READING ó The Duryea Downhill on Mount Penn kicked off the Gravity East bike race series on Sunday featuring more than 100 downhill bike racers including pro riders.
The race started at the Fire Tower at the top of Mount Penn and wound its way down through rocky terrain, loamy straightaways and banks and over bumpy terrain and jumps that included a concrete bunker and a Pros only ramp constructed just for the competition that launched riders over Duryea Drive ó named for Charles Duryea, who used to test his cars on the road that twisted up the mountain.
The race ended down a steep hill concluding at City Park in Reading, where vendors and a DJ were set up.
Several riders fell during the course, including one who was taken out on a backboard.
The race is also the first in USA Cyclingís Pennsylvania State Championships for Pennsylvania residents with USAC licenses.
Racers must be licensed to participate, with licenses covering insurance costs for the races.
The Duryea Downhill also offered an open class for riders who could purchase a day license to participate in the competition.
Riders ranged in age from as young as 14 to over age 40, with the the categories broken into age groups, except for Pro.
Among those competing were local residents, in Category 3 Menís 18 and under, Jake Taney of Collegeville, who placed sixth with a time of 4:20.70; in Category 2 Menís 30-39, Kyle Sharp of Morgantown, who placed second with a time of 3:28.56 and Michael Lemon of Pottstown, who placed 16th with a time of 4:01.93; in Category 1 Menís 19-29, Matt Rush of Collegeville, racing for Bikesport/Royal, who placed eighth with a time of 3:33.95; in Category 1 Menís 30-39, Fred Heinly of Boyertown, who placed second with a time of 3:15.12 and Casey Coull of Douglassville, who placed seventh with a time of 3:24.59; and in Category 1 Menís 40 plus, Colby Barth of Collegeville, racing for Bikesport, who placed sixth with a time of 3:31.87, and Tony Pajakinas of Douglassville, riding for Reading Racing, who placed seventh with a time of 3:38.62.
The race was started by a group of Reading area residents including Pro riders and brothers Neko and Logan Mulally, who ride for Trek World Racing and Integrity Racing, respectively.