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Woodall & Berger claim FSC titles

Woodall & Berger claim FSC titles

Specialized Florida State Championship series #8 + Coconut Cup MU + E MTB #5 – Santos Trails – Ocala, Fl

What a fun, fulfilling and competitive season this was, the weather was awesome (well at least pretty close to awesome) for most of the races and the attendance and enthusiasm was a welcome sight after being two years into the pandemic. The Santos trails are always popular and since we were not expecting rain (more on that later) we set up the course on the technical and long side (hey this was the final race after all) with sections like “magic mountain” and “John Brown” as well as “sink hole” added up to a 7.5 mile race course. Every time we ride these trails please think about the folks that made them possible, the Ocala Mountain Bike Association or OMBA they do a crazy amount of work day after day week after week, year after year building and maintaining this 80 mile plus trail system and don’t forget the annual Fat Tire Festival will be returning the first weekend of March which is a major fund raiser for the club.

There was plenty of drama on hand with close points battles in many of the classes and one of the closer ones to watch was the men’s elite class as multi time state champ Ryan Woodall (pictured) was carrying a 2 point lead into the race on his home turf while challenger and also multi time state champ Bob McCarty was trying to take home the title for 2021. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see a head to head battle as McCarty had a stick jam in his chain ring shortly after the start and although Bob got his bike moving again and pushed hard the gap was too much while Ryan pulled out an early lead that was never seriously challenged. In the women’s top field Simone Berger claimed the red plate again and the championship by virtue of a healthy win on the day. The team championship was claimed by “Alex’s Bicycle Pro shop / McCarty Training” with 913 points on the season.

Ok now the rain part… yes it did rain (it had not rained for weeks BTW) but for a few short minutes it came down hard on the white wave competitors making especially their second lap a slippery challenge. The racers put their heads down and got the job done however as the sun once again started to shine towards the end of the wave. At 2pm the E MTB race was set to start and you could tell by the looks on the faces of some of the racers that it was going to be a little tense racing on the wet stuff but they also shook it off and actually turned some amazing lap times during their two lap event. Nick Mackie and Kelly Lalima swept their respective classes and also walked away with the first ever FSC E MTB series championships.

The FSC banquet was held at the Ocala Hilton and it was a packed house as over two hundred racers and families filled the hall to celebrate the athletes and their seasons. In addition to all of the championships and top five awards there were also special awards for the series and they were as follows…

Rider of the Year male: Bob McCarty

Rider of the Year female: Simone Berger

Most Improved Rider: Brent Waddell

Most Improved Female: Bavie Grafals

Most Improved Junior: Angel Rodriguez

ESPO award (sportsmanship): Valentin Buda

Legacy award: Ryan Woodall

Best Supporting Cast: PFN Speedlab

Many thanks to all of the fine sponsors and volunteers that made it happen.

Congrats to all and have a great holiday season!

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