Downieville, CA, a mere stone’s throw from WTB’s Nevada City offices hosting OEM sales, product development, and design – the testing ground for many promising products submitted to the unapologetic harsh environs of razor sharp rocks, blinding dust, lung-searing ascents, and brake-boiling descents. From this land of rubble and shattered dreams, WTB’s OEM Sales Manager, Jason Moeschler, and Northwest Tech Rep, Kenny Burt, took 3rd and 4th place respectively in the highly coveted overall All Mountain category.
Jason, for the first time in his Downieville racing career, raced a 29” bike. Jason ran a Cannondale Scalpel 29, sporting 100mm of travel front and rear, also a first. He wisely chose WTB Wolverine 2.2 29” TCS tires mounted to WTB KOM i23 29” TCS rims, a Rocket V SLT saddle, and Tech Trail grips. Jason spent a lot of time assessing the pros and cons of 26 versus 29 on the course leading up to the event. He found that bigger wheels saved him precious time on pedaling sections and that he could still manage his Scalpel through technical sections.
No rainfall leading up to the Classic led to the “worst conditions I’ve seen,” as Mark Weir put it describing the hopelessly dry, silt-like dust competitors faced Saturday and Sunday this past race weekend. Spectators fording trail sections of Third Divide Trail faced three inches of moon dust when scurrying across the race course. Racers not lucky enough to be in the lead wished for snorkels and goggles to combat dust storm conditions.
Kenny Burt also chose a 29er, sporting the oh so sought after Ibis Ripley for his fourth place triumph. Kenny ran WTB Wolverine 2.2 29” TCS tires, a Silverado Carbon saddle, WTB Moto grips, and a set of prototype rims currently in the test phase, why not test things in the most demanding and dire conditions available? Way to push it, Kenny, we’re proud of you.
Also of important note in the wonderful world of Downieville, newest member of Team WTB, Marco Osborne, pulled an impressive top 20 finish, and Adrian House, winner of the raffled All Mountain ticket, courtesy of WTB and the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, had a very impressive showing in the Expert Category.
Yet another impressive feat of Herculean strength showcased in the Sierra Nevada foothills, another Downieville Classic in the books. Those who haven’t been, mark your calendars for next year, it’s an event that actually showcases true mountain biking – hard ups, equally hard downs. Those who have… well, when’s the last time you gave back? The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is always looking for volunteers and happily accepting donations. Congrats to all who raced.