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Peak 6 Hour race results

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |August 22, 2010 7:07 PM
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The fourth annual Peak Adventures - VT 6 Hour Endurance Mountain Bike Race was held on a beautiful Vermont day this past Saturday, August 21st.  The cool morning air warmed and the valley fog burned off quickly once the sun rose above the mountains.  The race setting was quintessential Vermont fashion, a rehabbed barn with farm animals abound and a backdrop of gorgeous green mountains in the small town of Pittsfield, Vermont (just north of Killington). These mountains are no stranger to the endurance athlete as Peak Adventures has been staging endurance events, namely running (50-200 miles) and snowshoeing races for several years, and now is turning its focus to include mountain bikers to encourage use of their extensive and ever-growing network of privately owned trails. 

The number of entrants this year was around 80, which was twice the turnout from last year (there were also a few other mountain bike races in New England this same weekend), and my guess is this race will definitely be growing quickly in the years to come, especially with the immense dedication the organizers have put into building and grooming the trails.  On one of the main sections of the descent off the mountain there were at least 15 back to back banked/bermed switchbacks, many of which you could truly fly through while some were still tight turns, unless you’re a true downhiller. 

The race started off with a lemans start to help spread out the racers before the quick turn from the transition area to a downhill double track with a sizeable tabletop that has in previous years taken out a couple of racers.  It continues to drop down with a few other sweet jumps along the way until it bottoms out at a river and then the long climb up the mountain begins.  There must have been 100 switchbacks over the 8.5 mile course (although my computer put it closer to a 9 mile lap).  The 1,200 feet of climbing flowed nicely with all the switchbacks up what would otherwise be an nearly impossible steep climb into instead traversing up the mountain in mostly a middle ring climb.  The top had spectacular views of the surrounding area and included a pretty technical, twisty rooty, rocky section that had many racers walking.  It took myself a few laps before I figured out the lines that would get me through it cleanly.  Once out of the twisty technical section it was ear to ear grinning on the way down with a series of banked turned, super fast descending reminiscent of big mountain riding on the edge of a cliff hoping you don’t lean too far the wrong way and slamming the brakes into hairpin turn after hairpin turn.  The course definitely kept riders on their toes the whole lap through.  The only true "rest” area was through the start/finish section. 

In the elite/expert open mens field 18 year old Phenom, Ben Chase win with 7 laps in 6:57.  His just barely under 1hr laps times allowed him to head back out onto the course before the 3pm cutoff to be the only racer with 7 laps.  Jon Rowe followed up 2nd with 6 laps in 6:10, and last weeks 24 Hours of Great Glenn Solo Open Men’s winner, Chris Gagnon, came in 3rd with 6 laps in 6:19.  Chris said he was feeling the effects of last week’s race compounded with all the climbing on this course which was bothering his knees.  Kevin Ballou and Steve Segenchuk rounded out the top 5 spots. 

In the elite/expert open women’s field, local endurance racer Karen Potter, iRideAdentures/ rider, took the win with 6 laps in 6:39, and was 7th overall.  Coming through on her 5th lap, she could have stopped but decided to head out for number 6 knowing she was putting in good training with lots of climbing for the upcoming Shenandoah 100 miler, the NUE Series Finale.  Angea Webster came in 2nd with 5 laps in 6:20, followed up by New Zealander Lisa Morgan, who has spent time in Canada this summer training for the upcoming world cup, finished with 4 laps in 5:12, and 4th place KT Welch with 4 laps in 5:59.

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