Yet another GravityEastSeries is in the books, with Neko Mulally and Karen Eagan taking the top spots at Eastern Pennsylvania’s Blue Mountain last weekend.
Sixteen-year-old Mulally (Specialized Team America) went two-for-two while Eagan (Sam Adams Brewery) scored a major upset at the first major gravity race at the new Vertical Earth Mountain Bike Park at Blue Mountain.
A freshly cut track combined with overnight rain meant a lot of mud on Sunday. But, like the dual slalom course the day before, riders praised the course.
Coming into the race, Dawn Bourque (Rhino Bike Works) was undefeated in Gravity East racing this year and, after winning the dual slalom on Saturday night, was the prohibitive favorite. But Eagan, working to improve on her streak of five-straight runner-up finishes broke through to win her first Gravity East Downhill with a time of 4:13.84, just .02 of a second shy of one full second in front of second place Bourque.
The victory was especially sweet for Eagan, who said she came to the event specifically to race, “someplace I’ve never ridden before.”
For Mulally, however, Blue Mountain is like a second home. The mountain is only about 35 miles northeast of his home in Reading, Pennsylvania, and he has been spending many evenings helping the Vertical Earth Crew fine-tune their trails and the dual slalom course.
Chris Higgerson, for one, probably wishes Mulally would focus a bit more on what other 16 year olds do. The Von Cooper Productions rider lost out to Mulally by just .58 of a second, giving Mulally his second win of the weekend after he triple-jumped his way to the dual slalom on Saturday.
On the open-faced section of the mostly tree-lined course, Mulally took an outside line that was visibly faster, even from the bottom of the hill; some observers said he looked like he was riding a motorcycle. Then, at the bottom of the course, he put on a show by launching off the drop and roller combination.