The Jeep 48Straight Series wrapped up last weekend in San Luis Obispo, California. Eric Carter and Melissa Buh took the overall titles while Brian Lopes and Fionn Griffiths won the final round.
The men's race turned into a battle between Eric Carter and Brian Lopes. Lopes, with four world championships and nine national championships, outlasted his friend and rival to win the individual event title, but Carter, with a world championship, two national championships and over 30 career victories under his belt, earned the season championship based on this race and previous stops in New Jersey and Utah.
"It's funny because I didn't feel so good on the course, and never really felt I had my rhythm, but I guess I was riding a lot faster than I thought because I had some good runs and knocked off some great competitors," said Carter. "I had to bust tail to get this done and am kind of blown away that I was able to execute like I know how. I'm somewhat speechless because I've been trying to get this title for six years now."
"I felt really strong at practice on Friday and came in first in the qualifier, which gave me a lot of confidence heading into today's race," said Lopes, who was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame earlier this year and will soon be accepted into the BMX Hall of Fame.
On her way to the final, Buhl earned victories over Leslie Slagle and Lisa Myklak. Griffiths began with a win over Joanna Peterson and then went on to defeat Kathy Pruitt. Griffiths took the day's title over Buhl while Pruitt topped Myklak in the consolation heat for third.
"I felt confident today because I really liked the speed and layout of the course, which matches my race style," said Buhl. "This whole season has been amazing for me, and is by far the best I've ever ridden. I am having a great time, and I know that I'll now have a target on my back and I'll have to work harder and harder to stay at this level."
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Jeep 48Straight.