Easterns at UVM
This coming weekend is Easterns. It is the culmination of an entire season of racing in the ECCC. As a last gasp of racing riders and teams can earn double points at this weekend. Many a racer and team has found their dreams fulfilled or crushed by the double points available at Easterns.
This year UVM is hosting Easterns at Catamount Family Center and the Kingdom Trails Association. Catamount has twice hosted the ECCC and last hosted Easterns in 2009. The Kingdom Trails are known far and wide for the excellence and quantity of riding. This weekend promises to be one of the best Easterns the conference has ever seen.
The weekends action will start off with XC racing at Catamount. Chris Hamlin and I designed the original course in 2009. The conference has twice raced on that course and has been highly heralded. This year we will be racing on a slightly modified lap that was created for the six hour Eastern Cup race this summer. The gnarly rock spine early on and the final ascent have been removed. In total the course in now 10km long. The course starts with fast fire roads and sweeping single tracks. Then course makes its first ascent to the look out via the Ledge trail and the Coyote Turnpike. A high speed descent down the Pop’s trail and punchy return the riders to the lookout. The riders leave the lookout for the final time going down the Bear trail. Once the power lines are reached there are only an few tight turn and then a promenade to the end of the lap.
The Dual Slalom course is a revamped version of the course raced last year. Everything on the course is roll-able by all riders. However to carry any speed riders will have to have their dancing shoes on. There are a series of big step downs, a step up an a couple of table tops. In practice the UVM kids have reported that the two courses are very evenly matched which will make for some great cheering / heckling.
The traditional Eastern’s banquest will be hosted at the Chammel’s Hump Middle School. Lasanga, salad and comaradiery are all on the bill of fair. This is a great chance to break bread with your fellow racers . The conference staff will have updated individual and team overalls. The results of the day will also be published. This is one of the great social events of the season, certainly not to be missed.
Sunday’s racing will begin at Burke Mountain in the Kingdom trails with the STXC. Riders will duke it out on a high speed stxc course for the Eastern’s Championships. Following the conclusion of the STXC the very exciting Team relay will be held. Thoughout this whole year UVM, UNH, Clarkson and RPI have made solid effort in the Team Relay. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if a team from McGill could make and upset and win the last bought.
The DH will be run on the “Downhill” trail on Burke Mountain of the Kingdom Trails. I don’t know that there has ever been a race on the trail. Numerous riders love riding this course during the course of summer riding. Anything that popular must also be great to race on.
We will wrap up the 2011 ECCC MTB season with our awards ceremony at the base of Burke Mtn. All of the Category winners in gravity, endurance and overall will win medals. The Women’s and Men’s A racers who win their respective disciplines will also win the Highly coveted Green or Yellow jersey.