Factory Racing Crosses The Border To Battle Born

May 17 — 2016

After hundreds of driving miles, pounds of El Salchichero beef jerky, and a few bumps and bruises, Santa Cruz Factory Racing returned from the Battle Born Enduro with solid results and newfound respect for the desert terrain that resides just over the California border in Reno, NV.

The second round of the California Enduro Series, held at Peavine Peak, provided an interesting juxtaposition — overlooking endless breakfast buffets, bright lights, and raucous card halls of the Reno strip, the race offered grueling desert trails that tested the team’s lungs and handling skills as racers faced gusty winds, unrelenting sun, and terrain that mixed sand, gravel, and some nasty rocks. If the shin-slicing shrubs and elevation weren’t enough, the course challenged the athletes’ fitness with close to 30 miles of pedaling and 4,000 feet of climbing.

“The Battle Born course is sketchy and physical.  At race pace when you’re pushing the limit, the trails become difficult to navigate with the loose corners, tall grass, and sniper rocks,” commented Scott Chapin, the team’s captain. With a 9th place finish in Pro Men and an overall time of 24:45.5, Chapin helped add to the team’s score for the series, bringing it up to 10th overall.

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Patrick D. Rosso
Scott Chapin looked mighty fast tearing through the final gully on stage five

“I know I can improve on my fitness a bit; being able to stand and sprint out of every corner and being flat out on the gas is not something you can just hop off the couch and repeat 100 times during race day,” added Chapin. “And just one piece of advice from a guy who definitely loves to drink beer; save it for after the podium.”

Bo MacArthur also represented Factory Racing in the Pro category and finished 21st with a time of 25.35.1. The two standouts of the weekend were Kyle “Speedbump” Harder and Chris Seymour. The teammates went back and forth in Expert Men 18-29 the entire race. Harder got the better of Seymour in the end and finished fifth with a time of 26:05.2.

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Patrick D. Rosso
Kyle Harder pulled away from the pack Saturday and finished fifth in Expert Men 18-29.

Seymour, however, was right behind his compatriot, with a sixth-place finish and a time of 26:20.7. “Some of my training has been paying off. I had a good mixture of line choices/equipment to get through the six stages with no crashes or bike issues, but it showed me I still have a long way to go to get to the next level,” Seymour reflected after the race. “I’m looking forward to the Ashland Mountain Challenge. I simply love riding up there and the trails require you to be a really well rounded rider to do well.”

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Patrick D. Rosso
Chris Seymour definitely earned plenty of style points over the weekend.

Kyle Bowman, not one to be left behind, finished just a few back from Harder and Seymour, in eighth with a time of 26:45.6. Cory Cuisinot, who suffered a series of debilitating flats, still managed to score solid times on the other stages and finished 32nd with a time of 28:54.8.

Sam Markling, who always seems to have the most fun on the course, faced the Open Men category alone and finished 14th with a time of 27.15.3.

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Patrick D. Rosso
Sam Markling was in the zone as he tore up stage two.

Made up of Santa Cruz Bicycle employees, friends, and family, the in-house team aims to ride good trail, have plenty of fun, and make a few friends along the way. Whether it is the competitors who lend a hand out on the course or new amigos who let the team crash at their sweet Lake Tahoe pad, it’s the people that make Santa Cruz Factory Racing what it is. In addition to friends, sponsors have been critical to keeping racers’ bikes and bodies running well. Thanks to Santa Cruz Bicycles, We Are Californian Grown, El Slachichero, Farmhouse Cultures, Uncommon Brewers, and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery.

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Zach Wick
Despite the harsh terrain of the peak, Peavine offered plenty of gorgeous views.

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