Bonelli Pro XCT Race Report

This past weekend saw the 2nd round of the Pro XCT mountain bike series in Bonelli Park, San Dimas, California.

Stan’s NoTubes Women’s Elite Team were represented by me, Sarah Kaufmann, Vicki Barclay and Kaila Hart . We were supported by Jimmy Deaton as our manager and mechanic, along with Bruce Dickman (Pro Gold Lubricants) and Kenny Wehn’s parents, Matt and Joan Wehn.

Kaila, Jenny, Vicki and Sarah

Kaila, Jenny, Vicki and Sarah

You know it’s going to be a good weekend when: it’s your birthday (mine), you get to spend it in Southern California (sunny and Spring), your host for the weekend (Matt) meets you at the hotel and take your bike cases, and Jimmy drives (the team) to Trader Joe’s to shop on the way to Bonelli Park and the race venue.

Jimmy Deaton is a former World Mountain Bike Champion, extremely experienced, seemingly mellow and such a wealth of knowledge about cycling. It was very inspiring to be around him and casually pick his brains about tires, riding skills and cornering.

Fitting too, as the course at Bonelli was punchy with varied terrain that required sharp bike handling skills. The XC race was a five lap event of 5km each lap.

I was excited. These earlier spring cross country races are ideal tune up races to develop faster snappy riding, an ideal build for later endurance events. It is for me an “anti complacency faster endurance girl” plan.

We met teammate Vicki Barclay for the first time in Bonelli. Vicki is a smart, sweet, sassy, Scottish Lass who is a 100-mile specialist. The Bonelli Pro XCT was in fact her first ever Pro national level cross country. She too was excited and happy with how the style of race and the pace challenged her skills and riding.

Vicki's first US Pro XCT -- Got 12th!

Vicki's first US Pro XCT — Got 12th!

As a team we performed very well in the cross country. I was 7th, Sarah Kaufmann was 8th, Vicki 12th, Kalia 17th.

Saturday night was a relaxed and fun evening with Matt and Joan Wehn.

Sunday saw the short track event at Bonelli Park. It was Sarah and I racing. Matt Wehn came with us as our support crew. We took a long easy warm up around trails in the park before checking out the short track course and riding a few fast laps with various lines on the short power based course.

The race was a mere 15 minutes plus two laps. We where both oddly looking forward to it. The gun went off and I got a decent start in about 6th place with Sarah right behind me in 7th as we dropped into the single track through lap one. I moved up into 4th and on to the lead group for lap two. Unfortunately I dropped my chain during lap three (an issue I’m having with my “well ridden bike”) and that put me in 4th chasing. A glance back saw I was being chased by Sarah, which was super neat to be honest. My thinking was, “awesome, if she catches me we can work together”. Short track is weird though. When you are all just pinned, small gaps are so hard to bridge, so that’s how it stayed. We crossed in 4th and 5th respectively. Good results for two mountain girls on March 11th.

Short track Podium

Short track Podium

The event and racing was very positive for us all. We are very thankful to our supportive sponsors: Stan’s NoTubes, Alpine Orthopaedics, elete Electrolytes, Gu Energy Labs, Kenda, Cannondale, Verge clothing , adidas Eyewear, Lazer helmets, Ergon, Pro Gold Lubricants, Genuine Innovations, Jet Black trainers, crankbrothers, and Showers Pass for the opportunity to compete and to represent them.

Next up for the Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team is Sea Otter. It is five weeks away, and I know I am leaving Bonelli keen and motivated for our next big event!

Cheers,
Jenny Smith

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