From Super Enduro to Short Track with a Dirt Jump in between, WTB TCS Tires Were the Tools for the Job

19 April, 2012

[caption id="attachment_2106" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="Team WTB riders giving a final pre-race inspection. Photo by Jen Burt."][/caption]

It was anyone’s guess what the winning rubber would be for the 3rd Annual Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival that included super enduro, short track, pump track and dirt jump events held in Aptos, CA last weekend.  After a week of heavy rains left the three enduro courses a rutted, muddy disaster, suddenly the playing field was leveled to a degree that in addition to solid handling skills, riders would need the right equipment to get the job done. With one of the best fields of enduro racers ever assembled in the US, the race proved to be a battle that was won or lost based on the rider’s ability to stay upright through the corners.

[caption id="attachment_2109" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="Ben Cruz hauling the mail towards the finish. Photo by Jen Burt."][/caption]

WTB rider, Ben Cruz, was one of the few who took to the mud like a fish to water. “I love riding in the mud and when it started to dump rain a week before the race, I got excited!!” said Cruz, who knew the rain would be a huge game changer that would be reflected in the results. “Anyone can ride a trail they know fast in the dry but in the mud it’s a different story. It turns into having the ability to adapt to all conditions. The mud made it a real enduro game,” he added.

[caption id="attachment_2112" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="Weir starts the 12-mile climb to the top of the enduro course. Photo by Jen Burt."][/caption]

Come race day, WTB riders agreed that the Moto Tubeless Compatible System (TCS) tire, in one combination or another, was the right tool for the job. The podium proved them right with Santa Cruz/WTB/Fox riders Aaron Bradford  in first place on Moto 2.3 TCS front/Bronson 2.1 TCS rear and Ryan Condrashoff in second on Moto 2.3 TCS front and Moto 2.1 TCS rear. Cannondale/WTB/Shimano/Fox riders Ben Cruz and Mark Weir came in fourth and fifth respectively, riding WTB Vigilante AM TCS prototype front/Moto 2.1 AM TCS rear.

Not far behind was Santa Cruz/WTB/ Fox rider Nathan Riddle on Moto 2.3 AM TCS front/Wolverine 2.2 TCS rear finishing in 11th  with Cannondale/WTB/Shimano/Fox rider Jason Moeschler  in 12th on Moto 2.3 AM TCS front/ Moto 2.1 AM TCS rear, and WTB/Ibis rider Kenny Burt in 17th also on Moto 2.3 AM TCS front/Moto 2.1 AM TCS rear. The Moto proved to be the tire that helped the riders find their flow and hold onto it.

Team WTB rider Jason Moeschler explained, “The conditions were so bad that I was pretty much thinking that there was no traction to be had at all," adding that he was surprised  to have controlled, two-wheel drifts through the corners. "Made it pretty fun,” he said.

[caption id="attachment_2094" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="Santa Cruz/WTB/Fox rider Aaron Bradford rode TCS Bronson tires to a second-place finish in the Short Track event. Photo by Forrest Arakawa."][/caption]

High fives all around to the riders who finished the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival events with mud between their teeth and some well deserved bragging rights!

[caption id="attachment_2117" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="Cheers to Scott Chapin for winning the WTB All Mountain Challenge with Aaron Bradford in second and Barry Wicks (not pictured) in third. Photo by Forrest Arakawa."][/caption]

Thank you to the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival staff, volunteers and supporters for a great time! Speaking of great times... check out WTB rider Jeff Herbertson winning the Dirt Jump competition...

 

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