Putney Cider House Classic – Melone and Quinlan Win Cider House Classic: Tautfest and Quinlan Crowned 2015 VT State Champs
The 2015 Putney Cider House Classic followed much of last year’s course staged from the Putney School in Putney, Vermont. Last year’s event was on virtually all new, freshly-cut trails made by local expert trails builders. This year it followed essentially the same course with a couple additional singletrack sections that cut out some double track routes.
The pro/elite and expert categories were treated to 9+ miles of awesome yet very challenging singletrack. There were several sections of fast, flowing sections with smoothly banked turns and many more sections of typical Vermont root-strewn trails and pitchy climbing. All in all, the course had over 1,300’ of climbing per a lap which was certainly felt by race end.
Racecourse designers were welcome to racer input as they have lots of land to work with to make the course even better, although most racers seemed quite happy with the current course. An added bonus, racers received a slice of delicious homemade apple pie, homemade ice cream and apple cider for post race recovery.
In the Elite men’s race, New England’s powerhouse, Billy Melone (ATA Cycles) set a pace that could not be matched. Noah Tautfest (Bicycle Express) and Neal Burton (ERRace) chased in the opening sections but instead battled it out for 2nd and 3rd. Burton had a small edge over Tautfest but burped his tire and had to stop to put some air in and thus lost his gap. Melone finished 1st in 1’34”, Tautfest in 2nd in 1’37” and Burton in 3rd in 1’38.
The Elite women’s race had Karen Potter (Pivot/Epic Brewing) take the hole shot but was overtaken shortly thereafter by local rider, Kate Northcott (West Hill Shop) and Kimberly Quinlan (Bicycle Express). Northcott held the lead for much of the first lap but Quinlan proved the stronger rider of the day passing Northcott for the win. Quinlan finished in 1’55”, Northcott in 2nd in 1’58” and Potter in 2’01”.
Kimberly Quinlan and Noah Tautfest earned the Vermont State Championship wins.