Pisgah Stage Race: Stage 1

Tuesday April 10, 2018

Written by: Jen Toops

Stage one sponsored by Cliff is the Looking Glass Route. This stage has 4,130 ft of elevation gain over 25 miles and visits Daniel Ridge, Gloucester Gap, Butter Gap, Long Branch, Davidson River and Cove Creek trails.
The Enduro blasts down 1.75 miles on Daniel Ridge. This is the “so called” easy start to the race with fast flow sections to get riders warmed up for what the Pisgah forest really has to offer. Toward the end of the stage riders were able to view Looking Glass Rock which is a 4,000’ piece of exposed granite.

It was low 30’s for the race start but quickly warmed to high 40’s after the sun peaked through the clouds. The race started out fast on the gravel roads that quickly turned to techy-singletrack.  The timed enduro section came up quick at the beginning of the race on Daniel ridge. This stage is a favorite among many as it hits popular trails and ends with flowing downhill’s, leaving most riders smiling.

A very tight race is forming in the Men’s Open category: 1st- Tristan Cowie: 1:46:59 USA, 2nd-Travis Livermon: 1:47:42 USA, and Kerry Werner: 3rd 1:49:18 USA

Tristan Cowie takes the lead by less than a minute going into stage 2

In the Women’s Open division: 1st- Jena Greaser: 2:16:50 CANADA, 2nd Jen Nielson: 2:18:43 USA and hot on the chase is Ada Xinxo in 3rd 2:19:03 Spain.

Jena Greaser takes the leaders jersey.

Click Here for Full Results from each Stage



2016 Off Road Assualt on Mt. Mitchell Race Report

Race Report: Blue Ridge Adventures – Off-Road Assault on Mt Mitchell

The 2016 Off-Road Assault on Mt Mitchell (ORAMM) started off in downtown Old Fort, NC, for its 17th consecutive year, on Sunday, July 31, 2016. ORAMM was one of the earliest endurance mountain bike events in western North Carolina and has gained a reputation across the country for its challenging course, beautiful scenery and great support. For 2016, ORAMM saw riders from 26 different states, and as far away as Phoenix, AZ.


Due to construction on Old Hwy 70, there was a slight re-route this year that added an additional 2 miles onto an already long course. That still didn’t stop the top riders from setting a blistering pace of over 13 mph across 62 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, Kitsuma, Heartbreak Ridge and Curtis Creek are all names that come up over and over again when talking to ORAMM racers. With beautiful views, rooty and rocky descents and climbs, long singletrack downhills and gravel road climbs that will make even the toughest of riders quiver, ORAMM has it all, leaving lots of smiles and grimaces on the faces of riders new and old.

A nice size lead group of about 12-15 riders stuck together for over half of the race. As they made the long climb up Curtis Creek to the Blue Ridge Parkway, things started to break apart. This is where racers have to decide to stay with the leaders or save some for the last third portion of the course. When all was said and done the top 3 finishers came in less than 10 minutes of each other and the top 6 broke the 5 hour mark.

For the Open Men category, current course record holder, Thomas Turner, took the win with a time of 4hrs 34min. Tristan Cowie followed for 2nd place in 4hrs 37min and Matt Champion rounded out the top 3 in 4hrs 43min. The Open Women category saw impressive performances as well, with Jen Nielson coming in first at 6hrs 21min. Jordan Salman and Erin Setzer took 2nd and 3rd place, with times of 6hrs 39min and 6hrs 45min, respectively.


There are number of racers that choose to do a double-header, with the 26 mile Jerdon Mountain Challenge on Saturday and ORAMM on Sunday. Among these was Junior racer, Chad Hale, from Tallahassee, FL. This 17 year old racer took 5th overall in the Jerdon Mountain Challenge and almost broke the 6hr mark, with an impressive time of 6hrs 5min. With weekends like this, we’re sure we’ll be seeing his name pop up more and more. In addition to Hale, Andrew Blackstock and Noah Pawlik were 2 other Juniors racing ORAMM. Both at 15 years old, they endured with solid times and more importantly, finished the race.

 For complete results, visit: http://www.blueridgeadventures.net/2016-oramm-results/

It was another great day in Old Fort and smiles could be found all around the finish line area. Lots of stories shared and a feeling of accomplishment for everyone who trained, traveled and experienced one of the best mountain bike events in the country. While the podium often gets much of the attention, for hundreds of other riders, ORAMM is about setting a goal and pushing yourself, not necessarily to win, but to just have a good ride. For some, ORAMM is a race. For most, it’s a mountain bike adventure and one that brings riders back year after year.

-Written by Seyl Park

Pisgah Stage Race Stage 4

There were more fireworks on Stage 4 of the Pisgah Stage Race as riders tackled Pisgah’s infamous Laurel Mountain/Pilot Rock loop on day four.

While Bryna Blanchard continues to dominate the women’s race, the day’s technical terrain set the stage for some shakeups behind her. Mountain bike legend Sue Haywood had a great day to end up on the podium for the stage; Haywood also leads the women’s enduro category. And in the fierce battle for second in the women’s GC, Heidi Rentz was able to put some time on Emily Sheilds, who now trails by about one and a half minutes going into the final day.

On the men’s side, the day saw another mechanical disaster for third place GC rider Chris Tries, who destroyed a chainring early in the day. He finished, but lost his podium spot for good in the process. Up front, Tristan Cowie attached repeatedly, putting pressure on GC leader Kerry Werner. Despite being put on his heals a couple of times though, Werner held on to finish just behind Cowie and maintain his GC lead.

Full Results Here



Pisgah Stage Race Stage 2

Stage 2 of the Pisgah Stage Race saw more tight racing as riders tackled more of Pisgah National Forest’s most beloved trails, including Squirrel Gap and Black Mountain Trail.


In the Men’s Open, it was again Kerry Werner (Ken’s Bike Shop) and Tristan Cowie (CTS) riding together at the front for most of the day. Cowie was able to create a small gap on the final descent on Black Mountain to take the stage win by three seconds. That saw him leapfrog past Werner to take over the race lead, but with just two seconds separating first and second it’s still all to play for with three days of racing behind.


Behind Werner and Cowie, overnight third place rider Chris Tries (Piney Flats Bike Shop) suffered a disastrous mechanical when his wheel imploded early in the stage. Fortunately, he was able to borrow a bike from a volunteer, and ride himself back into third on the day to preserve his GC spot.

On the women’s side, it was again Bryna Blanchard who took the win, but Emily Shields (Stan’s No Tubes) made some moves and was able to ride herself into second in GC thanks to a strong performance. Heidi Rentz hung on for third.

Check out Full Results here.