2014 NATS Championship Event #1 – Fontana, CA – Feb 8th

The Fontana Southridge Mountain Bike Race series was host to the first NATS event of the season.  The kickoff event to the North American Trials Series saw riders from 7 states across the US come to compete in the California sun.  With sections strung around the race course, warm weather, lots of on looking MTB riders, and a great rider turnout, all the components of an excellent competition were in place.

Beginner and sport riders had 4 sections and competed over three laps to hone their competition skills.  First place of the beginner category went to Dara Norman who rode strong and seemed to never stop pedaling over all the obstacles in his path with true mountain bike style.  In his first competition ever, Derik Sprendo took the sport class win. Riding with a very precise style that mimicked that of a top level rider and with a significantly higher second lap score, it’s clear that once this rider hones his competition skills we will see him move up the ranks.  Expert class always provides a dynamic mix of riders and AJ Chang was triumphant over both the challenging sections and his peers for a well deserved win.

Pro class was an interesting set of variables over top level sections that included a wide assortment of required skills to make it through. The battle for first was clearly between Mike Steidley with Kenda/Haro, Ross Windsor with Webcyclery and Pat Smage with RYP/Sherco. Windsor rode extremely strong shedding only 2 points while loosing traction on the technical hill section and a single point racing against the clock in section 5. Steidley had a single point on his first lap putting his foot down only on the longer power move style section 3. 6x mototrials champion Smage pulled a few moves nobody else could as he brought his moto inspired style and kept his momentum moving through the courses. Moving into the second lap, Steidley edged out the competition for the win followed by Windsor and Smage respectively. Matt Mayer landed in fourth place and the battle for 5th place might have been one of the best of the day. Both Robbie Pfunder of NW Trials and Scott Thompson of Team Trials Alliance were forced into a ride-off after all other methods of tie breaking where exhausted. The two riders opted to ride a sport section with their opposite foot forward. Thompson carefully negotiated the section with a perfect score to see Pfunder followed to a near perfect run that was halted by his wheel getting caught up on the final rock roll down causing him to dam to keep from going over the bars.

1st Dara Norman 35
1st Derik Sprendo 24
2nd Monica Gonderman 45
3rd Todd Day 60
  Andrew Tonkery DNF
  Will Mol DNF
1st AJ Chang 19
2nd William Hendrickson 34
3rd Shaun Goldman 50
1st Mike Steidley 2
2nd Ross Winsor 9
3rd Pat Smage 40
4th Matt Meyer 48
5th Scott Thompson 50
6th Robbie Pfunder 50

A huge thanks to everyone who attended the event and the Fontana Southridge event series for allowing us to use the venue for the competition.