Clarification of Points Rule
September 22, 2009; Conshohocken, PA, USA: Gravity East has released its most recent points update and a rules clarification regarding the points calculations. “Riders who are in contention in various classes have been calling me about the ‘best 8 races’ rule,” says Series Director Dan McDonald. “We just wanted to clarify that riders are not required to attend a minimum of eight races. But if they only attend seven of the races, their eighth race will be scored as zero points. The only eligibility rules we have regarding the series championship is that you must have an annual USAC license and must be at the Final at Plattekill Mountain October 9 to 11. If you can score enough points to win the championship in just four races, well more power to you.”
As the Gravity East rounds out its season with its final three races over the next three consecutive weekends, including the double-points final at Plattekill, 24 Pro Men and 6 Pro Women are still in mathematical contention for the Downhill championship trophy in the top categories. The Women’s title chase is the more straightforward of the two. Stephanie Gubernat (Cutters Bike Shop) currently holds the points lead by virtue of an early season win, consistent top-three finishes and by virtue of scoring points in all but two races. Dawn Bourque (Rhino Bike Works) and Karen Eagan (Sam Adams Brewery), by comparison, missed the first three races of the season, and so have an extra no-score to replace with additional points in the best 8 of 11 scoring system. Bourque, in fact, has the best average finish of any Pro Racer in the series with a perfect score of five wins in the five races she’s attended.
On the Men’s side, dropped no-scores stand to play an important role in the championship battle. Assuming they all attend all of the remaining races, first place Alejandro Ortiz (Morpheous Cycles/ Hayes/ Nema), second place Ben Hulse (Lee’s-McRae/Sycamore Cycles) and sixth place Erik Gosselin (Team Drop) will be forced to drop at least two points-scoring races, while Jason Memmelaar (Hayes/Manitou/SunRig), Zach Faulkner (Drummer Racing/Evil Bikes/E13/DHD), and Jeff Cayley (Fly Racing/661/Utopia) in positions 3 through 5, respectively, will only be forced to drop only one points scoring race. But the real wild card should be Neko Mullaly (Specialized Team America) in seventh place, who (if he attends all three remaining races) will not only be able to drop three “goose eggs”, he also has the best finish position average of all the top contenders with a sterling average finish position of 2.2. Also not to be counted out is Ben Moody (Rhino Bike Works/Highland MTBpark/POC Armor), who is lurking right behind Mullaly in eighth position. Moody has two wins and a runner-up finish in the past four races and, more importantly, can drop three non-scores from his total. Like Mulally, that means every point he scores over the next three weekends will contribute entirely to his final tally.
While all the intricacies of dropped races make the Gravity East points chases seem complicated to follow, Gravity East Director McDonald says it’s actually quite simple. “All you have to do,” he said recently, “is show up and ride your bike down the hill quicker than anybody else in your class and the points will take care of themselves. You can’t do anything about the races you missed earlier. But assuming that you’re not injured, your sister’s not getting married or your wife’s not having a baby, you have it in your control whether you’re going to show up or just give those points to somebody else.”
source: Ken Getchell,