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Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge Report

Posted by: Matt Williams |August 10, 2012 10:40 PM
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The town of Carrabassett, ME, played host to the first stop of the newly created New England Endurance Series this past weekend, as the Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge brought close to 200 racers from around New England to test their skills in the backwoods of Maine. The town of Carrabassett has made a concerted effort to build up itís singletrack network in the past few years, and has put tens of thousands of dollars behind the effort. That work as showcased throughout the approximately 54 mile course, which featured a mix of new and old school New England singletrack, some high speed double track descents, backcountry stream crossings, great views, and lots of punchy climbs.

In the menís race it was a two-way battle between Ryan Serbel and Andrew Freye. The duo escaped nearly from the gun, and worked together early to extend their lead over the rest of the field. Serbel, who spends most of his time road racing, was feeling the pressure on the numerous singletrack sections early in the race. "I made the mistake of asking him [Freye] to go faster,Ē on one of the road sections, Serbel said after the race. "And he just went faster everywhere.Ē

As the race neared the midway point, however, Freye stopped to get fresh bottles. As Serbel said afterwards, "I didnít have any bottles so I just kept going. I thought heíd catch back up.Ē But once Serbel got the initial separation he was able to steadily stretch his lead. He cruised across the line in 4:09:22, with a nearly 13-minute gap over the chasing Freye. Steven Crossley, who spent most of the day by himself chasing Serbel and Freye, rode well to finish in 4:26:20.

On the womenís side it was Hattie Freye who dominated the race. Freye started well, and was joined early by Expert racer Nina Otter (Mountain Moxie). However, on the dayís first major climb up the lower slopes of the Sugarloaf Ski Resort, Freye was able to put a gap on Otter. From there she cruised to the win, despite a few crashes and scrapes, finishing in 5:44:10. Otter rode well to hang on to second overall in 5:51:42. Heather Rizzi took the final spot on the podium, finishing in 6:07:26.

The New England Endurance Series picks up again in three weeks at the Hampshire 100, and with most of the top finishers from Carrabassett planning on making the trip to New Hampshire, the competition for overall series win is likely to heat up.

Menís Overall

1. Ryan Serbel           4:09:22

2. Andrew Freye        4:22:08

3. Steven Crossley     4:26:20

4. John Burns             4:30:50

5. Derek Treadwell    4:32:47

6. Ezra Mullen           4:35:20

7. Gregory Jancaitus  4:39:03

8. Will Crissman        4:41:22

9. Allen Starrett         4:43:07

10. Rick Nelson         4:46:39

11. Matt Williams

12. Christopher Cyr

13. Jason Grossi


Womenís Overall

1. Hattie Freye                5:44:10

2. Nina Otter                   5:51:42

3. Heather Rizzi              6:07:26

4. Emily Philips              6:10:55

5. Amanda House           6:28:55

6. Heather Steinhour       6:32:38

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