Switching Gears

Pro GRT downhill to descend Killington Resort at Ramshead

By Ariel Kent

An exciting and fast-paced weekend is ahead of us in our little mountain town. This weekend we welcome a ProGRT Downhill Race to Killington. Here professional downhill mountain bikers take to the newly created downhill track on Ramshead to battle it out for the fastest time down the mountain.  Often times big names show up to these races. Names like Jill Kintner and Kiran MacKinnon often show up. But the biggest buzz for this event is the rumor that the “big man,” Aaron Gwinn, may show up. Now if you don’t know who that is, I encourage you to do a quick google search (he’s quite the celebrity in this arena).

The track is set on Ramshead and is new this year. Luckily (and unluckily, as I got hurt) I had the chance to preview the track in early July as it was a stage in the Eastern States Cup Enduro.

Personally, I felt the track was not challenging enough to host a Pro GRT Race or even a national event, as is planned in the next few years. The track is long, flowy and fast with minimal technical sections but lots of off-camber loam (soft dirt made up of pine needles and small decomposing roots.) Loam is common in areas out West, in particular the North Shore of Vancouver. While I like this type of riding, I hope that the resort doesn’t invest to much into the development of flow trails and finds the happy mixture of both technical trail and progressive flow. Right now Killington is still stretching it’s legs and working through the growing pains and I’m sure it will offer a good combination of the two types of riding.

That being said, I’m excited to see this race come to Killington. It needed to happen and I hope it draws a large crowd to the area.

If you’d like to see professional downhillers ride a speeds you thought impossible on a mountain bike, then I encourage you to attend the race this weekend. The event will take place in and around the Ramshead Parking lot with a grandstand viewing area and the possibility to walk up the track to better viewing areas. You won’t want to miss this event!

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