Posted by Editoress on 07/27/10
East Coast Open Downhill at Blue Mountain Resort
The inaugural edition of the East Coast Open has come to a close and what an event! One thing is for sure, the East Coast Open will be around for many more years, getting bigger and bigger every year! The wet weather tried to stop us, but the racers would have none of it. After 2 days of wet training on the newly customized race course, we were met with a warm sunny Sunday for the DH finals. With over $10,000 in cash and prizing from the likes of Chumba, POC, Raceface and more, there was lots of speculation as to who could lay down the fastest time.
With a stacked field that included Canada’s current #1 ranked DH racer Rob Fraser of Trek Primary, Harold Woolnough of Silent Devinci (multiple provincial wins), Kyle Sangers of Specialized J&J (2010 US Open Junior Champion) and many others that included Top 20 US Open Pro finisher Matt Zdriluk (Lapierre) and local hero Taylor Rowlands (Raceface). Nobody could guess who would lay down the fastest time, especially with never before seen sections like the “bowling alley” pictured below. It was a super steep chute filled with roots, rocks and of course a 90degree turn at the bottom to negotiate.
As always the course was lined with spectators getting a glimpse of the action, at the top of the “bowling alley” you were serenaded by the “drift hecklers”. These two guys were screaming for everyone to high speed drift into the chute and plenty did to the merriment of these 2 jokers!
Did I mention it was the North America’s largest Elvis Fest in the Blue Mountain Village, thousands came to see the impersonators, many got to watch the race too.
The first freelap times put down by the fastest riders during training were showing that 3:20 might take it but it was still a little wet, so no one could say for sure. Once it was go time and the juniors started on the course, it was clear that a sub 3:10 might be on the board! In the junior category it was Mike Oosterveld (Silent Devinci) who posted a sick time of 3:22, Kris Evoy and Tyler Maass were just behind each other by 6 1/100ths of a second!
1 Michael Oosterveld (Silent Devinci) 3:22.707
2 Kristofer Evoy (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny`s) 3:23.111
3. Tyler Maass (AdrenalineRacer/Giant / TO Wheels) 3:23.175
4 Dan Bruxer (AdrenalineRacer /Giant TO Wheels) 3:25.487
5 Spencer Ball (Georgetown) 3:26.081
Next on the course was the highly anticipated Amateur field, there were expert level riders from all over including some from a long drive away. And it was one of those imports that took it all down, Eric Beauchamp-LaChapelle (Devinci Elka) made the 8+hr drive to experience the first ever East Coast Open and he walked away with not only the win but a full kit from POC including the new Cortex DH helmet, Flow DH gloves, VPD knee pads and more! Mike Schenk took 2nd with Sam (Sammo) Measures (Blue Mountain local hero) sliding into 3rd.
1 Eric Beauchamp-LaChapelle (Devinci Elka) 3:22.663
2 Mike Schenk (Guelph) 3:25.109
3 Sam Meaures (Blue Mountain Resort) 3:25.787
As the women’s field began to take the course it was a tough guess as to who would come out on top, just a week before it was Lisa Howey Louter (mother of 6month old sponsor, ahah) who took the win in a provincial DH race. But Monica Luebke (Cycle Solutions) decided to spoil and took the class with an amazing 8 second lead on 2nd place Lisa Howey Louter (mother of 6month old sponsor,ahaha) , falling into 3rd place was Jenn LeBlanc (Bike sports racing).
1 Monica Luebke (Cycle Solutions) 4:20.658
2 Lisa Howey Louter (mother of 6month old sponsor, ahah) 4:28.535
3 Lisa LeBlanc (Bike Sports racing) 4:30.732
As the day wore on the tension grew, the Open/Pro men began to pour down the course, almost immediately the 3:20 barrier was shattered by Kyle Sangers (2010 US OPEN Junior Champion) with a 3:12!! He climbed into the Blue Mountain hotseat and remained there for some time.
However as the last 7 or 8 riders came down he was ousted by Sid Slootegraf (Lapierre ) who hit a tree, separated his should and still got a 3:10, wow, good enough for 5th Next over the line was his team mate Matt Zdriluk (Lapierre, 2010 top 20 at US Open), he didn’t hit a tree and managed a 3:04 which ended him in 4th.
Local super hero Taylor Rowlands (Raceface) had a fantastic run and landed a 3:03 which put him in the 3rd spot. Harold Woolnough (Silent Devinci) put together a tremendous effort and put himself into 2nd place. All eyes were on the wireless timing board as the #1 plate made its way down the final sprint and over the line, could he do it!!??? YES Rob Fraser (Trek Primary) the #1 ranked DH racer in Canada pulled it off with a 2 second lead and a 3:01.
1 Rob Fraser (Trek Primary) 3:01.604
2 Harold Woolnough (Silent Devinci) 3:03.243
3 Taylor Rowlands (Raceface) 3:03.402
4 Matt Zdriluk (Lapierre) 3:04.439
5 Sidney Slootegraf (Lapierre) 3:10.323
Thanks to all involved in getting this off the ground, especially the Blue Mountain Resort and Sirbikealot Racing team who all worked hard to make the most challenging course around for hundreds of miles.
Get ready for next year when the calendar will allow the East Coast Open to attract some big name World Cup athletes with even more prize money and possibly even UCI DH points!
Peter Appleton, Sirbikealot Racing
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