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Last weekend marked the 2nd round of the Fontana Winter series, and it was another solid event put on by Don Jackson and Family. It was also the first weekend I’d be running the Team Houseman Racing Clinics. Over the years I’ve done several clinics out there, but I took a break from them for the past few seasons. I was looking forward to helping both Jake Villegas, and Jason Cleghorn Jr!
Saturday we met up around 9am, and it was a typical So-Cal day. Sunny 75 degrees, dusty, dry course. Since the course was split for Sport-Beginner and Expert Pro, I’d be spending my time getting Jake and Jason dialed in on the Sport course. We hooked up the VIP Shuttles from Jason’s Dad, and banged out 4 runs before the actual practice for DH started. It’s always cool following riders, as you can really learn a lot from just a few runs. We worked on line choice, cornering, race prep, and practicing efficiently. These kids were awesome! They improved with every run, and it was cool to watch. Special thanks to clinic sponsors….ODI, KENDA, NEMA, and MRP for hooking up the product! The kids were stoked!

Sunday I needed to get out there early, as I didn’t get any practice on the Pro course the day before. The wind was howling at my house, so I knew it was going to be gnarly out in Fontana. By the time I showed up around 8am…it was pretty treacherous! After my first run, I decided to try out Small Block Kenda’s on the front and back tire. I got some crazy looks when going up for my 2nd practice run, but they hooked up better than expected! I dialed in my lines on my last practice run, and was ready for the final.
My race run started out solid, and I flowed through the top mini rock section very clean. I could already feel that I was rolling faster through the flat sections, and after being cautious through the gnarly shoot, I carried good momentum through the saddle and up the hill. The middle section was pretty rocky, and I needed to be a little careful not to flat. I probably could have hit some better lines through the middle, but no major mistakes. After coming out onto the first fire road, I almost had to laugh at how much better I was rolling on the Small Blocks! I pedaled hard, up and over the street crossing, and took some deep breaths trying to recover for the Fontucki WALL. I nailed the bottom rock section, and put down the power on the wall. Thanks to my buddy Steve Z. for yelling and videoing me the whole sprint down the wall. I had no choice but to go my hardest! Ended up 4th on the day, and was stoked on it!

It was a rewarding weekend, and I’d like to say thanks to both Jake and Jason Jr. for giving me the opportunity to coach them. Also huge thanks to all my sponsors for their support! See you at the next one.
2011 Sponsors:
Intense Cycles, Fox Racing Shox, Bell, Easton, Shimano, Nema, Smith Optics, ODI, MRP, Stone Brewing Co., Kicker, Finish Line, Crankskins, Pro-Tec, Team Houseman Racing

Photos by:
Cleghorn Photography
six3events | Stephanie Wolf&Mike Lord

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