By Seth Lightcap
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The 15th annual Downieville Classic All-Mountain World Championships wrapped up the weekend of racing with the downhill stage two on Sunday. Eight-time Downieville Downhill King Mark Weir (WTB) and Two-time Downhill Queen Katerine Nash (Luna) both added a jewel to their crowns taking the stage wins.
Two-hundred racers had the privilege of dropping into the legendary DH course on day two, all of whom had successfully completed the XC race the previous day. Stage two course conditions couldn’t have been better despite a wee bit of lingering snow and deeper than usual water hazards. The 17-mile long route was tacky and fast as it dropped 5,200 vertical feet to the streets of Downieville.
The Pro Men’s downhill champ was none other than ‘Mr. Downieville’ himself aka Mark Weir who blazed the stage in 44:01.5. The win was especially sweet for Weir as it was his eighth Downhill stage win and marked a return to form after missing last year’s event due to the birth of his son.
“Rad” Ross Schnell (Trek) bounced back from a lackluster performance in stage one to rip the DH course just nine seconds slower than Weir and grab second in 44:10.6. Last year’s Downhill champ and still-course record holder Adam Craig (Giant-Rabobank) snatched the last podium position finishing but nine seconds after Schnell in 44:19.5.
The stage two results did little to change the Pro Men All-Mountain standings as Carl Decker (Giant Factory Racing) rode a clean race and cemented the overall win with a total time of 2:37:31. Craig did his best to hack at Decker’s five-minute margin but fell two and half minutes short to take second in 2:40:55. Thee-time Downieville All-Mountain champ Jason Moeschler (WTB) settled for third this year with a combined time of 2:43:50.
Luna’s Nash ran away with her second consecutive downhill title as she deftly descended over two minutes faster than second place finisher Kelli Emmett, who won Saturday’s XC stage. Nash hit the finish in 49:46.8 to Emmett’s 52:08.5. Lizzy English (Giant) remained parked in third for the second stage in a row coming home in 55:21.6.
Despite her DH victory, Nash couldn’t overtake Emmett on the overall. Nash battled the three minute margin held by Emmett after stage one but fell 24 seconds short. Emmett took the Pro Women All-Mountain overall in 3:01:05 with Nash just behind at 3:01:29. English held on tight to third in 3:27:08.
All in all the race was yet another fabulously hosted event for both the town of Downieville, California and race organizers Yuba Expeditions. Between the action on course and the expo entertainment afterwards, fun was unavoidable. The news that the local trail stewardship group raised nearly $10,000 throughout the weekend is a telling sign the good times will continue in this MTB mecca.