Ellen Noble and Dan Timmerman Stomp Out the Gnar Weasels
Written by: Karen Potter
The 2015 Gnar Weasels Shredeth did not disappoint in ‘gnarliness’ despite having to move to a new race venue, Diamond Hill in Cumberland, Rhode Island. The new course proved to have a more big mountain feel than hill feel with a significant amount of climbing on the 4+ mile lap and super gnarly descents.
While the old race venue (Foxboro State Park) had more consistent technical aspects throughout the course, the Diamond Hill course was mostly downhill technical with full-on jumps, rock faces, gap jumps – just about everything to test your mettle. There were several “A” and “B” lines and some “A+” lines that were blocked to avoid having to call the ambulance too many times.
That being said there were plenty of crashes even by very skilled racers and plenty of flats and broken bikes. Add high temperatures and humidity the day of the event and it was quite a feat to finish the race.
The start was on a steep, loose double track climb before dumping into tight singletrack with a techy descent and minimal passing opportunities for a while. Race promoters offered a $50 prime to the first woman and man to the top to help separate out the pack.
In the elite women’s race, despite missing her pedal at the start, series leader Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) took the hill climb but Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) closed in fast behind.
Noble quickly overtook Anthony on a technical section and put in attacks on the descents. Anthony responded on the climbs but Noble was riding strong and eventually her attacks took giving her the win in 2:07:59.
Anthony followed in second at 2:11:07.
Kimberlan Quinlan (Bicycle Express Racing) rode in third for the first lap but was overtaken by a very steady Bryna Blanchard (Windham Mountain Outfitters) to take the third spot in 2:14:48. Quinlan finished fourth and Karen Potter (Pivot/Epic Brewing) clawed her way back to finish 5th after suffering an early flat and mechanical issues that left her far in the back of the field.
The elite men’s race saw series leader Billy Melone (ATA Cycles) take the hole shot but Dan Timmerman (Riverside Racing) overtook him on a bobble.
Tom Sampson (Vittoria/Yeti Cycles) gapped up to TImmerman and the two duked it out for the next three laps with Timmerman gaining on the climbs and Sampson showing his descending skills that Timmerman couldn’t match.
On the 3rd of 4 laps, Timmerman managed a small gap on Sampson on the opening climb and was able to hold it for the win in 1:44:39,
Sampson finished just19 seconds back.
Billy Melone held onto third finishing in 1:48:15. Chris Hamlin finished in fourth (1:50:47) despite suffering a dramatic crash that left his face rather bloody. Noah Tautfest (Bicycle Express Racing) rounded out the podium in fifth (1:51:20)