The 5th of 6 rounds of the California Enduro Series and 7th of 9 North American Enduro Tour (NAET) race took place at the Northstar Resort, situated between Truckee, CA and Lake Tahoe last weekend.

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Northstar has established bike park trails and with stacked field of almost 40 pro men and 12 pro women, along with talented junior, expert, sport and beginner riders so the weekend was sure to be a good one.

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The race consisted of 6 stages over two days of racing. The format was partial lift-assist with a good amount of climbing, but not a bad amount with the temperatures about 23C.

Riders pose for a group shot before Saturday's event.
Riders pose for a group shot before Saturday’s event…
...then head out in waves to climb to the top of stage #1.
…then head out in waves to climb to the top of stage #1.
After getting to the top there can be a bit of a line.  Racing is 'first-come-first-served' here so there was a mix of pros and amateur riders already on stage 1.
After getting to the top there can be a bit of a line. Racing is ‘first-come-first-served’ here so there was a mix of pros and amateur riders already on stage 1.
Cody Kelley flows through the top of stage #1
Cody Kelley flows through the top of stage #1.
Jeremiah Newman powers into the wood on stage #1
Jeremiah Newman powers into the woods on stage #1.
Local racer, Tim Krentz, was sitting at the top of a stacked field of pro riders after day #1
Local racer, Tim Krentz, was sitting at the top of a stacked field of pro riders after day #1.
Northstar sits on the north rim of Lake Tahoe and features easily-accessed bike park trails with loose turns and challenging rock sections
Northstar sits on the north rim of Lake Tahoe and features easily-accessed bike park trails with loose turns and challenging rock sections.
Amy Morrison, 3rd place pro women
Amy Morrison, 3rd place pro women.
Adam Snyder on Boondocks
Adam Snyder on ‘Boondocks’.
Kathy Pruitt made every second count, winning the pro women category by 1:45
Kathy Pruitt made every second count, winning the pro women category by 1:45.
Joseph Williams narrowly misses a log after coming unclipped further up the trail, making a miraculous recovery that could have easily turned into disaster
Joseph Williams narrowly misses a log after coming unclipped further up the trail, making a miraculous recovery that could have easily turned into disaster.
Ashli Lewis is fully focussed in this section
Ashli Lewis with the Eye of the Tiger before dropping into ‘Sticks and Stones’.
Curtis Keene glides across the 'Flameout' trail near the top of stage #2
Curtis Keene glides across the ‘Flameout’ trail near the top of stage #2.
Nate Hills on Boondocks, featuring some great natural features., Nate Hills on Stage #3
Nate Hills on ‘Boondocks’, stage #3, featuring some great natural features.
Ashli Lewis on Boondocks
Ashli Lewis on ‘Boondocks’.
Adam Snyder from BMC was 18th overall
Adam Snyder from BMC was 18th overall.
Tim Krentz, lead all of the top pros going into Sunday's final 3 stages., Tim Krentz was racing for the old Chumba Wumba team 15 years ago and he's back on the gas.
Tim Krentz, lead all of the top pros going into Sunday’s final 3 stages. Krentz was racing for the old ‘Chumba Wumba’ team 15 years ago and he’s back on the gas.

When asked how it felt to beat some of the best enduro riders Tim replied, “Well, being 41 years old and beating 22 year-olds I guess that actually feels pretty good but I’ve been doing this a while and sometimes it takes a little bit of wisdom to beat those young guys.”

Zackary Fenn with a nice tuck.
Zackary Fenn with a nice tuck.
Jeremiah Newman was styling off of everything
Jeremiah Newman was styling off of everything.
James Lucchesi
James Lucchesi holding the inside line.
Lauren Gregg negotiates some of the natural rock features on Boondocks
Lauren Gregg negotiates some of the natural rock features on ‘Boondocks’.
Amy Morrison in perfect form
Amy Morrison in perfect form.
Kathy Pruitt dominated every singe stage this weekend
Kathy Pruitt dominated every single stage this weekend.
Casey Coffman
Casey Coffman. It’s been a rough year for CC, who has been battling an old shoulder injury and wasn’t able to make it back up for Sunday’s stages.
Nina Porcelli Fenn, 4th place Pro Women
Nina Porcelli Fenn, 4th place Pro Women.
Under 18 Expert Paul Serra - 3rd place
Under 18 Expert Paul Serra – 3rd place.
Marco Osborne was nipping at the heels of Tim Krentz all weekend but settled for 2nd.
Marco Osborne was nipping at the heels of Tim Krentz all weekend but settled for 2nd.
Kyle Warner jumps out of the rock section and hits backside...
Kyle Warner jumps out of the rock section and hits backside…
...then lays down the power, a good enough effort for 4th place
…then lays down the power, a good enough effort for 4th place.
Boondock had some of these multiple line trails.  Over the rocks?  Or Around them?
‘Boondocks’ had some of these multiple line trails. Over the rocks? Or Around them?
Ariana Altier 2nd place - 6 seconds back
Ariana Altier 2nd place – 6 seconds back.
Cody Kelley helped Marin Bikes snag 3 of the 5 Pro Men podium spots
Cody Kelley helped Marin Bikes snag 3 of the 5 Pro Men podium spots.
After Saturday’s stages it was time for lunch at mid-mountain and a few laps on tomorrow’s tracks.
After Saturday’s stages it was time for lunch at mid-mountain and a few laps on tomorrow’s tracks.
Sam Pinner keeps the Marin  / SR Suntour team ready for action in the pits
Sam Pinner keeps the Marin / SR Suntour team ready for action in the pits.
When the starter counts to zero and it's your turn time, your turn to rip down the trail, you have full focus because the first pedal sets the tone for the rest of the run.  Nate Hills - 'First Pedal'
When the starter counts to zero and it’s your turn time, your turn to rip down the trail, you have full focus because the first pedal sets the tone for the rest of the run. Nate Hills – ‘First Pedal’.
Enduro Jesus, Marshall Eames, can't always wait until Sunday to get his rocks off.
Enduro Jesus, Marshall Eames, can’t always wait until Sunday to get his rocks off.
Alisha Engel is focussed 100% on the trail ahead because on Boondocks there's always something to watch for right around the corner
Alisha Engel is focussed 100% on the trail ahead because on ‘Boondocks’ there’s always something to watch for right around the corner.
Marco Osborne on Flameout
Marco Osborne on ‘Flameout’.
Lila Sarjakoski appears to be laughing but it is more a look of angst as she has been caught by another rider and there is little room to pull over.
Lila Sarjakoski appears to be laughing but it is more a look of angst as she has been caught by another rider and there is little room to pull over.
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Nick DiNapoli - 13th Expert Men
Nick DiNapoli – 13th Expert Men.
Riders make the climb up to another stage
Riders make the climb up to another stage.
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Adam Snyder at the top of Sticks and Stones
Adam Snyder at the top of ‘Sticks and Stones’.
Kyle Warner
Kyle Warner, too. Kyle had seatpost trouble and was racing behind the pros by stage 2 on Sunday. Kyle finished the first stage with his seat in his pocket and was just 2.5 seconds away from winning the stage! This is the stuff legends are made of.
Evan Geankoplis nailed down 3rd place behind Krentz and Osborne
Evan Geankoplis nailed down 3rd place behind Krentz and Osborne.
Kevin Smallman
Kevin Smallman trying to hide behind the trees.
Zachary Bodeman  (OSU-Cascades)
Zachary Bodeman (OSU-Cascades).
The sun always shines on Marshall Eames
The sun always shines on Marshall Eames.
Drew Anderson
Drew Anderson before the wood bridge on ‘Sticks and Stones’.
Amy Morrison - 3rd place Pro Women
Amy Morrison – 3rd place Pro Women.
The jump at the bottom of lower Sticks and Stones is a great way to end.
The jump at the bottom of lower ‘Sticks and Stones’ is a great way to end.
Morgan Brewer averts disaster on the final stages and pulls this one out.
Morgan Brewer averts disaster on the final stages and pulls this one out.
The King and Queen of Northstar Mountain for the weekend are Tim Krentz and Kathy Pruitt
The King and Queen of Northstar Mountain for the weekend are Tim Krentz and Kathy Pruitt.
Pro women podium
Women’s Pro Podium:
1) Kathy Pruitt 2) Ariana Altier 3) Amy Morrison 4) Nina Porcelli Fenn 5) Lauren Gregg.
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This is either part of a secret Marin Bikes handshake or the remnents of a majorly failed high five  attempt.
This is either part of a secret Marin Bikes handshake or the remnants of a failed high five attempt.
Pro Men Podium
Men’s Pro Podium:
1) Tim Krentz 2) Marco Osborne 3) Evan Geankoplis 4) Kyle Warner 5) Cody Kelley
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Parting Shot: A wise man once said:  "Only those studied in the ways of enduro can fall asleep with a beer in their hand."
A wise man once said: “Only those studied in the ways of enduro can fall asleep with a beer in their hand.”

For current NAET standings go to: naetmtb.com/rankings/

California Enduro Series

Words & Photos: Mike Albright

About the author

Steffen Gronegger

Hey guys, I’ve been living on the East Coast of America since summer 2014 and number one on my agenda is to discover the New World! I might have left my roots in Southern Germany far behind, but mountain biking - a sport I’ve been in since the late 80s - has crossed the pond with me. I’m addicted to the kick I get from riding and having fun with great mates on the trails. The Alps used to be my favourite place to ride, so who knows where might be next on the list?

Shredding technical trails right to my absolute limit is how I’d define mountain biking for me. From DH to enduro right through to XC, I can’t get enough of bikes, both riding them and writing about them. The decision to turn my love for bikes into a career is definitely not one I regret, as there’s very little better than being able to ride and be happy – while still paying the bills! I’ve recently started working as the US editor of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine, so I’m constantly on the hunt for new content, amazing stories and, above all, inspirational riders, who keep stoking the fire of the coolest sport in the world! Get in touch and share the love!