Liv athletes Kaysee Armstrong, Crystal Anthony, and Serena Bishop Gordon competed in multiple races over the weekend, including the Epic Rides series Carson City Off-Road race in Carson City, Nevada and the inaugural Best of Both race in Bend, Oregon. Over the course of the weekend, all had their turn on the podium with a pair of fifth-place finishes in Carson City split between Armstrong and Anthony and a win in Bend for Gordon.
Friday kicked off the weekend of racing with the Epic Rides Fat Tire Crit through the city streets of Carson City. The one-mile circuit made for high-speed, aggressive racing for the women’s pro field. Racing aboard her Pique Advanced, Armstrong went all-out – even holding onto the top of her fork for maximum aerodynamic position on the straightaways. Teammate Anthony finished just behind in sixth.
Jumping from Nevada to Oregon, the Best of Both race took place on Saturday in Bend. The first race of its kind in the region, the day began at the Wanoga Snow Park with a 62-mile road cycling course which Gordon tackled aboard her Langma Advanced. At the end of the route that navigated Bend’s volcanic lake-country and Mount Bachelor with 3,500 feet of climbing, Gordon led the rest of the competition by a substantial margin. Riders then swapped road bikes for mountain in a triathlon-style transition zone and departed on 23 miles of singletrack with 2,200 feet of climbing through the Deschutes National Forest. Gordon increased her lead by another six minutes on her Pique Advanced, finishing the 85-mile day a whopping 23 minutes ahead of her nearest competition.
The weekend wrapped on Sunday back in Nevada with the Carson City Off-Road Pro Backcountry race. The 52-mile course guided riders from Carson City up 5,280 feet of elevation gain to some of Lake Tahoe’s most epic vistas and classic singletrack trails before dropping back down to the start/finish. During the four and a half hours spent on their Pique Advanced mountain bikes, Armstrong and Anthony experienced every type of weather, from rain at the start to snow at the top of the highest peak. But it was the altitude, not the weather, which was the most challenging aspect of the race. After all was said and done, Anthony crossed the finish line on the podium in fifth place, moving up to second overall in the series. Armstrong finished just seven minutes back of her teammate in eighth.
The final round of the Epic Series returns to sea level – Bentonville, Arkansas in October. Up next, Armstrong returns to her stage racing background, setting out to conquer the BC Bike Race, an eight-day stage race through the epic terrain of Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler, July 6-13.