mitch 'Winaloto' did it again, but this time he was on a new ride... -  Photo by Blue Fire

In the pro class, Mitch Ropelato took top honors followed by Kevin Aiello in second and Logan Binggelli in third.  Closing out the podium was Cody Johnson in fourth place and Kyle Sangers in fifth place.  Ropelato is staking his claim to lead the Winter Series at this point and is having a great start to his 2012 season.  

Pro Podium - Photo by Cleghorn Photography

In the Jr. Cat 1 class, Luca Cometi took top honors followed by Jason Schroeder in second place and Dylan Unger in third.  Closing out the podium was Cody Kelly in fourth place and McKay Vezina in fifth place.

Jr Cat 1 Podium - Photo by Cleghorn Photography
The next race in the Southridge Winter Series will be the weekend of February 4th&5th.  For more information go to www.SouthridgeUSA.com

PRO Category
1. Mitch Ropelato
2. Kevin Aiello
3. Logan Binggelli
4. Cody Johnson
5. Kyle Sangers

Jr. Category 1
1. Luca Commeti
2. Jason Schroeder
3. Dylan Unger
4. Cody Kelly
5. McKay Vezina

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