Pro triple crown set to showcase top talent and most challenging venues
Brand new for 2016, the CES Golden Tour will showcase the three most aggressive stops on this season’s schedule: VP EnduroFest at China Peak on June 25, Northstar Enduro on August 27-28, and Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro on September 15-18.
The tour is a triple crown series within a series intended to spotlight top talent and events. This elite series will serve as a stepping stone to international competition for new riders and help established riders maintain a high average level of competition throughout the year. Boasting a $24,000 overall prize list for the three events, each race is awarded a $4,000 cash purse to the top ten for both Pro Men and Pro Women categories.
2016 Golden Tour points will be awarded in each of the three rounds according to the established CES points table, and will be scored as a series within CES for Pro Men and Pro Women categories only. The Golden Tour represents an excellent opportunity for CES up and comers to test themselves on international level courses against some of the best in North America.
In the Pro Women’s field, Juliana Bicycles duo Kathy Pruitt and Kelli Emmett are committed to the Golden Tour as an integral part of their race calendar which also includes the Enduro World Series (EWS). Pruitt and Emmett will come up against CES 2015 Champion Amy Morrison of the new Rabobank/Marin professional enduro team, and GT Factory Team rider Rachel Throop, as well as CES standout Lauren Gregg (Ford/Fuji/VP/FOX). The Golden Tour will raise the level of the already impressive women’s field even higher for CES in 2016.
The Pro Men’s field will pit current NAET Champion Kyle Warner (Marin/Suntour) against 2015 CES silver medalist Evan Geankopolis (Rabobank/Marin) and Ibis Cycles Enduro Team’s young gun Dillon Santos. The inaugural Golden Tour’s stacked field will also include 2015 Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro champion Ryan Gardner (Kona) and the legendary Brian Lopes (Intense). The talent level in CES’ Pro Men category runs deep and visiting EWS pros have made the competition even tougher. 2016 is sure to draw significant talent, and a number of big name riders are expected at the start for any and all rounds.
VP EnduroFest at China Peak
June 25, China Peak Mountain Resort in Lakeshore
VP Endurofest at China Peak will kick off the Golden Tour with a real test of skill and endurance. Organized by CES founding sponsor VP Components, the event is well known as one tough mother with race times coming in at around four hours, and nearly 6,000 feet of climbing. The dusty, loose course features some of the fastest and rockiest racing the Sierra has to offer on hand-dug rustic trails. EnduroFest Race Director Erik Saunders says, “We are happy to again put on a race that has become a rider’s favorite.” Saunders adds, “The riders who are on the EWS all give us high marks for technically challenging and physically demanding courses on par with what they expect for a top level race.”
August 27-28, Northstar California Resort in Truckee
The Northstar Enduro offers a memorable two-day race on tough courses featuring meticulously carved berms, steep rocky sections, huge jumps, and plenty of off-camber challenges. CES Director Steve Gemelos says, “Northstar’s mountain bike park is ranked as one of the best in the world and we’re thrilled to include it in our Golden Tour line up.”
Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro
September 15-18, Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes
The Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro will cap off both the Golden Tour and the series overall. Mammoth Mountain’s legendary “kitty litter” terrain and technical courses will challenge the best of the best, pushing top athletes to the limit in their push to the podium. “In the whole evolution of Enduro racing we are very excited to be a part of the Golden Tour to help bring races like this to riders,” says Kamikaze Bike Games Director Bill Cockroft. He adds, “While Enduro racing is not new by any means, it is still evolving, both riders and events, and we are excited to participate in that evolution.”
Not racing? Come cheer on the racers with fellow enduro enthusiasts, or follow the racing action as it unfolds by following CES on Facebook, Instagram (@CA_Enduro / #calienduro) and Twitter (@CA_Enduro / #calienduro). Coverage will feature interviews, bike checks, course previews and more!