After two weeks of racing, several of our team racers came back to Flagstaff with some strong wins and tired legs. The IMBA National Series had it's kick off with the Ellsworth O-Rock Epic in Big Cedar, Oklahoma... yes, Oklahoma. Most people aren't aware of the Ouachita Mountains in eastern Oklahoma, but they are connected to the Ozark's and provide a good amount of climbing and descending for mountain bikers.
The O-Rock Epic pushed riders through two days, nine stages, 50 miles of pedaling, and around 9,000 feet of descending. Our head mechanic and racer, Scott Countryman, took first place - a full minute ahead of second place finisher, Jimmy Smith.
Fast forward a week to the 2017 Yeti Big Mountain Enduro Season Opener in Santa Fe, NM, where we had three racers competing in a field of 300. Riders had a taste of Flagstaff-esque trails (dry and dusty) and despite mechanicals landed on the podiums. Scott took 4th place in the Men's Pro Open - a category that was separated by a matter of seconds between first and fifth place. Jesse Calvin took 18th in the Men's Amateur after some unfortunate mechanicals including two flats - bummer dude!
However, the most intense story from the weekend comes from Alex Pavon. Alex raced in the Women's Pro Open, and leading up to the race she looked like a shoe-in for first place. After a crash on stage 1, she thought she had dislocated a joint on her hand. She kept racing, hand taped to the bar, and landed in 3rd place over all. Turns out, once she got an X-ray back home in Flagstaff, she found out she actually broke her hand... Way to stay tough, Alex! Additionally, our viceroy racer, Amber Tinstman, raced in the Women's Masters and took 1st place.
We can't wait to see how the next weekend of races treats our racers. Hopefully, no more injuries and less mechanicals. Go get 'em guys and gals!