Billy Goat Bikes Racingis pleased to announce that our rider, Joshua “Juice” Rogers will be representing the United States at the 2016 MTB World Championship in Val di Sole, Italy.
Joshua has earned his spot on the MTB World Championship Team along with 5 other junior elite riders; Sean Bell, Nik Nestoroff, Steven Walton, Devin Kjaer and Quintin Kurtz. They will travel to Italy along with Samantha Kingshill – female junior expert, Jill Kintner Pro Women and the all the Pro Men; Aaron Gwin, Charlie Harrison, Eliot Jackson, Shane Leslie, Neko Mulally, Shawn Neer and Luca Shaw.
Please consider supporting Joshua in his efforts to get to Italy by clicking this LINKand donating.
“It’s an honor to be selected to represent the US along with all these awesome riders. Proud to be part of this team” ~ Joshua Rogers
Check out our athlete sites…..
Joshua Rogers — Jimmy Leslie — Michael Kane — Zach Gareis — Derek Maiden — Nicholas Wildrick — Kai Nishino —
The racing returned to the “B”east Coast for the 2nd National Series Race; the Pro GRT at Mountain Creek Bike Park and Billy Goat Bikes Racing was back at it again! The weekend would start early Thursday morning for most of our riders. The long drives from NC, SC, VA and PA would start around 5 am for some of the guys. While others would come in later as they were still dealing with exams and school.
The course walk and pit setup was Thursday afternoon. I have to say the spot for our pits was awesome. Andrew Slowey of CaneCreek would share the pit space and brought the mac-daddy CaneCreek tent to share with our SRSuntour and GoalZero tents.
It was a sponsor’s showcase of canopy tops. The pits would serve more than one purpose this weekend. Rain was in the forecast but so was the heat. The race is known as the “Spring Classic” but it should have been called “Hotter than HELL” Classic this weekend.
Pits are set up and finishing the course you see the famous RedBull finish line here at Mountain Creek. This year, you come into the finish off the FLY Racing drop.
Friday, practice day one, would begin at 9 am and it had to be close to 90º already. Everyone knew that the track was going to get blown out if the dry conditions continued throughout the day. The DevinciWilson’s would be put to the test throughout the weekend. Derek Maiden was back at the condo, sick as a dog. Michael Kane was still in South Carolina at school and wouldn’t be in NJ until 9:30 pm. Jimmy, Joshua, Kai, Zach, Nicholas, and their bikes would battle the elements throughout the dry dusty practice session.
At the end of practice on Friday, the course was winning and not in a good way. Tires exploding, rims coming apart and suspensions failing all over the mountain. Not sure if it was the course, the heat or both. I have to say the CaneCreek DBs were working great in combination with our Suntour Rux forks. You can’t go wrong when CaneCreek and SRSuntour are at the races providing support. After 3 preseason races, team camp, many practice weekends and Pro GRT we finally had our first major ding in the one of our Novatec Demon wheels. Its great to see so many companies coming out to provide racer support.
The Devinci Wilson’s were doing what they do best… going fast and running strong in the difficult conditions. Joshua and Zach wouldn’t be so lucky. Zach crashed hard hurting his hand (possible Boxer’s fracture) and Joshua took out a tree with his shoulder.
They came away a little battered but ice and ibuprofen would be enough to keep the sharp edge off. Other friends of BGB would not be as fortunate. On Friday, Kyle Grau would destroy his helmet, forks and he was fortunate to walk away with only a possible concussion, bruised neck muscles and scratched up face. Matt Henderson wouldn’t be so lucky, he would be in the hospital with a broken wrist, 4 broken ribs, collapsed lung and concussion. I’m sure more riders got knocked around on Friday but let’s send some prayers out for these guys.
We are fortunate that all the riders were going back to the condo to eat Diane’s cooking. She’s team Mom and prepares breakfast, lunch and dinner at selected races. Lucky ones get to sample the feasts she supplies to the BGB team/Family.
Saturday would come and Michael was in the pits ready to get in as many runs as he could…got some making up to do. It was another HOT day and practice would be short to make room for seeding/qualifying runs for the boys. Derek was trying to put in some runs in the heat and not pass out from dehydration and weakness. Joshua and Zach were icing injuries and it would be a day to overcome distractions.
With Saturday practice session two in the books, it was now time for Jr Expert seeding and Pro qualification runs. Of course, the first signs of rain would show up as the first riders headed up the lift. Then it happened…lightening in a 7 mile radius would shut the lift down and put a course hold in place.
Joshua would be the first rider down but the situation would not be mentally conducive for a seeding run. Joshua would sit in the starting gate for more than 10 minutes being told get ready to go after each minute passed.
Finally, it was time and rider on course was announced. When Joshua crossed the line it showed a solid time of 2:13.81 and he would take the “Hot Seat.” Not sure where his time would stack up against a strong Jr Elite field. While in the “Hot Seat” JR got a visit from SRAM/TLD Team rider & friend Walker Shaw giving out some congrats. We waited while another course hold was in place and Kai was sitting in the start gate waiting for the starter to say it’s really time to go now.
Kai is on course and as he pops out the woods you can see he’s pushing hard and crossing the line with a a time of 2:23.96. Michael“Didn’t get much practice” Kane follows Kai and crosses with a time of 2:28.76. Next up is our youngest Jr Expert rider, Zach Gareis, and he crossed the line with a time of 2:28.64. After all the Jr’s finish, BGB riders are sitting in good positions.
The BGB Pro Men would be next. Derek Maiden and Jimmy Leslie are up. Derek would have an uphill battle, pushing his body and mind down the hill. Being sick, not keeping anything down for 2 days, and only getting about 2 practice runs in before trying to qualify. Jimmy’s pace would allow him to lay down a smooth run without pushing the limits. When it was all done, Derek had missed the cut by 6 spots. It was a disappointment but he’s safe, starting to feel better and can look forward to next East GRT. Jimmy‘s run put him 24th with a time of 2:11.47… smooth and conservative.
Now it was time to pull the bikes apart and get them ready for Sunday…Race Day Boys. With all hands on deck; me, Matt, Scott, Bill, Nick and John with Suntour (working on our forks) we had a assembly line going. Bike wash to bolt check, to drive train, to suspension. The bikes were made ready for the beating the next day. Now it was time for another tasty meal from Chef Diane.
Sunday morning would be another scorcher of a day. Heat from the sun and heat from the riders would make Sunday the hottest yet. NO more conservative runs, it was race day and speed would be the name of the game. Pushing the limits to the edge and just past without going over. Limited practice would mean so many riders would be pushing practice runs to see where the limits were. Finding the limits of your tire grip on the dust covered rocks. This would cause more battering on riders and bikes. GSTAAD Scott Team rider & friend Neko Mulally would crash in a high speed section and ended up with a broken arm. Send healing vibes to Neko and all the other riders that went down hard. Jimmy crashed in one of his last practice runs…went out to try to get one more run before he crashed again. This time in the asylum rock garden hurting his wrist.
Now, Zach, Joshua and Jimmy were all battling some type of injury. The cooler not only kept our drinks cold but served as a place to put your hand, wrist and bag ice for your shoulder. No time too cry over spilt milk… it was race face time.
Michael would be our first Jr Elite rider on course. He knew he had time to make up and needed a super clean run. It didn’t go Michael’s way but he still managed to take just over 5 secs off his seeding run. This would move him up 10 spots giving him a top 15 finish with a time of 2:23.11. Not bad with a mistake filled run. Lots to build on moving to the next stop in Angel Fire.
Zach was our next rider on course and he was going to have to battle that hand injury. Zach also removed time from seeding. Exactly 5 secs with a race time of 2:23.64 placing him in the top 15 as well. A great start for the first year Jr Elite rider with heavy hitters in the field.
Kai would not have the run he wanted during this race. Getting stood up in a corner coming to a stop and having to pedal his arse off to get his momentum back. He still managed to remove 1.94 secs and move up 6 spots to place 11th with a solid time of 2:22.02. Kai has continued to move up the ladder with his aggressive style. His eyes are set on his first World Cup at MSA.
Matt and I thought most everyone would take 1 to 3 secs of Saturday’s runs and that’s what seemed to be happening. It would get more difficult for all the guys near the top seeds. Joshua would come down with the fastest time of 2:11.99 with 3 riders left on the course. He knew the Adam Robbins, Sean Bell and Steven Walton would leave nothing on course. Even though he dropped 1.85 secs from his seeding runs, would it be enough. When it was all said and done Sean Bell laid down a blistering time of 2:09.55 to take the top spot. Joshua grabbed his first Pro GRT podium for 2016 with a 2nd place finish.
The only rider we had left was Pro, Jimmy Leslie, and he would have to lay down a run that was clean and fast. With the wrist hurt and the his last 2 practice run crashes sitting in his head, he had more to push through than he would like. Not sure what Jimmy did to mentally get in the right frame of mind but whatever he did, it worked. Jimmy crushed his qualifying run by 5.87 secs putting him in the Hot Seat. Jimmy would stay until 18th seed Mitch Ropelato Santa Cruz/SRAM/TLD rider would take over the top spot. After the race, only 8 more riders had faster times than Jimmy leaving him in the 10th spot and scoring his first UCI points of the season. With names like Gwin, Shaw, Ropelato, MacKinnon, Neer, Morgan and others a top 10 is excellent company.
Billy Goat Bikes walks away with a 2nd in Jr Elite and 3 more top 15 in the same class and a top 10 in Pro. What a successful weekend of racing and team building. The heat was relenting, the dust was everywhere, the dirt was slick and the rocks were hard here at Mountain Creek. Now we have a few weekends off before heading out west again to Pro GRT #3 in Angel Fire, NM.
Full Results for all classes found here
USAC Pro GRT points standing found here
Marc Tremain and his crew at Mountain Creek were awesome. Everything was in place and they were very organized. Make sure you send a thank you to the venue.
Check out our athlete sites…..
Joshua Rogers — Jimmy Leslie — Michael Kane — Jaeger Rose — Zach Gareis — Derek Maiden — Nicholas Wildrick — Kai Nishino —
Unlike the East Coast swing, this trip is security checkpoints, bike bags, long flight times, crappy airport food, and no real resources. So, how is this one of the best and biggest national series races of the year?
It starts with everything arriving at the airport when you do, then taking the time time to travel across the Puget Sound from Edmonds to Kingston on the ferry. What a beautiful site and the BGB Race Team was blessed with an awesome day to travel!
Most of the team traveled on Wednesday. This makes the trip a little less stressful for sure. It gives us time to build bikes, go out to eat and get a good nights sleep before the hike up Dry Hill for course walk.
Thursday morning came and everybody was starving. Jimmy Leslie suggested we stop at this local cafe called Shirley’s Cafe. It would not disappoint with tasty pancakes, eggs, omelettes, french toast and coffee.
This year Scott and the crew at Dry Hill couldn’t let course walks start in the morning. The forestry service/DNR is logging on Dry Hill so for everyone’s safety we waited until the last logging truck was done. When we arrived, we immediately started running into old friends from seasons past from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Never forget to get your Discovery Pass before you come to walk or ride. All the agencies work very close with the crew that run the NW Cup and it helps the promoter if we do our part.
The walk up the course started and it was Hot, Dry and Dusty. The NW Cup decided to run a different top section from what we ran last year. It would present a nice change and the course would look faster than the previous year.
Captain Jimmy wrangled Michael, Kai and Jaeger and started the course walk to discuss line choices. Joshua headed up with his coach, Christopher Herndon.
There would be a lot to look at for 4 out of 6 BGB riders. Michael, Jeager, Kai and Nick were making their first trip to race Port Angeles. Jimmy and Joshua were familiar with the bottom half having raced it last year.
After course walks, it was time to head to the house and the AWESOME spaghetti dinner that I prepared that morning after grocery shopping. Almost a completely homemade meat sauce, angel hair pasta, salad and fresh bread and a couple of adult beverages for those of us old enough to partake.
Friday practice would start early. Even though we were preregistered, we learned from last year the lines would be long…this is generally the largest attended race of the season on the GRT schedule (almost 550 riders this year). Of course, the lines were long but they moved at a steady pace and gave us enough time to get ready before practice started.
Now back to the statement I made at the beginning about no real resources. Traveling by plane left us needing essential items for a pit. Luckily, our wonderful sponsor FLY Racing brought us two 10×10 tents to use, which is a must in the Pacific NW.
SRSuntour and Novatec had full race support provided for riders. I hope you guys stopped by to say hi to JP and talk about the Rux R2C2 and the Demon wheels. Look for them at future GRTs.
Friday practice was a good 4 hours. Staying hydrated and cool were the themes of the day. The course was rapidly changing getting blown out with braking bumps and holes. It was changing after each run making it tricky to navigate.
Practice would end for all our CAT1 riders and now it was time for our 14u rider Nicholas Wildrick to start his shuttle runs. This being his 1st season, Nick was cool as cucumber in the big setting of his first Pro GRT. His bike had been hand tuned by JP at the SRSuntour/Novatech tent. Nicholas would have a great day of practice. He found some East Coasters and made new friends.
While Nick was practicing, I was back at the house getting the TACO dinner ready for all riders and parents. Soft tacos, yellow rice, black beans and salad. Of course a few adult beverages for the “legal” adults in the house. Everyone else had water, milk, or juice. I have to say that my tacos must have been really good because they stayed with us all evening…HaHa. I have to admit that I’m no Diane Leslie (Jimmy’s mom) when it comes to planning out meals and cooking. We get to chow down on Diane’s cooking at Mountain Creek!!!
One of the benefits of racing on a team with other riders is the life long friendships you develop. You can share the good times and disappointments with those that understand. You travel the US and World seeing sites. You can sit around camp fire telling stories, jokes and $hit talking.
Saturday would be broken up in to an early morning session (7:30 am) and a early afternoon session. This is to make time for the Cat1 Jr Expert Seeding runs and Pro Qualification runs. Jaeger and Nicholas headed over around 6:30 am. I got some of that wonderful coffee at the track and started doing my bolt checks on the bikes. Jaeger, our CAT1 19-29 rider, had been dealing with a noise issue somewhere in his bike most of the day on Friday. We were unable to isolate it but after 2 runs on Saturday we figured it out, we had our first mechanical failure of the season.
I’m sure most every rider that races has experienced some type of mechanical failure. Part of having limited resources is dealing with the stress associated with mechanical issues. Jaeger deserves a lot of kudos for being patient while I looked for a solution as his practice window kept slipping away. Our dear friends at Incycle Racing helped us out and Jaeger was able to get in 2 more runs before the close of his practice. The weather had started to change on the hill; cooler, clouds and some light rain.
Before CAT1 Jr Expert & Pro practice and before the weather came in the guys wanted to head to the water to get some love shots with the new girls “The 2016 Devinci CARBON Wilsons”.
With the conditions changing, it’s a good thing the team had fresh rubber provided by Onza Tires. The boys were running the Ibex RC45a DH casing. Joshua and Jimmy were testing the Enduro casing (EDC) as a possible downhill option. Look for a performance summary post coming soon.
After practice Joshua, Michael, Kai and Jimmy had to get ready for the seeding and qualification runs. The weather had set in with a constant drizzy/light rain, cooler temps and slippery course. The three CAT1 Jr Expert had seeding runs to determine start order for Sunday but Jimmy had a qualification run. Thats the big difference between Pro and Jr Expert. Jimmy would have to put the demons away from last year, playing it TOO conservative. Jimmy had a great off-season and is showing solid gains each week.
After seeding and qualification was over, there seemed to be more disappointment than joy. Joshua Rogers – 16th, Michael Kane – 35th and Kai Nishino – 44th. Joshua said he was way too conservative, Michael and Kai had mistakes costing time. Jimmy put in a solid time to qualify 30th making it too the big dance on Sunday.
Saturday evening would be a pizza night while reflecting on the days performance and looking ahead to Race Day.
Sunday morning would come early for Nicholas and Jaeger. With a 7:30 am practice time an immediately following would be race runs. The conditions were foggy and dark near the top. The roots were slippery but dirt was epic. This was a different setup than what these two have experienced before. Practice was a one run and done! Both decided to wait closer to the end of practice to put down practice runs.
Jaeger was first one to race and put in a solid time finishing 33rd. Not what he really wanted but still a solid time considering all the obstacles. Nicholas would be up next; racing in his biggest race with the most riders. Nicholas had been showing the speed to put in up top all weekend. His race run wouldn’t go as planned. He actually caught the rider in front of him and ran into his back tire costing lots of time. Then after making that pass, he caught another rider in the final stretch to the finish line which held him up again. Even though he was disappointed with his 4th place finish, Nicholas had a blast.
Joshua was pleased with his run but knew he left time out there with a mistake. Walking away with a top 10 is a great start too the season. Obviously Michael and Kai were disappointed both having major mistakes and going down during their runs.
Jimmy walked away with so much to build on but was defiantly disappointed with the results. Jimmy went down 3 different times in his race run but that’s racing. He knows that good and bad runs are out there, we just don’t want to find the bad ones. Fortunately, he came away with no real injuries.
Sunday night was full of breaking down bikes, laughs, $hit talking, some app called “Tinder” lol and relief that weekend was complete. After bikes were done we set off for some dinner and of course I had to order a drink that was NOT what I expected. It was a great laugh at the table and sums up our time out west….FUN!
I have to say that the first race was a success, the new team bonded, saw old friends, met new friends and got to race an awesome venue. Now we have a week off and then it’s on to the Pro GRT #2 at Mountain Creek in Vernon, NJ. Safe travels to all our friends and hope to see you there.
If you guys haven’t noticed, not sure how you can’t, FLY is everywhere now. It’s so awesome to see the growth FLY is experiencing in DH, Moto, and BMX. Keep an eye out for the new products being released. It’s even more RAD than this years product line!
Check out our athlete sites…..
Joshua Rogers — Jimmy Leslie — Michael Kane — Jaeger Rose — Zach Gareis — Derek Maiden — Nicholas Wildrick — Kai Nishino —
What do you do after a productive 3 race series on the east coast…you go to Billy Goat Bikes Racing team camp. With some racing under the belt, we still have a need to get the bike setup finalized. Racing is awesome but fine tuning the bike takes time. Everyone is on new bikes and so new setups are critical this weekend.
Five out of eight riders made the trek to base camp at Windrock. As most know, Windrock Park has been the practice place for some of best east coast World Cup riders. The terrain offers everything you need to put a bike through it’s paces.
Camp started Saturday morning. It was a beautiful morning but pretty brisk, i.e. cool. As warm up runs were under way, Matt had laid out a systematic plan for each rider that would start after lunch. Matt was walking the rock during the pre-lunch session watching each rider through different sections to see how the bike and suspension was working for them. It was clear we had some work to do.
Michael would be first up and Matt already had a good idea what needed to be done with his bike. So, with that funny little tool that Canecreek provides, Matt made a turn here and adjusted a few clicks there. Next thing was checking the volume reducers, air pressure and settings on the new SRSuntour Rux DH fork then Michael loaded up to do a couple of runs.
Behind the scenes, Jimmy was really going to town making change to his fork…
5 reducers, less air pressure
no reducers, more air pressure
2 reducers, no compression
change, change, change
It would be like this for each rider, make a change, do a run and give feedback. Make a change and make another run. Not only did suspensions get worked on but the rock likes to eat bike parts. The rock fought against our Novatec Wheels but by the end of the weekend the rock had lost and the Demon Wheels were declared the winner.
By the end of the day, the team was exhausted, hungry and ready to kick their feet up and relax. The talk under the tent was about blooming onions, cheese fries, steak, chicken and loaded baked potatoes. For some of the older guys, there was also talk of a tall cold beer.
The day was was over and it was more productive than we had hoped it would be. With bellies full and the pillows calling… it was bed time. It was late a night for everyone and the next morning would come too early.
Sleepy eyes, stiff hands and some sore muscles sat around the table at breakfast. Sunday morning was an earlier start and it was cold.
With most riders having a 4 plus hour ride home, it would be a day of non-stop shuttles. Lunch was served on the fly as run after run went down. Even BGB shop manager & super mechanic, Erik Running Wolfe and Team Owner, Matt would get involved in the fun on day 2. Erik was sporting his new trail bike and wanted to see if he had the pace of the DH squad. Matt wanted to show that OLDER guys can still ride too.
“This was the kind of weekend that gets me really stoked for the season ahead. We set a goal of understanding and finding base tunes for our suspension and accomplished it while having a blast. You know you’re with a solid group of people when you can spend the weekend helping teammates with their Tinder game and still come away with a dialed bike and suspension setup.”, said Jimmy Leslie.
“This weekend was absolutely perfect for testing the new steeds. We got some great changes to the suspension and we are all one step closer to being ready for this race season,” said Joshua Rogers.
“Awesome weekend of riding with the boys! The bikes and setup are running better than ever with the suspension getting dialed. Can’t wait for the next race!,” said Derek Maiden.
“Oh my, that’s over a 100% better. I can ride this bike,” said Michael Kane.
“The team camp was an awesome experience filled with fast dudes to ride with, along with nothing but a fun time together. When I first got there, the bike was all over the place and the shock, along with the fork, wasn’t set right. After a one on one with Matt, we dialed the bike in almost perfectly with it handling way better and I felt in control of the bike. The wheels are amazing, with enough flex to make them extremely durable during rough sections on the track. All in all, the team camp was a must for me. It was a great place to ride a downhill bike, good people to be around, and good criticism to make me want to push myself even more in becoming a better rider,” said Jaeger Rose.
Well, at the end of the weekend, all the work & fun was done and it was time to say our goodbyes. Road trip times from 2.5 to 6.5 hours were about to take place.
“We are very pleased with the progress made this weekend and are looking forward to the start of our season,” said Matt Haynes, Team Owner.
Thanks to our riders, Matt Haynes for his expertise, and Scott Kane for his dedication to the team.
Now its time to update the testing spreadsheet, post the results and get to bed.
“I appreciate the time, effort and dedication from our team,” said Trent Rogers, Team Manager.
“Overall it’s safe to say that Billy Goat Bikes Racing Team Camp was a big success. Our riders are better prepared for Port Angeles,” said Trent Rogers, Team Manager.
Check out our athlete sites…..
Joshua Rogers — Jimmy Leslie — Michael Kane — Jaeger Rose — Zach Gareis — Derek Maiden — Nicholas Wildrick — Kai Nishino —
The last stop for the Downhill Southeast series was the new site at Bailey Mountain in Mars Hill, NC. This would be the 1st race held at the new park. The course preview by MTBmania showed a little of everything you see on all different tracks; steep terrain, rocks, off camber sections, jumps and drops. The weather reports leading up to the event were grim, looking like rain and snow; yes snow. Fortunately mother nature decided to make the weather forecasters look foolish again.
Maybe not a complete fool because rain did come in during the Pro practice and created a greasy top layer that made riding conditions very slippery side. It was 45 minutes of sun then 45 minutes of clouds, drizzle and cold…repeat.
By the end of practice
things were more manageable, good thing the Chainless Race was about to go down. Our buddy, Shawn Neer
was a last minute entry, running up to the signup tent with a $20 bill between lips and the shuttle truck ready to leave. Good thing he made on the truck, he won and came away with a cool $300 cash. I heard they were going to rename the race to the “Chainless-One-Big-Toe” race. Shawn hurt his toe and was in the ER earlier.
With an early start, shuttles were running at 8am in the cool but dry weather. With big fires blazing at the bottom and the top there was a great vibe in the pits. Hero dirt had magically formed overnight and the race times were posted.
BGB Racing’s first man up would be Nicholas Wildrick, who was leading the series in points followed closely Danny Cycles Sam Khan. At the end of the juniors 14u race Nick was on the podium in 3rd place with a time of 2:58.415. That allo—wed him to keep his point lead and win the overall, becoming Billy Goat Bikes Racing first “Bad A$$” of the year.
Sharing pit space with sponsor Canecreek and friends, it was a little crowded at times but made for fun conversations.
Jimmy Leslie puts down a time of 2:07.836 knowing it should have been better leaving him outside the top 10 with a 12th place. One mishap on a off-camber sections could cost seconds. The track had lots of areas that could suck life/speed out of your run.
Like his teammate Joshua left seconds on the track crossing the line with a time of 2:12.528 leaving him in the 13th spot. Joshua and the team are on quest for a second here and a second there as they continue to get ready for the long season ahead.
Jaeger continues to make improvements taking full advantage of the Neko’s Southeast Downhill Series. Willing to make changes on bike setup right up to race time, looking for small steps to help make big gains. Placing 31st out of 37 Pros with a time of 2:28.270 wasn’t what he was hoping for but still happy with his progression.
Nishino takes home the most improved this weekend. We watched him slide out on the off-camber section before the drop to finish line and loose 5 to8 seconds. His time 2:29.315 placed him 32nd but things are moving in the right direction. He’s racing full time in the CAT 1 17-18 expert class and hitting all the Pro GRTs and MSA.
Like the rest of the team Michael time of 2:31.568 falls short of his high expectations. Moving to the new 2016 Devinci Wilson after riding the same brand for 4 years is a learning process. The series has been a great warmup for racers and now comes the real work with the World Cups and Pro GRTs kicking off in a few weeks.
A big thank you goes out to Neko and all those that helped him with the series. The series brought some of the best talent in the country and even the best from the world stage. Young and “Older” participated with smiles for miles. Competition was intense but fun was still had by all.
Race 1 and 2 are in the books and a BIG THANKS to race promoter and GSTAAD Scott rider Neko Mulally for putting on the events. Race 1 went down at TTC Gravity Park and Race 2 was at the beast, Windrock Park. The three race series will end at Bailey Mountain. The races are a great opener for the 2016 season.
TTC Race #1
TTC would prove not only to be a great place to race but it provided great weather and a large field of 125+ riders. The atmosphere was relaxed, fun and everyone was ready to get on the bikes. The 2016 Billy Goat Bikes Race team would be no different. After a long, wet off-season it was time to ride.
New bikes, new suspension, new sponsors and some new faces make up the new team. Seven out of our eight riders were present to test the new bikes and get their race wheels under them.
The track was steep, fast and BGB Racing ended up placing 3 riders in the top 10.
BGB Racing is looking forward to moving on to the next race at Windrock to continue fine tuning the bikes in preparation for the long season ahead.
The weather would be slightly different than TTC, slightly! Saturday was a great over-cast day that was mainly dry and fast. Race morning would be a totally different day and a different Windrock. The Devinci Wilsons were in the house and ready to get muddy.
Practice on Saturday was a day fine tuning our SRSuntour Rux forks and our Canecreek DB Coils. Windrock is a brutal track and will take a toll on wheels and bikes, but these Novatec Demon DH wheels beat back the Rock.
Sunday practice and race conditions were the exact opposite of Saturday. It was going to be a challenging day and survival was the main theme. There were some awesome times laid down but most run were far from perfect.
“I just wanted you all to know that no matter where you finished, you should be stoked on finishing a race run in those conditions. That was about as bad as it gets and you probably won’t ride anything gnarlier all year. Think of it as the best practice weekend possible.” ~ Jimmy Leslie (BGB Racing team thread)
That sums up the weekend at the Rock…
Thanks to ALMPhoto for all race day pictures above….
The riders have been in a whirlwind coming into these rounds of the World Cups. The riders have traveled to Angel Fire, NM → NC →Mammoth, CA →NC →Snowshoe, WV → Canada → Windham, NY then home.
Mont Sainte-Anne (MSA)
With the course walk scheduled for Wednesday, Max and Joshua found new features on this year’s track. But MSA would not disappoint as one of the best tracks on the WC circuit. This track has a little and a lot of everything you expect in a great venue.
With the pits and the SCOTT bikes ready, the only thing left was to try and tackle MSA.
Practices were dry and wet, hot and cool, bright and cloudy, and fast and loose. MSA showed everyone a little bit of everything. Qualifying was Friday. Joshua and the juniors would run first. When Josh crossed the line, he was into the big dance finishing in 20th place. Billy Goat Bikes (BGB) had their first World Cup qualifier but that would be short lived. Only 2 hours later, BGB had qualifier number 2; Max finished in 72nd.
Unfortunately, race day didn’t go as well for either rider. Joshua crashed hard and was taken down the mountain by the medical staff. Fortunately, it was a precautionary measure and he was fine. Max also crashed in his race run but was able to finish crossing the line in 74th. Both riders were not satisfied with the race results but both came away with lots of positives and the best BGB World Cup results to date.
Next stop…Windham, NY
One of the shortest and fastest tracks of the year, Windham wouldn’t disappoint when it came to exciting racing. The conditions where bone dry and dust was everywhere. The track would be blown out and full of holes…just how these guys like it!
Riders had to be careful not to blow up early, with such a short track you were able to get in lots of practice runs. It’s a track that causes you to ride right on the edge.
Lots of Red, White and Blue jerseys all over the place on qualifying day. This race boasts one of the biggest, if not the biggest US field. Qualifying would not be easy and the times would be tight if it was anything like last year. With some course changes to slow down the track, most felt it would spread out the times a little.
Joshua would be the 10th junior to cross the line and at the end of qualifying, he was sitting in 20th place again. He felt good about the run and was pleased to make the big show again. Max was up next. With a mistake in the first spilt, he was left with an uphill battle. Even though he made up 10 spots during split two, it left Max outside the coveted 80th position. This track is unforgiving and many riders found out the hard way.
Josh knew that race day was going to be fun and fast. First goal was to finish. Second goal was to move up spots. After a pretty clean run, Joshua ended up in the 18th spot. With 2 World Cups under his belt, Joshua is ready for the World Championships in a couple of weeks.
The World Cup scene has been exciting and fun. We hate that there isn’t a US World Cup next year (still hoping they add one). Look for updates from Vallnord, Andorra about Joshua and the rest of the USA team.