WATERVILLE VALLEY, NH – Bryn Atkinson landed in the United States early Saturday morning, and landed on the podium in the late afternoon. Flying in from Australia for the inaugural Pinnacle Bike Championship, Bryn braved the cool temperatures and bested the field, finishing first at this one of a kind event at Waterville Valley Resort. Mick Hannah, also from Australia, and France’s Fabien Cousinie finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. It was a field comprised of riders from all over the world competing for a $10,000 first prize that was well earned by Atkinson.
Bryn timed the start perfectly taking the lead, never to be relinquished. The ten at a time format of the race lead to real drama amongst the riders behind him. Mick Hannah was able to utilize the wide natural terrain course to his advantage. Having only managed a 6th place start going into the first section down Upper Bobby’s, Mick was able to move by local New England rider Ray Syron to get himself into 5th place by the halfway mark on the course. Then, coming over the second big jump feature on Upper Sells, Mick moved himself alongside American rider Graeme Pitts as they dropped into the steepest part of the course on Utter Abandon and closed the door to take away 4th place on a high speed right hand corner. In front of Mick, his teammate Fabien Cousinie was under the gun from Matt Simmonds as Simmonds got by Cousinie in a tight right hand corner also on Utter abandon. Just one corner later Fabien passed Matt back heading into the fastest section of the course. Little did either of them know that Mick Hannah was right behind through the high-speed section into Exhibition. He passed both of them around the outside to lock down 2nd place within sight of the finish line.
For the Pinnacle team and most of the racers, their first time in Waterville Valley was a memorable one. “We’ve put in a lot of work and had a lot of fun putting on this event,” said Mark Rodgers, founder of the Pinnacle Bike Championship. “It’s amazing to get a race this unique off the ground and we couldn’t have asked for better hosts. Waterville Valley Resort has provided non-stop support and all the riders and their teams and families have had an amazing time here. We’re looking forward to bringing the race back and making it bigger and better for next year.”
One rider who wasn’t new to Waterville Valley was local legend Ben Moody. At 39 years old, Ben is a veteran of the mountain bike circuit but jumped at the chance to take part in an event like this. While the rest of the field, more than ten years younger than him, was dressed head to toe in finely tuned riding equipment, Ben came from his home in Rumney, NH sporting a flannel, Carhartt pants, and sneakers. Ben still outperformed most of the field and found himself in the Finals. Though he finished 6th, the hometown crowd had plenty of applause as he crossed the finish line into the corral.
For Waterville Valley Resort, Pinnacle brought a new brand event for visitors in the Valley to discover. “It’s great to have such a new and exciting event here in Waterville,” said Chris Sununu, General Manager of Waterville Valley Resort. “We have a passionate community of mountain bikers here and we’re proud to bring an event of this caliber to the mountain. This race was a unique challenge for us as our staff is a bit more used to events on snow rather than dirt, but everyone here put in effort to make it work. Mark Rodgers has been a terrific guest and a pleasure to work with. We’re very pleased with the buzz Pinnacle created here and everyone who attended seemed to have a great time. We look forward to hosting again next year.”
Waterville Valley was designed and planned specifically as a self-contained four seasons resort. Waterville Valley Resort offers 220 skiable acres and is New Hampshire’s Family Resort. The ski area peaks at 4,004 feet with a vertical drop of 2,020 feet, 50 trails and 11 lifts. In the summer, Waterville Valley Resort maintains a system of trails for mountain biking and hiking, as well as facilities for golf and tennis. Lodging options include country inns, condominiums and all-suite hotels. Dining options include traditional favorites and elegant dining.
For more information on Waterville Valley Resort visit waterville.com or call 1-800-GO-VALLEY.