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It's finally time to break out the big bikes as the first Maxxis ESC Box Components Showdown of 2019 rolls into Thunder Mountain Bike Park for an action packed weekend of Downhill, Enduro and Ebike racing. This place holds a special place in racers hearts, which is why over 400 of them came out to Charlemont, Massachusetts this weekend. For Enduro racers, it's the only Maxxis ESC venue with stages which extend beyond the bike park boundaries to the Warfield Trails, making for a world-class race experience tucked into the hills of the Berkshires. The Schist Downhill track is both loved and loathed for the big technical features and pure speed it commands of racers if they want to do well here, as times are always tight. Most racers were probably checking their phones all week as rain was originally in the forecast on race day, but luckily we had mostly sunny skies until a quick downpour late Sunday afternoon.

The first Maxxis ESC Ebike race two weeks ago had five competitors and Saturday afternoon we had 16 registered racers, which called for a proper Le Mans start.

Racers battled it out elbow to elbow on the climbs but after 24 minutes of flat out racing at the Warfield Trails, Nathan Sterckx came out on top and plenty of stories were exchanged with smiles all around at the finish line.

Ask any of these guys how much fun they had at the Ebike race and get out there for the next one, just don't complain when one of them beats you.

Bike Check

Since it's the first Maxxis ESC Intense Downhill Series race of the season, we figured it would be fitting to take a closer look at the Intense M29 of our winner here last year, Steve Estabrook.

Rider height: 6' 2" weight: 175-180lbs
Frame: Intense M29, XL
Fork: Fox 49, 80 PSI, 5 spacing tokens
Rebound: 5 from closed
High speed compression: 7 clicks from closed, Low speed: 5 from closed
Rear shock: Fox DHX2 , 550lb spring
Compression: HS 10 from closed, LS 8 from closed
Rebound: HS 10 from closed, LS 11 from closed
Brakes: Shimano Saint
Rotors: Shimano, 203mm front & rear
Shifter and Derailleur: SRAM XO
Cassette: SRAM 7 speed
Cranks: Truvativ, 165 mm
Chain Ring: 36t
Chain Guide: E*thirteen LG1
Wheels: Industry Nine Grade 300
Hubs: Industry Nine Hydra
Tires: Maxxis Assegai front, 26 PSI, Maxxis DHR2 rear, 27 PSI, Flat Tire Defender inserts
Saddle: Deity Sidetrack
Seatpost: Deity Retina
Bars: Deity BF, 780mm long, 30mm rise
Stem: Deity Intake DM 50mm
Grips: Deity Knuckleduster

The pits and base area were buzzing early Sunday morning as both the Enduro race and Downhilll practice started at 9am.


To start their day, Enduro racers made the nearly two mile transfer from Thunder Mountain to the Warfield Trails where they were welcomed by loamy goodness on Stages 1 and 2. Chris Crispin maneuvers through one of the final awkward off-camber corners of Stage 1 on his way to two stage wins and two race wins in the 30-39 men's class this weekend. Way to go, Chris!

The fastest racers from each class on Stage 1 with their Flat Tire Defender Super Stage winnings.

Adrian Hayden gives his tires a quick rinse before making the pedal to the top of TV Tower for Stage 2, he would put a minute and change between him and the rest of the U20 men's class by the end of the day to take the win.

It's amazing Willem Cooper has any time to practice between keeping everyone's Intense bikes rolling smooth all weekend but he was on pace again, earning his second Pro men's top ten of the season.

Stage 3 required a lift and pedal transfer combo to reach the backside of Thunder Mountain. B.J. Treglia flows like water through the Hawks Brook Trail to take 4th in the 40-49 men's class.

After a quick pedal up the fire road, racers would make their way outside bike park boundaries once again for the longest stage of the day. Andrew Sampsell holds the high line on Stage 4, Wilderness Brook Trail.

With all the pedal transfers out of the way, racers could have a rest on the lift and really open it up on the final two stages. Isaac Carlson pins it on Stage 5 toward the bottom of Billy Badger on his way to a top ten finish in the U20 men's class.

Noah Couture smashes the technical rock sections of Wine Tree on the final stage to take second place in the CLIF Kids class. This trail is hard enough in the dry, kudos to racers who rode it in the wet after a brief late afternoon downpour.

Alex Rims Super Stage 6 winners from each class.

Maxxis ESC Specialized Enduro Series Round #2 winner Kayla Morin-Blanchette was on pace again at Thunder, locking down the Pro women's runner-up spot with a final race time of 29:13.

Trek Factory Racing's Ellen Noble decided to join us this weekend and try her hand at Enduro racing, winning three stages and besting the Pro Women's class by a margin of 1 minute 24 seconds. "This was my first Enduro but it's really close to my house so I decided to jump in. It was so fun, and the community aspect of it is unrivaled. I love these trails, it was a perfect break from the World Cups on my week home." Photo: John Byram

Enduro Pro Women: 4th - Marilyne Proulx, 2nd - Kayla Morin-Blanchette, 1st - Ellen Noble, 3rd - Rachel Pageau, 5th - Kimberley Quinlan

Defiant Racing's Max Beaupre skipped his high school graduation ceremony to race this weekend and that decision paid off, as he was able to secure third place for his third podium finish of 2019 in as many races.

CNCB Bolt rider Samuel Thibault was able to put 12 seconds into the rest of the Pro Men to take the win, then he set his sights on the Downhill course where he finished in fifth place.

After a bit of a shaky start to the season Seamus Powell looked right at home on the longer stages of Thunder, winning two of them on his way to a second place finish in the Pro men's class.

Enduro Pro Men: 4th - Chris Miller, 2nd - Seamus Powell, 1st - Samuel Thibault, 3rd - Max Beaupre, 5th - Steve Estabrook


Eric Beauchamp-Lachapelle takes it way inside to give the ski trail grass a trim, he would land on the 30-39 men's podium with a solid third place finish to kick off the season.

The second rock garden is a key section in the battle toward the top, Avi Ehrlich keeps it calm and collected to take third in the Cat 1 19-29 men's class.

Tristan Lemire works the chunder-filled corners toward the bottom of the course on his way to take the Junior Expert win by three seconds. Fun fact: He has never lost a race at Thunder.

Jackson Kinney full gas into the final corner.

This bunch of speed demons were fastest in their respective classes through the Fly Racing Speed Zone.

Mary Elges is right back up to speed after taking a break from racing, she would land on the Pro women's podium in third place come Sunday afternoon.

Competing in two races in one day is no easy feat but Rachel Pageau does it regularly and handles it like a boss, third in Enduro and second in Downhill this weekend for the Canadian ripper.

Mazie Hayden would best the Pro Women by a commanding 11 seconds with a final race time of 2:42.73. "I've always loved this track but I struggled with it in new ways this weekend. I started taking a lot of different lines and had a string of three crashes during practice on race day. I fell on my shoulder for the first time post-surgery, but it felt strong so that was a good test! I decided to just be careful and smooth which seemed to pay off. I didn't have the best season last year so winning the Canada Cup and now this race early on has definitely boosted my confidence going forward."

Downhill Pro Women: 4th - Ivanna Estrada, 2nd - Rachel Pageau, 1st - Mazie Hayden, 3rd - Mary Elges, 5th - Kristin Lenart

Defiant Racing's Steve Estabrook competed in all three races this weekend, it's amazing he had enough gas left in the tank when it was time for his Downhill run to take third place for the Pro Men.

Danny's Cycles rider Mauricio Estrada scrubs the final jump on his way to a second place finish, just .37 seconds off the win.

The top four Pro Men were all less than a second off the win, but it was Steven Ceballos who would take the Pro men's win with a final race time of 2:10.40. "Winning was definitely the best feeling, last year I struggled a lot on that track so it was a mental weekend! I like The Schist a lot but it's really hard to keep a fast pace, it's quite short but feels like a mini World Cup track. Times were really tight in the race, I was worried because I did a couple of mistakes in my run, but it was enough to grab my first win! Thanks to Danny's Cycles for the opportunity to be on a team in the US, it's so sick." Check out his winning run for yourself.

Check out Steven's winning run for yourself.

Downhill Pro Men: 4th - Hugo Langevin, 2nd - Mauricio Estrada, 1st - Steven Ceballos, 3rd - Steve Estabrook, 5th - Samuel Thibault

What's one more run after you're already completed six Enduro stages? Congrats to the Box Components Showdown podium finishers Chris Crispin, Jake DesMarais, Rachel Pageau and Samuel Thibault.

We're on to the next one, which for our younger racers will be the East Coast Junior MTB Championships at Glen Park, PA June 14th & 15th. We'll see the rest of you June 23rd at Blue Mountain for the second Box Components Showndown of the season.

Full Enduro Results
Full Downhill Results


May 5 Diamond Hill, RI
May 19 Glen Park, PA – EWS Qualifier
June 2 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 23 Blue Mountain, PA
July 7 Burke Mountain, VT PA – EWS Qualifier
July 14 Plattekill, NY
July 21 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 4 Killington, VT
Aug 18 Plattekill, NY
Sept 8 Victory Hill, VT
Sept 29 Mountain Creek, NJ
Oct 6 Thunder, MA Finals PA – EWS Qualifier

June 2 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 23 Blue Mountain, PA
July 14 Plattekill, NY
July 21 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 4 Killington, VT
Aug 18 Plattekill, NY
Sept 29 Mountain Creek, NJ
Oct 20 Plattekill, NY Finals

MAXXIS ESC BOX SHOWDOWNS - DH and Enduro on the same day
June 2 Thunder Mountain, MA
June 23 Blue Mountain, PA
July 14 Plattekill, NY
July 21 Sugarbush, VT
Aug 4 Killington, VT
Aug 18 Plattekill, NY
Sept 29 Mountain Creek, NJ

May 19 Glen Park, PA
July 7 Burke Mountain, VT
Oct 6 Thunder Mountain, MA Enduro Finals

CLIF ENDURO LITE presented by Maxxis ESC
Aug 25 Burke Mountain - Beginner Enduro Racers - Families - Kids - Fun!


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