After SEER’s round 4, the River Monster GPS in June in Virginia, the series continued with a hard enduro race on Labor Day weekend in Kentucky. 2021 was the 4th time having the Saddleback Xtreme (SBX) event in Bedford.
Quinn Wentzel came to the race with the overall series lead, challenging the rider with the most wins in 2021, Ryder LeBlond.
What Was The Race Format?
The Saddleback Xtreme, SEER’s round 5, took place north of Louisville, Kentucky. The race time was the SEER standard of three-hours. The goal of each racer was to complete as many laps, and/ or reach as many checks as possible in the given time. Racers had four opportunities to get scored on the 13 mile lap. In a SEER race, a rider gets scored at the last checkpoint he/ she reaches. You do not have to complete an entire lap to get scored. You just have to make it to a checkpoint 🙂
The Saddleback club acquired 800 new acres of property this year, so the start was moved to a new location. Racers lined up in rows based on their classes. After a dead engine start, riders looped through a grass track, before they entered the woods. An enduro cross section was added into the second lap.
Who Came To Race?
120 racers from 20 different states such as Colorado, Texas, and Maryland travelled to race the SBX. They all came highly motivated to tackle the course and see how far they will make it.
What Did The Course Look Like?
During race week, the remnants of hurricane Ida dumped rain in the area. The wind and sun dried up the top sections but the bottoms where still wet. Bikes churned up the dirt and brought the moisture out which made the off camber sections tricky.
The trails provided plenty of rocks, ravines, boulders and creek beds. Gold and Silver riders got to tackle the hardest sections. After a check point they were sent into Good News ravine. Between very gnarly sections, racers enjoyed flowing single track. But overall there was not much time to recover from the difficult parts! Past another check they had the Hulk ravine waiting, and if they made it to another split, Alex’s hill was the one to conquer. Bronze and Iron class bypassed the most technical sections but still got pushed to their mental and physical limits!
Was The Course Spectator Friendly?
Yes, the course had plenty of spectator friendly sections worth watching. The enduro cross was right next to the parking lot, which made it a cool attraction. The temperature was in the low 60s in the morning and reached the upper 70s by mid race. Perfect conditions to watch and cheer at a SEER race!
Who Were The Winners?
Overall/ Gold Podium: Ryder LeBlond, Quinn Wentzel, Jackson Davis
Silver 16-34 Podium: Greg Nolf, Alex Aebersold, Gregg Murray
Silver 35+ Podium: Thad Huff, Jeffrey Hagewood, Michael Manuel
Bronze 16-34 Podium: Austin Millwood, Alex Workman, Brandon Blakely
Bronze 35+ Podium: Kevin Wolfel, Tim Sizemore, Matt Adams
Iron Podium: Tim Johnson, Hunter Scott, Gage Wiley
SEER series podium leading up to the final round: Ryder LeBlond, Quinn Wentzel, Jeremiah Burkhart
Special thanks to the SBX team for their months of hard work to put this race together! As always, a race would not be possible without the countless volunteers. We really appreciate your time and efforts!!
Official Race Pics
Patsy Davis SmugMug Saddleback Xtreme
Watch countless minutes of GoPro footage posted on Youtube channels of our racers! Here is one of them
Text by Lisi Bratcher and Jamey Aebersold
Photo courtesy of Patsy Davis