Elkhorn Valley Cycling’s off-road team EVCCX-Monster took on a determined effort from Ponca State Park, and the weather, and came out on top with several podiums and, fortunately, no injuries.
Jeremy Cook’s photo of Brad Auen on the “pretty knarly” trails at Ponca.
Rain showers moved across Ponca after most of the Cat 3 racers had finished but soaked the marathon riders and made the start of the Cat 1 and Cat 2 races interesting. But, as the afternoon races wore on, the trail went from slick to super-tacky leaving most riders wanting more of the now-perfect trails. It wasn’t all smiles though as many riders went down on a wooden bridge on the back side of the course. Most made it through with a few bumps and shaken confidence, but other were put out of the race with injuries. Jerry Hoff and Whitney Porn both went down on the bridge but were among the lucky who were up and going again right away.
With this being the Nebraska State Championship, pride was on the line for many riders. It should be noted that only Nebraska residents with annual USA Cycling licenses were eligible for State Championship medals. Consequently some of the team’s winners were not eligible for state medals. EVCCX-Monster finished with two state champions – Jerry Hoff (Cat 2 50+) and Whitney Porn (Cat 2 Women).
One of the big winners of the day was Buddy Houts (of Iowa) who used an overall Cat 2 win as his springboard to Cat 1 racing.
Cat 1 Men
7. Brad Auen 1st Under 29 (Iowa resident)
Cat 2 Men
1. Buddy Houts
4. Sean Moore
10. Brandon Mullins
2. Jerry Hoff (State Champion)
7. Jon Downey
Cat 2 Women
1. Whitney Porn (State Champion)
16. Brian Porn