On Nov 4th, tucked away in the foothills of the Palomar mountains between San Diego and L.A., Class 1 pedal-assist eMTB racing took another big step forward. The BOOGALOO eMTB Race presented by Troy Lee Designs and Bosch eBike Systems, made its 2nd and final stop for the 2017 season, in conjunction with the 4 & 8 hr SoCal Endurance Series.
This 2nd leg of the 2017 Boogaloo featured long twisty climbs, hair-pin singletrack downhills, pump track style table-tops, and rhythm sections for some fun air time. This hybrid cross-country/enduro style course (three minutes per lap) was a big change from the short & tight BMX-style course of the Mammoth Boogaloo, and allowed racers to put their endurance, handling skills, and pedal assisted electric drives even more to the test. Both races sold out, with over 60 athletes from Hollywood to San Diego competing for the $2000 cash purse, power tools, and Boogalicous glory.
The event started Friday afternoon with manufacturers Bulls, Haibike, Raleigh Electric, and Specialized offering demos for racers to try out the various bikes and pick their favorites. The bikes featured systems from Bosch, Brose, and Yamaha, all certified Class 1 eBike system suppliers (pedal-assist, 20 mph cut-off speed).
On Saturday at 2:30, the flags dropped with the Amateur "Race of Champions" leading things off. 36 racers competed in four separate heats for the top 16 slots in the main. In the end, Blake Wray, Keith Loonsfoot, Connor Solis, Charles Cofer, & Dylan Granberg beat out the competition for the 5 coveted podium spots & drills.
The Pro race was a spectacle to see. Racing legends like Brian Lopes, Richie Schley, Victor Sheldon, and Stikman battled alongside up and coming young bucks like Evander Hughes, Max Lee, and Max Sedlak. In the end, the podium was pretty well split by both. Victor Sheldon was out for blood that day to regain the Boogaloo crown he lost to Evander Hughes just two months prior at the Mammoth Boogaloo. While he couldn't quite catch Evander's commanding speed in the qualifying Heat, he sprang out of the gates in the Main to grab the early lead and never lost it. In the final fifth lap, Evander was nearly on Victor's rear wheel, but suffered a spill on the downhill run that sealed Victor's victory, and Evander's #2 spot. Spencer Rathkamp, Brian Lopes, and Chappy Fiene beat out the other ten Pro finalists to place third, fourth, and firth respectively.
All in all, the Boogaloo was a bonafide good time not only for the racers, but the hundreds of spectators that gathered round the finish line and up the mountain to cheer on their favorite riders. Race results can be found at http://www.socalendurance.net/boogaloo.html.
"So happy how this all worked out this year. I just love these bikes and sharing them with my friends is what makes it awesome." Said Troy Lee, Founder of Troy Lee Designs. "We are all riding more since we got these pedal assist bikes and having a lot of fun. Mixing it up with some racing – because it's in our blood – was the next evolution! We will just keep tweaking the courses and the formats to keep having fun and evolve. Thanks so much to all the racers and Bosch for playing in the dirt with us, see you at the next one!”
"Big thanks to Jason Ranoa and staff at Vail Lake who did a tremendous job hosting this past Boogaloo; Bulls, Haibike, Raleigh Electric, and Specialized for bringing out some great Class 1 eMTBs for the racers; and to Troy and the whole TLD team for bringing so much passion and creativity to this series. We're already working on building out the 2018 series." Said Claudia Wasko, General Manager of Bosch eBike Systems Americas.
The 2018 Boogaloo Series locations have not yet been announced, but current plans are to double in size and scope to four locations and venture beyond California. Stay tuned for more info at www.tldboschboogaloo.com.