La Grange Fall Classic DH

October 17th, 2004

Weaverville, CA


After a gorgeous afternoon of cross country racing on Saturday the annual La Grange Fall Classic was to wrap up with an epic four mile downhill race on Sunday.  It was not anticipated that Sunday's attendance would compare to the 137 riders that took part in the XC event, nevertheless spirits and excitement were high with the gravity contingent who were unanimously stoked on the super fast four mile DH course.  Practice runs on Saturday found the course almost unchanged from last year.  Dry and drifty it was on the top half where riders teased speeds approaching mach, and just as slippery at the bottom where racers' pedaling prowess was put to the test on a long rolling sprint to the finish.  A bit of work was done on course to provide routes over and around some of the more villainous tank traps and water bars, as well as clearing bits of debris here and there.  The top half required almost zero pedaling and racers could not believe how taxed their legs were after such a cruise, but with numerous ruts and water bars to negotiate downhill pilots had little time to recover before the finishing sprint.  The forecast predicted a chance of rain on Sunday, none believed it would come, but early Sunday morning the showers came.  By sun up the rain had abated, and aside from campers being soaked riders were anxious to see what a bit of rain had done for the dusty course.  By the second practice run on race morning riders had burned in a fresh tacky line and the course was incredibly fast.  For a brief period it looked as though last years record time of 8:07 might be shattered.  It was not to be, as the final shuttles headed up the lengthy mountain drive to begin racing the rain and wind returned.  Riders were drenched and frozen when they finally arrived to the top and conditions only worsened as racers began to stage and prepare for what was clearly a course that was changing by the minute.  Rivulets of water were now running down course turning tacky terrain into a slippery stream.  The most substantial obstacle was visibility, no riders were prepared with fenders, the driving wind and rain combined with clay spray off the wet roads quickly rendered goggles useless as many riders crossed the finish line with lenses flopping in hand.  At the bottom all were soaked and shivering, talk of taking part in the provided second run seemed less and less favorable.  Eight riders were brave enough and unhappy enough with their first runs to charge the hill again.  As the rains turned into a torrent and the trail a river, none of the pre soaked riders were able to catch the days fastest time set by Todd Hoeft at 8:24.  A blink off his pace was Revolution Rider Justin Graves less then two seconds back at an adjusted 8:26.  Taking third on the day was Expert Vet. Ken Gaydos posting a time of 8:40.  Fourth overall was Eureka ripper Jeremy Rollins at 8:43, and continuing to prove that he is back and as strong as ever the mobber Greg Newkirk rounded out the top five right behind Rollins at 8:46.  Half the women's field was brave enough to charge the hill on hardtails, impressive showings by all, complete results soon.

I Must Apologize Again For My Skewed Representation Of Results, Ages And Class Distinctions Mean Little To Me, Therefore i Present It Straight Up, The Way I See It, I Am Not Gonna Claim First Place Honors Just Because Someone Who Beat Me Is Older.  So I Leave It Up To You To Break It Down.

Sorry Somehow Got Away Without Complete Results, The Rest Soon, My Apologies Ladies.

1st Todd Hoeft 8:24
2nd Justin Graves 8:26
3rd Ken Gaydos 8:40
4th Jeremy Rollins 8:43
5th Greg Newkirk 8:46
6th Hank Matheson 9:00
7th Matt Carpenter 9:09
8th Joel Graves 9:13
9th Travis Clawin 9:19
10th Simmon Bradley 9:35
11th Todd French 9:41