Local junior cyclists travelled to Enumclaw, Wash. (40 miles south of Seattle) to compete in the May 17-18 Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race. The three-stage event included a time trial, criterium and road race.
The time trial was a fast 6.5 mile U-shaped course around Mt. Peak. It was mostly flat with one rolling hill and three technical turns. Isaac van der Vliet, riding with the local Trail Bicycles Team, competed in the Junior C Boys (13-14 years) and finished with the fastest time, beating Kelowna’s Conor Martin by 18 seconds.
The criterium was on a 0.92 mile figure-eight course through downtown Enumclaw. It was a flat course with a series of technical turns. A number of attacks in the Junior C Boys made it an exciting race with van der Vliet showing his dominance in the sprint for the finish line taking first place over NW Washington Rad Racing rider Cameron Croix.
The road race was on a rolling course including a three-mile climb up Mud Mountain. Martin put the pressure on up the climb, trying to put some time between himself and van der Vliet. The two riders pulled away from the rest of the field but Martin wasn’t able to shake van der Vliet, who picked up the pace and overtook Martin in the sprint for the finish.
With his strong performance in all three stages, van der Vliet took the Yellow Jersey, finishing first overall, his second junior stage race win for the season.
Trail Bicycles junior women, Gillian Ellsay and Kia van der Vliet, competed in the Women’s Category 3 race against fellow Team BC girls and a number of Washington State women. The Category 1, 2 and 3 women all started together in the criterium and the road race and the Professional Category 1 women kept the pace high.
An unfortunate crash near the start of the criterium split the pack. Van der Vliet and a number of other women, who were caught behind the crash, were never able to get back up to the main field. Ellsay rode well near the front of the pack, finishing in third place.
Mud Mountain caused the pack to break up in the road race, the strength of the more experienced women keeping the pace high and a number of riders were dropped. Ellsay and van der Vliet were with the Elite women on the third time up the climb after more than a quarter of the field pulled out and the girls finished the hard day well. Ellsay finished in sixth place and van der Vliet finished 14th.
Trail Bicycles mountain biker Evan Lucksay, competing in his first road race in the Junior D boys (10-12 years) category, gained some valuable experience, finishing fourth overall. Other local juniors included Jessica Reynolds finishing first overall in the Junior B Girls (15-16 years), James Grant competing with the Category 3 Men and Mark Grant competing with the Category 4/5 Men.
– Trail Bicycles