VK Kick Off Race Report

Vulture’s Knob has never hosted a DH race before.  A year ago, you’d say it wasn’t possible.  But the red sea of poison ivy parted, and something of a killer track has emerged from the prickly undergrowth.  Killer in oh so many ways, like the smile it puts on your face and the burn it puts in your legs.

Fans were getting rowdy cheering on the 40 racers that attended. This has been the worst spring in living memory, but the weather held off and the course held up. Besides being a bit slow rolling, it was a fine day for racing and Vevuzelas!

Zach Johnson was our youngest rider. He's a top BMXer and was trying his hand at a bit of downhill...by all accounts he aced it! Kevin D from 331 did the starting all day after a long XC race the day before. All the 331 guys are tireless heros and put on a fine grassroots event. Thanks Mike C, Jay R, and the rest of the gang...not to forget spouses!

Micah Van Horn styling the the rock jump, which is the first feature and all about getting just the right distance. Did he get it right? Check the video at the bottom of this post! (Photo credit Steve Stanic)

...or just have a look at Nick Devore landing to flat. Tire flat, bike twisted, suspension bottomed, biceps...looking pumped!

Gus Michaels shows us the proper way to hit the rocks, with a rear tire tap and a tweak. Gus comes from a moto background and raced XC last year. This year he's going to try DH. His first time out of the box was a 1:13, good enough for 3rd in the Pro class. Lordy. Did I mention he ran a full DH bike with 2 ply sticky rubber? It's probably 10 lbs heavier than the bikes ridden by the top two!

If you weren't hitting the creek gap like Brad Smith from Chainsmoke Racing, then you had a grind a few more seconds of course, and that hurts. Brad drove up from South Carolina to race. Think of all the trails he passed on the way up to Vulture's Knob to race! What a guy!

Here's your runner up, Harry Reynolds, riding for Horns Hill Collective. He was keeping it low and getting the power down. He and Vance Nonno battled all day for top spot. 1:13....1:12....1:11... At this point Dave the Pirate bets 20 bucks no one can do a 1:10. Did he do it? Well, let's just say Dave's not 20 bucks in the hole...he's 40!

Braaaaaaaap! Eric Hickman hits the tricky hip. (Photo credit Steve Stanic)

Pat Ramsey came from PA and looked to be having a blast all day long, despite getting lost in the woods. He took 2nd in the well attended First Timer category. (Photo credit Steve Stanic)

Mike "Stumbo" Walsh know how to throw down. And now he knows why World Cup pros don't run tubeless. His tire did a burp to roll off landing the tricky hip. Good thing Mike brought a spare 951!

First Timers podium: Jim Crowley 1st, Pat Ramsey 2nd, Tyler Sheperd 3rd (MIA).

Amateur Podium: Louis Taylor 1st, Andy Wickens 2nd, Nick Devor 3rd.

Pro Podium: Vance Nonno 1st (HHC), Harry Reynolds 2nd (HHC), and Gus Michaels 3rd. That's a 1-2 for Horn's Hill Collective, apparently racing in flannel this year.

Full results can be found in this post.

If you want to see all the pictures, hope you have a Facebook account!  Here are some galleries:

331’s Gallery (thanks Jennifer!)

Brian Wick’s Gallery

Steve Stanic’s Flickr Gallery (and here it is on Facebook)

Finally, thanks to Blanton’s family for shooting some video!

Untitled from Blanton Unger on Vimeo.

See you on July 17!  (Bring bug spray)

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