The 2011 Over the Hump Mountain Bike Race Series presented by Verizon is in the books, and it was a GOOD ONE! The finale, of like all good finales, was the final cherry on top of a perfectly great show to begin with.
There are so many stories to tell, and epic battles fought out on the course, I’m not sure how to start or which ones to leave off so they will actually fit on a page. For sure the pictures Frank Villalvazo took last night will give a better summary than limping words trying to describe it all.
With at least 900 spectators and 400 racers the finale was a stage set for some great competition. 40 exhibitors and sponsors encircled the exhibit area, all enjoying the energy and pomp and circumstance of a Grande Finale like we experienced at Irvine Lake. This year’s had even more energy than last year. Truly the best thing about Over the Hump, in John’s and my perspective, is that Over the Hump feels like family. Lots of competition, but lots of fun, hugs, and celebration every week. I’m sure if half of the podium boys and girls could have pulled their supporters up on the hay-bails doubling as a podium, the entire audience would have been up on the podium throughout the night.
The Sport Two Guys kicked off a 1,2,3 finish all wearing the Verizon Leader Jersey at the start tied with points, and in the end coming down to a tie breaker that ended up being settled by there most 1sts, then seconds, etc. Bill Pointer was 1st, Joel Albrecht 2nd, and Daniel Digiacomo 3rd. Bill gave kuddos to both his rivals and truly shared exactly 431 points with 2nd place Joel Albrecht.
In the newly added Farmers & Merchant Single Speed class, it had been battled out all season long between Heath Masters and Eric Williams, but came down to the final race as well. Where Eric wore the Verizon Leader Jersey out, and ended up keeping it on his shoulders for the finale.
Among other festivities we honored Sean Smith as the Oakley Jupiter Award Recipient, for his inspiration as the impetus behind Linked Cycling volunteering to lead our kids race every week, and his valor as a man bailing his bike mid-race on June 21, to help an injured rider to safety after a crash mid-race. Without Linked and Smith’s efforts throughout the season we would not have had a functional kids race 12 races in the 2011 summer. Oakley was onsite in a big way to present the award.
And then we of course ended the night with a bang up sensational celebration of all of our winners for the summer. Series leaders through 3rd place collected the best of 9 races, and then took to the podium so in a huge tribute to the racers who raced and won we celebrate them all. Juniors through Pros:
As you’ve heard us say, and we truly believe, Over the Hump is a total blessing (particularly to us). To walk (ride) life with an amazing group of people, and get to play with bikes and friends on Tuesday Nights all summer long is truly John’s and my privilege. So thanks for honoring us, by joining our Family of Over the Hump.
Orange County Parks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy, our friend Adam Maywhort, and Irvine Lake. Without their efforts, permits, land use, support, manpower, and equipment we could not have pulled off a race that we think (along with Mountain Bike Action Magazine) makes the SoCal Riding Community a better place.
Here’s to a great summer and another season of Over the Hump that rocked the world (at least ours!).