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2014 SoCal High School Mountain Bike Racing Series ROUND TWO

Varsity Boy Brandon Martinez of El Toro High puts down the power to ride to the top of Marine Corps Hill. -Photo by Frank Hoppen
Varsity Boy Brandon Martinez of El Toro High puts down the power to ride to the top of Marine Corps Hill. -Photo by Frank Hoppen

Temecula, Calif. — There is a short (about 40 feet high), steep, rocky trail section at Vail Lake affectionately known as Marine Corps Hill. It was not included in the 2013 version of the Vail Lake Challenge bus was included in 2012. Since so many new riders have entered the SoCal League since 2012 its reputation has grown in stature to almost mythical proportions. Hushed whispers of its challenges have been circulating the SoCal League since riders heard it would be in the course this year. Marine Corps Hill did not disappoint as all day Saturday afternoon during pre-ride there was a line of riders waiting to fly down the trail to see if they could ride to the top. Few could. Most couldn’t. But those who couldn’t learned that if you timed it right you could jump off your bike, get behind the saddle, and push the bike to the top of the hill without losing too much time. On race day, Marine Corps Hill mixed with hot, dry, windy conditions to challenge the 450 high school student-athletes who showed up to race. The racing didn’t disappoint as series leads changed hands or ended in ties and team competition tightened. SoCalSeason6 promises no let up until the dust settles in Los Olivos at the conclusion of the series.

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