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Southridge USA Winter Series Presented by Shimano
Round #4
Fontana , CA
February 19-20, 2011

Even with the threat of a huge winter storm coming our way we still went about our business laying out another Super D course in Fontana, California for round 4 of the Southridge USA Winter Series presented by Shimano. Last year Eric Carter stepped up to design the Super D courses, which were a huge improvement over previous years. I knew we could do even more with the Super D so I have stepped in and have been designing the last 3 events. Judging by the over whelming response we have been getting it looks like the new Super D courses are a huge hit. Each race we have tweaked and adjusted the course to try and find a good balance of all the ingredients that make up a good Super D. Check the Super D page on my site where I go over in depth what I think makes a good Super D.

For this weekends course we extended the climb just a little bit so that we could access a whole other section of the mountain that had a bunch sweet rollers, some railing turns and couple rock drop off launches. Nothing over the top, but enough to keep everyone on their toes. We actually made a few alternative lines in case some riders didn't feel comfortable riding the drops, but it turned out everyone racing took all the main lines. On race day to my surprise we wake up to patchy blue skies! We got heavy rain through the night, but because of all the decomposed granite out in the Fontana hills I knew were going to have great conditions. Once out on the course my thoughts were confirmed…the dirt was perfect! While doing final set up my crew and I just couldn't resist carving in new berms and adding in a few new jumps. We actually got so carried away that a few us ended up pretty late for practice. I was really looking forward to getting in a few runs, but at least I got a chance to session some of the new sections that were insanely fun to ride. My Santa Cruz Blur LTC was right at home on the terrain and my WTB Bronsons were hooking up like eagle claws in the dirt. My tires even felt good crossing over some of the solid sheets of granite we have in the course. Although I was hoping to get the course more dialed I still put in what I felt to be a very good run, but the Veteran Eric Carter took it to me and the rest of the pack once again. Foes rider Jon Buckell nipped me by less than a second for 2nd place wth with a 5:54.80 while I was 3rd with KHS ripper Logan Binggeli taking 4th and Stephen Smith 5th. Because this course was such a hit with the riders, race promoter Donny Jackson decided it would be a good idea to run the same course for the finals in two weeks. So, it looks like we will run the same course, but with a couple minor tweaks for the finals. So if you are in the Southern California area and have the first weekend in March available I highly recommend you come on out and give it a try. Winter Series finas is March 5th, 2011.

Check out www.southridgeusa.com for more info.

I would like to give special thanks to the guys that have stepped up to help make these Super D courses so good. There is no way I could have pulled off these courses without their help!

Winning Pro Time: 5:46.08
Total Descent: Approx: 900 feet
Total Ascent: Approx: 150 feet
Total Length: 1.5 miles

Pro Mens Super D Podium:

Pro Mens DH Podium:


Super D mid way down the course. Photo: Mike Lords
 Super D Results - Top 5 - Pro Men  Downhill Results - Top 10 - Pro Men
  1 Eric Carter 05:46.08  
  2 Jon Buckell 05:54.80  
  3 Joe Lawwill 05:55.49  
  4 Logan Binggeli 05:57.86  
  5 Stephen Smith 06:49.43  
  1 Eric Carter 02:11.79  
  2 Waylon Smith 02:12.20  
  3 Logan Binggeli 02:13.24  
  4 Joe Lawwill 02:14.12  
  5 JD Swanguen 02:15.36  
  6 David Klaassen.. 02:15.61  
  7 John Keep 02:16.26  
  8 Kevin Aiello 02:18.39  
  9 Blake Carney 02:20.12  
  10 Jon Buckell 02:20.30  
Sucking up the big slab just before gearing up for the sprint across the road. Photo: Jason Cleghorn

Downhill Racing...

In years past I try and do all the Fontana Winter Series downhills, but this year for various reasons it just hasnt been in the cards to race both the Super D's on Saturday and the donwhills on Sunday. But this weekend was differen't. After the overnight rain and the blue skies I awoke to, there was no way i was going to pass up racing the Fontana donwhill in these perfect conditions. This was actually the first chance I had to race my new Santa Cruz carbon Nomad. Ever since getting a Nomad I have ridden it at Fontana rather then putting together a full blown DH bike. Even though there is usually a couple trecherous sections i have always felt the Nomad is more than enough. So anyways once on the course it was clear the Nmad was the bike to have! Although a little tired from setting up and racing the Super D the day before I put together a few practice runs and got all my lines set. Come race time I was ready and was able to piece together a solid run. Although I ran out of steam on the bottom pedal section I felt good about my run. It was a lot fo fun but I have to say I prefer the style of the SUper D better. Really the Fontana downhill course are are like a mini Super D with biggest difference is the Downhill races actually have less downhill, actually it has less of everything. The downhill courses have long been touted as training courses for the nationals, but due to the fact the National downhill circuit is barely around anymore the Fontana downhill is the only downhill many racers do anymore. With the short nature of these courses you are forced to go all out from top to bottom. Even though Super D has more climbing and more pedaling sections its long enough that you can pace yourself and you dont have to red line it the whole way which to me makes for a more enjoyable experience. Also doing the Super D gives you way more track time and more downhilling time...you just have to pedal a little bit to get to it all. I will try and do some more of the Fontana downhills, but the Super D's are taking priority!

-Joe Lawwill

Surveying the course with my Santa Cruz Carbon Nomad Photo: Mike Lords
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