Monday, June 15, 2009

Kenda Kup West Final Report

This in from Roger Hernandez today...after the 17 hr drive home from Colorado Springs.

Hi Chris,

Wow what a trip!!! I want to say thank you to our sponsors again!!! They gave us the tools to have a great Kenda Kup season... Joel at Tomac bikes, Ken at Xpedo pedals, Pete at Amino Vital, Jim at Kenda tires, Brian and James at Sigma, Nomad, Formula brakes, Jay at Sunline... With your help we have had a spectacular season so far!!!

It started with how much for airfare?? Extra to ship a bike!!! Lets just drive there, how far could it be? So we borrowed a compact car, threw a bike and a cooler full of monster amino vital mix in the back and just started driving. After sneaking out of work early and driving eight hours for the first day we pulled over for a cat nap, then a short 11 hour drive on the second day we were there staring at Jim W just pulling into the venue, man that guy is always there first in and always leaving last!!! Vanessa suited up and took off on a pre-ride of the UNMARKED course... she had a downloaded map (note course wasn't marked until Friday afternoon). I then got to work with Jim, Chris (Kenda /Tomac mech.) and Robbie Wannamaker to set up the Kenda trailer. Did I mention Robbie was there... so after I found the duct tape and zip ties Robbie was occuppied, so that I could sort the kenda trailer out with Jim W :)

Did I mention how beautiful it is in Colorado? It takes a lot for me not to just sell everything and make the move. Up at 7:!5 and off to the venue, as I roll up I was already late. Jim had already been there an hour and was busting his ass, I did what I could to keep up with him. 10:30 take off to pick up new Backbone rider Claudia and her father Jaime. What troopers they are! Up at 3:30am to catch flights from San Diego to Denver to Colorado Springs. After loading the Backbone Nissan Versus limo with Claudia, Jaime and bike carrier we looked like hill billys going to a swap meet. Claudia did a hot lap as Jaime and I help Jim W. with Kenda stuff. We then went to the registration venue which wasn't a the track, but 8 miles away in town?? Then we were told that there was a cap on 100 cagt 1 riders... wtf??? Hey Scott Tedro isn't this the Kenda Kup Final for the West Coast??Maybe a points deciding race ??? All I can say is that I have found a much larger respect for Team Big Bear and their crew!!! The guys in Colorado couldn't throw a junior high dance let alone a large scale mtn bike race??? I won't go into too much detail but not marking the course earlier, no class markings on the legs, terrible announcing and no music... every Kenda Kup race this year on the West Coast has been top notch except this one, please Scott work on them for next years' final, I thought Colorado was a mtn bike mecca???

The race... just two Backbone racers at this event; Vanessa and Claudia, two cat 1 girls!!!

Vanessa's race recap...
All the cat 1 men and woman lined up for the race. They didn't mark any legs so you had no clue who you were racing. 2 minutes before the start they announced we would do 3 laps instead of four. Then about 80 men took off at once into a single track. 1 minute later 25 girls started. They were fast technical laps and all single track. It was a like Rim Nordic/Fountain Hills/ cyclecross. If it wasn't for the 65+ men the girls probably would have stayed together for awhile. Claudia took home the bronze and beat up on those Colorado girls. I didn't fair as well, but I did finish right behind the cat 1 cal state and norba champion from last year and passed up some locals myslef. It was great to be able to race and glad things worked out.

Special thanks to Kenda tires... Claudia and Vanessa ran karma 2.0 up front and small block eights 1.95 in the back, it was Claudia's first time on Kenda's and she said they blew away her old Maxxis tires.

Also thank you very much to Jim Roff for coming out to the race, helping with the feed, selling some Kenda rubber and taking Claudia and Jaime to the Denver airport, too bad they were leaving from Colorado Springs airport... lol.... hey Jim make some room out there Vanessa andIi will be there sometime in the future

Roger and Vanessa

**Great report guys..thanks for making the looong road trip. I'll bring Lyd and Luka and will squat in Jim's house!**


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