Pukwudgie TT – Freetown State Forest, MA

New England Digs Out of Snow as Bobby Nash and Karen Potter Claim the First Wins of the Year

written by: Karen Potter

The 2015 race season in New England got underway this past weekend welcoming in spring-like weather after a very long, harsh winter. The snow barely melted in time for the start of the season. Race organizers asked riders to not pre-ride the course even the week before the race to allow the trails to set and avoid trail damage. It seemed to work as despite the long winter, the trails were in a remarkably good shape with just a few usual mud holes.

The seven-mile course was similar to last year’s edition with a minor a change at the start to avoid a popular hiking trail. The super rocky technical trails remained super rocky and technical, challenging riders’ skills and bike durability. Several long rock gardens claimed their victims. Perhaps next year, race promoters will give a prize for a completely clean ride.


Karen Potter on her way to a win in the elite women’s race

Race fields were a bit light due to a second regional mountain biking event taking place on the same day. Plenty of local talent was still on hand to make for exciting racing.

In the elite men’s field the local riders held a clear advantage, knowing which lines to take saved crucial seconds on course.

Bobby Nash took the repeat win in a time of 36:32, followed by Mark McCormack (Clif Bar) at 37:04, Jim Grimley (NESS) in 3rd at 37:38, Richard Pirro (NESS) in 4th at 38:16 and Michael Wilbur in 39:03 in 5th overall.

Karen Potter (Pivot/Epic Brewing) comfortably took the elite women’s race in 39:45 placing her 9th overall. Aida Elder (Exeter Cycles Racing) followed in 2nd and Megan O’Brien (MIT) in 3rd.

In addition to the cash payout, the elite men’s and women’s winners each received a free entry to come back in the fall and duke it out on the rocks again at the Freetown 50 held in September.

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