The final race in the H2O Overdrive All Mountain Triple Crown series rolls into Virgina’s Massanutten Resort on Father’s Day weekend, where a pro male and female champion will be crowned.
Heading into the third-and-final final round, Sho-Air/Specialized’s Sid Taberlay holds a slim five-point lead over current US National XC champion Jeremy Horgan Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher). Colin Cares (Kenda-Felt), Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Andy Schultz (Kenda-Felt) fill out the top-five.
In the women’s field, Giant’s Kelli Emmett holds a seven point lead over current US National XC champion Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) in second, with (Subaru-Gary Fisher), Krista Park, Lene Byberg (Specialized Factory Racing) and Pua Sawicki (Team Mata) round out the top-five.
Up for grabs is a combined $10,000 overall series payout to the top-three women and top-three men, along with a custom series final trophy and jersey.
As with the first two rounds of the Triple Crown series, the Massanutten round will offer riders a chance to compete for up to $20,000 in combined prize money for the pro men and women’s field on the weekend. Riders must race a minimum of two Triple Crown discpines to be eligbable for pro pursue.
What is new at the Massanutten Triple Crown is an “Open Pro” class. This is for men and women CAT 1 standouts who think they have a shot to go head to head with North America’s best for cash and glory.
“When I was racing seriously, a young guy like myself could enter a big race and see how he compared to local and national pros,” said Massanutten Resort promoter George Willets. “Now, the sport’s gotten so diluted with all these classes that keep people from racing straight-up against each other.
“The Triple Crown lets us turn back the clock and open things up. The Triple Crown is open to all the fast dudes, whether they’re Pro, or Cat One or an East Coast Expert who doesn’t usually race in USAC events.”
The weekend’s Triple Crown open’s up Saturday on a Super D course of four and half miles, with more than a thousand feet of vertical drop. The course uses the Hanenkahm Downhill trail, the same route used in the 1997 UCI World Cup. Winning times are expected to be sub 10 minutes.
Riders will then roll into a late Saturday afternoon short-track session, which incorporates banked bowl turns and sections of the cross-country and Super D course. Women’s STXC goes off at 3:45pm with the men following shortly at 4:15pm
Using more of a traditional cross country loop, the Massanutten XC course on Sunday will be approximately 12-miles long, loaded with singletrack, creek crossings, switch back climbs and some technical sections to challenge even today’s top XC riders.