5th annual race is the biggest yet for the new gem of Arkansas mountain biking.
(Sept 6-7, 2013) BENTONVILLE, AR—For the fith year running, local racers, pros and plenty of families took to the singletrack of Slaughter Pen for a good time and some friendly competition as part of the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series. With numerous mountain bike specific trails built by the Progressive Trail Design team, kids and first-time racers competed on either a 6 mile course, and Cat 1's/, 2's and 3's raced on the nine mile course for a total of 1, two or three laps depending on class. Proceeds from the race went back to the Friends at Slaughter Pen Trails to further develop and maintain the local trails.
Festivities kicked off on Friday evening with a trials demo by four-time UCI Trials World Champion Kenny Belaey and Adrian Lengyel, which also coincided with the First Friday festivites held on the town square.
The kids warm up on their own pump track before their race.
Racers register in the shade before taking on soe hot racing.
The kids races, which consisted of several different age divisions were easily the most watched and supported races. Big strides are being made in youth cycling in Northwest Arkansas!
Nothing sets the hook like getting to take a shiny medal home for a hard effort.
Phat Tire Bike Shop of Bentoville was on hand to help with pre-race bike tuning.
Everyone competing on the 9 mile course had a couple creek crossings over wood bridges to get over.
Austin Morris (Carve) took a solid second place in the Cat1 19-29 race on his locals trails.
Phillip Prater racing to second in the Cat1 30-39 race.
Julie Belk was the fastest Cat2 woman.
Heath Banning pinning it to win the Cat1 30-39 race and be second fastest overall.
Scott Barnes railed his carbon Niner on this mandatory feature to win the singlespeed race.
James Walton took the win in his Cat2 19-29 class by finishing the 18 mile race in 1:26:42, and also set the fastest time for the entire Cat2 field.
Alyssa Journey won the women's Cat1 race as a default by finishing, but also gave quite a few of the men a run for their money.
There were even a few phat bikers who raced the punchy rolling course.
There were bridges to cross drainages that were dry during the race, but quickly fill with water in the wet season.
One of the notable features of the Slaughter Pen trails is the large amount of wood bridges to cross sensitive areas, and also numerous man made technical features on the sides of the trails.
Overall Cat1 winner Frank Webber (Orbea/Tuff Shed) earned his money on this hot humid day with a stand out performance.
Heath Banning shows the toll the effort and heat took on him as he cruises through the finish with no water left.
Webber and Austin share some post race stoke.
Even veteran hard-man and volunteer extraordinaire Nails McDirt was hiding from the hot sun.
Luckily, racers had some helping hands with post race massages available.
After the race was done and the sun was lower in the sky, racers met at Phat Tire Bike Shop for a leisurely ride on the local bike paths to Petite Bistro for an evening of bluegrass music, burgers and beers. A perfect end to a great day of racing!