Big mountains mean big results for Santa Cruz Factory Racing who properly “represented” at the VP EnduroFest June 25. Held at the China Peak Mountain Resort in Lakeshore, CA, the mountain is a second home of sorts, complete with recent trail work by teammates and a new section of single track named in their honor. Clear blue skies and unrelenting sun on Saturday welcomed the team’s top finishers: Kathy Pruitt, Kyle Bowman, and Evan Turpen. Pruitt slaughtered the Pro Women field and took first with an overall time a minute‐plus faster than second place. The seasoned ripper leaned back and took the course in stride, getting over the granite with her Juliana Roubion, catching her breath where she could on the 8,700‐foot peak. “The mountain was dusty. There were a ton of boulders and you’re basically battling your bike and the terrain the whole time,” Pruitt commented as she enjoyed her post race beer. “It was tight. There was a lot of light and dark spots; you just had to be ok with not being able to see where you were going.”
Kyle Bowman, who has had a rash of eighth place wins, stepped up his game and with a bit of the Santa Cruz spice took third in Expert Men 19‐29. “It was loose, drifty and I really tried to not pedal so I could be fresh for the technical stuff,” explained Bowman. “Technical races like this are great and I’m really looking forward to the Ashland Mountain Challenge and hanging with the Marklings.”
Turpen, who is basically the closest thing you can be to a local at China Peak without actually living there living there, pushed it and took fourth in Pro Men. A new face on the Enduro World Series circuit, Turpen said what he has learned during the tour has paid off. “It helps me take things a little more seriously. It doesn’t take the fun out, but it just helps me have fewer excuses to not eat right or not take care of my bike,” added Turpin, who helped build a number of the trails competitors raced on over the weekend. With close to 350 racers, there was plenty of competition Saturday.
Scott Chapin took eighth in Pro Men, while Markling battled it out in Open Men and also got eighth. In Expert Men 19‐29 a number of Factory Racing riders turned out and decided to hunt as a pack, both during the race and in the standings. Cory Cuisinot took 12th, followed by Chris Seymour in 13th and Kyle Harder in 14th. Nic Bean, the newest addition to the team and the factory floor, suffered a mechanical on Stage 3 and wasn’t able to make up the time. He placed 14th in Expert Boys U18.
Despite a day of racing, there was still more on the menu as the team retired to the comforts and the hospitality of Evan Turpen and Margaux Elliott. S’mores, El Salchichero meat, and plenty of Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery beer.
Scott Chapin and Amanda Schraper living the lifestyle