Racing returns to Santa Ynez

Taberlay, Sawicki, Morka expected for California race

The fourth round of the Kenda Cup West Series rolls into Santa Ynez Valley this weekend, April 10-11. Nestled just north of the Danish town of Solvang, the Santa Ynez Valley venue has hosted several national-level events over the years, and this will be the second year that the Kenda Cup West Series returns.

Additionally, this weekend's race will also serve as the second round of the West Regional Triple Crown for pro riders. The west coast-based regional Triple Crown format is being run as a beta test for possible implementation across the country for 2011, with the three disciplines factored into the series format. The goal is to target more regional and local pros by offering good payout, with stronger competition in their respective region.

The Santa Ynez cross course is a 9.1-mile loop and offers riders nearly 1,200 feet of climbing per lap. The course is deceivingly hard, with short, steep climbs and fast, sinewy descents. A mixture of doubletrack, singletrack and fire roads, set against green rolling hills and vineyards, makes the venue a favorite among racers. Recent rains have left the cross country course tacky and in good condition for Saturday and Sunday's events.

Current Kenda Cup West Series men's leader Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air/Specialized) is slated to attend, while the women's series leader is Pua Sawicki, fresh off a podium at the Fontana City National two weeks ago, looks to make it a go for the weekend. Trek/Canada's Adam Morka is also making the trip this weekend to compete, as well as the southwest top local and regional pro competitors.

Saturday's schedule will start off with junior racing at noon, followed by the men's and women's cross country events. On Sunday, Cat. 1 racers will open the cross country action, followed by Cat. 2/3 racers. The pros will return later in the afternoon for a short track, and the Super D will wrap things up later in the day.

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