2016 Specialized South Eastern Regional Championship series #9 / GSC #6 - Unicoi State Park Trails - Helen, GA 7-23/24-16.
A perfect ending for both series as the SERC and the GSC finals were held in Helen, Ga at on of the most famous trails in the country (site of the NORBA nationals back in the mid ninties). The very demanding course features 8.5 miles of climbs and decents and has very little flat ground to speak of and of course the cold creek crossing. A rain on Saturday afternoon had the riders wondering about the trail condtions but by race on Sunday the course was in good shape and only had a few wet spots in the low lying areas.
On Saturday the SERC bonus short track took place featured some fast action with several different lead changes in both the white and yellow waves but in the end it was Sean Hulse winning the 10min plus one lap white wave and Chris Lessing taking the win in the 15 min plus one lap yellow wave.
Sunday the race day kicked off with the kids races on the same course as the previous days short track and includes a tough grassy climb each lap and then at 9:30 am the yellow wave hit the legendary XC course and the top riders faced 3 laps and around 1000 ft of climbing per lap. In the end the top male racer was Diego Vasquez Vargas and the top female with a perfect sweep of both the SERC and GSC series was Kayley Burdine.
The Protano Law $50 holeshot belonged to Jason Bewley for his fast start in the 40-49 cat 1 class. After the racing on Sunday the attention turned to the series Banquet hall as nearly 150 attendies filled the Unicoi State Park lodge for a delicious buffet and plenty of bench racing about the season. Besides the champions crowned and all of the prizes and awards to the top three in each class there were special awards for the most improved rider (MIR), most improved Junior, rider of the year (ROY) male and female and sportsmanship. Dustin Greer and Kayley Burdine took the honors as riders of the year male and female respectively, Garrison Minter won MIR as the GSC Junior, Alex Esteban was MIR Junior in the SERC while Pete Edminson and Chris Lessing were the MIR for the SERC and GSC respectively. JJ Swain (SERC) and Bobby Fishbough (GSC) were given the sportsmanship awards, congrats to all!
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