Santa Ynez XC Enduro Downhill Mountain Bike Race

The Event:

The event took place at the Chamberlin ranch.

The Scene:

Los Olivos, California is a spectacular spot in the Santa Ynez Valley. It features rolling hills, lush scenery, and an abundance of vineyards and wineries. This was the perfect spot for an April cycling event; the participants enjoyed warm weather, sushine, clear blue skies and a breathtaking backdrop of green trees and foliage. Future plans are in the works to add a mountain bike free ride (FR) park and open up the cross country (XC) trails to both members and the public on the weekends. If you don’t ride, come for the camping & hiking!

The Participants:

This was an event with something for everyone, from beginner to pro. Ages ranged from 14 and under, to 40 plus. Men and women both raced. One interesting thing was that everyone in the downhill race competed on the same course, so the beginners could easily compare their own results against the pros.

Sponsored Riders:

Mikey – “Booter”, “Big Wave” Dave, Chris – “Ripper” & Ryan – “Ry Dog”
A huge thanks goes out to these riders for their support. .

The Winners: (Downhill Race Results)

Pro/ Semi- Pro Men’s:

Tasso Koch, #65, was the first place winner in the Pro/ Semi- Pro Men’s class. Tasso also came away with the second overall fastest time of the day- way to go, Tasso! CONGRATS! Tasso shared the podium with Deke Williams, #70, and Willy Galinato, #158. Congrats go out to these guys too. Deke had the third fastest time of the day.

At left, you can see a photo of Tasso in action during one of the practice runs on Saturday, April 12th.

The photo below was taken during the actual race on Sunday the 13th; he came through the S-turn quite admirably.

Here’s a photo of Willy (#158) during the race on Sunday.

Pro/ Expert Women:

Gabriela Williams, #69, took first place, followed by Christine Hirst (#67) in second and Michelle Rivera (#73) in third. Excellent job, ladies! Congrats to you!

The photo below shows Gabriela on her bike during the race on Sunday.

Christine, #67, is the rider in the photo at left. Below that is a photo of Michelle (#73.)

Expert Men Junior:

Up on the podium center stage, we have Charlie Meynet (#61), who came in first place. Congrats Charlie! The second place winner was Troy D’Elia (#19), followed by Caleb Marmolejo (#36) who won third place. Great job, guys! Way to go!

Here are a couple of photos of these guys that were taken during the race:

Expert Men 19-29:

Congrats to Chase Bohn (#33), Chris Wilson (#63), and John Koch (#64). All 3 of these guys are FAST!

Here’s a photo of Chase that was taken during the race on Sunday:

Here’s a photo of Chris (#63):

Expert Men 30+:

Congrats to Dean Abrams (#72), who won first place in the men’s expert 30+ class. Great race, Dean! Way to go! Congrats also to the second place winner, Barry Hirst (#66), and also to Marshall Wilcox (#10) who was the third place winner.

Expert Men 40+:

Steve Fuess (#62) also gets a huge “congrats” from us for his first place win in the expert men’s 40+ class. WOOHOO STEVE! Great job on the race. Congrats also to second place winner, Chuck Cryor (#74), and to third place winner, Efren Cabreros (#6).

Below is a photo of Chuck, #74, which was taken during the race on Sunday. Chuck’s the man ripping it on a hard tail.

Open Women:

Congrats to both Jana Wilcox (#94, first place) and Sarina Adams (#164, second place) for a fantastic race.
Way to go, girls! You are both amazing!

Here are a couple of photos showing the ladies in action during the race on Sunday:

And here’s a shot of Sarina taking a quick break with her adorable puppy, Balto.

Off on a Tangent: More Cute Dog Pictures!

I’m going to take the liberty of de-railing this race report long enough to show you some of the cute dog pictures we took while the race was in progress. My friend Agota and I were doggy-sitting for Balto while his “mom” raced. Here’s Balto with his new friend, Sophie. Below that is a picture of Agota with Balto. As you can see, this turned out to be a pet-friendly event.

OK, now back to your regularly scheduled mountain bike race report…

Sport Junior Men 18 & Under:

Congrats to Ian McFarlane (#97) who won first place in the Sport / Junior Men / 18 & under class. He was also the overall winner, with the fastest time in the race! WOOHOO IAN! Way to go! Congrats also to second and third place winners, Kevin Pabinquit (#92) and Taylor Woods (#126), who are pictured with Ian on the podium in the photo above. Great job on the race, guys.

Below, you can see a photo of Ian in action during the race on Sunday.(Sorry about the blurry photo. What can I say, Ian zipped by me like a blur…)

Sport Men 19-39:

Nathan Ross (#187) took first place in the men’s sport class 19-39 group, followed by Sterlin Kragten (#174) in second and Jeff Connick (#169) in third. Congrats, guys!

Sport Men 40+:

Congrats to Anthony Durazo (#100), first place winner in the men’s sport class 40+ race. Congrats also to Kevin Kaizuka (#188) in second, and Jed Hirsch (#176) who took third place. Great job, guys!

I have pics of both Kevin and Jed from the race on Sunday:

Beginner Men 14 & Under:

Apparently, Brian Pabinquili (#91) is in a class all by himself. Gotta give him props for getting out there and going for it! Great job Brian! Way to go!
The photo below was taken of Brian during the race on Sunday.

Beginner Men 15-18:

Congrats to Michael Ray, (#165) who was the first place winner in the men’s Beginner class ages 15-18. Joining him on the podium are Travis Tillard (#109) and Wesley Pruitt (#147), who won second and third place.

Here are a few photos of these guys in action. The photo below of Travis was taken on Sunday during the race.

The photo at left shows Wesley (#147) during one of the practice runs on Saturday. The photo below was taken during the race on Sunday.

Beginner Men 19 & Over:

Dale Hernandez (#146) took first place, followed by David Hardwick (#149) and Mike Hernandez (#145). Below are some more photos of Dale that were taken out on the trail.

And one of David (#149):

And one of Mike (#145):

My heartiest CONGRATS to all the winners!

The Trail: Downhill Meets Enduro???

I didn’t actually ride at all in this event, so my reporting is from the perspective of a detached observer. From what I could see, the trail had some challenging technical areas. Pictured above is an S-turn that was part of the downhill course. This was a tricky spot that some riders had difficulty with. If you fell, walked your bike down, or lost time here, you were in good company; I saw plenty of spills at this spot, especially on Saturday while watching the practice runs. I also overheard a lot of conversation about the best line to take going down this part. I thought it was interesting to watch the different strategies and approaches different riders took. Some riders obviously had a plan, and then some just went for it.

I didn’t attend the race at Firestone 2007 last year, but I spoke with quite a few riders who did. From what I understand, the trail this year had to be completely rebuilt, and it was noticeably different than last year’s. From what I hear, the trail last year had a lot more challenging jumps. There were a couple of smaller jumps on this trail, but nothing too formidable. Even considering that, a few riders were able to pull off some decent air. I really enjoyed watching.

Overall, I kept hearing that the trail is more what you’d expect from a race than a downhill race. I know that suggestions and constructive criticism regarding the trail were offered by some of the riders, so it will be interesting to see if anything about the trail will change before the US cycling sanctioned national race in May.

The Crowd:

I think I can safely speak for everyone who was there, and say that a good time was had by all!!


What’s Next?

We’ll be going back up to the Santa Ynez MTB race because it was so much fun. We’re really looking forward to it, and we hope to see you there!

If you need some new gear to get ready for the race, can be a great resource for mountain bikes, gear and useful information. -o>\o is dedicated to XC, Enduro & DH MTB racers & Road Bike & Cyclo Cross Bicyclists