By Joseph Espiritu
The 2009 Gravity East Finals will be held this weekend at Roxbury, New York's Plattekill Mountain Bike Park, which has hosted the series' finals for the past two years.
The young Neko Mulally is expected to cap off a strong series showing by seizing both division championship titles this weekend—unless he is a no-show and therefore could not be declared the season champion. Coming into the finals, Mulally is ranked first in the pro class for dual slalom, and is third in the point standings for DH—trailing closely behind Jason Memmelaar and Alejandro Ortiz. In order for Mulally to move into first in the DH point standings, all he needs to do is place twenty-third or better.
In the women's division, Karen Eagan's win in the dual slalom last weekend at Mount Snow catapulted her to first in pro-class points. All Eagan needs to do to clinch the women's dual-slalom championship this weekend is to finish within the top 10.
In the women's DH, Dawn Bourque—who missed the season's first three races—is in first place after an amazing five-race winning streak. Bourque will need to place fifth or better to be declared champion, but she must first face dual slalom and downhill contender Eagan, who overpowered the entire downhill class at Blue Mountain Resort, PA, two weeks ago. Eagan, who is in the running for both division championship titles, is expected to be a tough opponent beat.
Awards will include a $5,000 purse for the pro class, along with sponsor-donated prizes for the cat 2 and cat 3 top finishers.
"The $5,000 is just the end-of-the-year series prize money, only going 3 deep for the pros," said Ken Getchell, Spectasport Account Manager. "There is additional prize money on tap for pros at Plattekill, as they take $20 of racer entry in pro class, $10 of the racer entry to all cat 1 classes on the following percentage ratio: 55/30/13."
Plattekill was once again selected to be the championship venue because of its long history of providing lift-assisted riding to mountain bikers in the Northeast.
"The fact that it's been running 'forever,' and that everybody is familiar with Plattekill, were certainly factors in its favor," Getchell said.
He reminds spectators to bring their bikes to the event to take advantage of the $10 two-day lift tickets.
"You can ride trails Saturday morning, drink beer and watch the dual slalom on Saturday afternoon, then hike along the downhill trail and watch different parts of the race on Sunday," Getchell said. "Oh, and bring noisemakers—it improves the atmosphere."