The Gravity East Downhill at Mount Snow followed a familiar script this weekend: Rainy weekend, check. Muddy, sloppy practice runs on Saturday, check. Sun comes out just in time for the start of Sunday‘s race runs, check. Dawn Bourque wins the Women‘s race, check. Neko Mulally squeaks out a victory by about half a second, check.
If that all sounds familiar, it probably is. There has been so much rain at Gravity East races this year that there is a story going around that Series Director Dan McDonald sat down with the Farmer‘s Almanac last year to find the rainiest weekends before setting up this year‘s schedule.
Ben Moody (Rhino Bike Works) was one of the first pros down the mountain at Mount Snow and crossed the line at 4:24.09. It was good enough to put him on the hot seat; though with temperatures in the low-50s (about 10 degrees C), no seat this weekend was truly “hot.“ As he survived challenger after challenger, others began to believe that Moody, a regular at Mount Snow‘s own Kenda Series, would take the race from Mulally.
They apparently had not read the script. Mulally, the Specialized Team America teenager, once again eked out a heartstopper by stopping the clock at 4:23.63 to send Moody to the runner-up position. Gavin Vaughn finished third with a time of 4:29.03.
One week after Karen Eagan‘s upset at Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania, the women were also back on track with Ben Moody‘s Rhino Bike Works teammate, Dawn Bourque, taking her sixth Gravity East Win of the year. Following the script was Eagan (Samuel Adams Brewery), who has been runner-up behind every one of Bourque‘s victories this year.
Not everything at Mount Snow ran according to the script, however, as there were several surprises thrown in just to keep things interesting. The new “Trail 13“ has some very technical sections in it. One is called “Rock Highway,“ essentially large slabs of granite. The course was taped so wide at this part of the course that many riders were creative in picking their lines.
This coming weekend, the Gravity East finishes out the season for the double-points Gravity East Finals at New York‘s Plattekill Mountain. With attendance at the finals mandatory in order to win a Gravity East Series Championship, an interesting story-line is already in place: Can Neko Mulally continue his late-season charge and win the 2009 Gravity East Series Championship?
Homepage photo of racer Ben Moody at Mount Snow by Matt DeLorme