Leo Patenaude sweeps Pro finals at Peek'n Peak for ECS Conx2share Series
FINDLEY LAKE, New York (March 28, 2017) — Vermont veteran Leo Patenaude swept the Pro Open finals over the weekend, as East Coast Snocross (ECS) completed its 2017 season finale at the Peek'n Peak Resort.
Patenaude, of Hartland, powered by his younger brother Hunter early in Saturday's 10-lap final and hung on for top honors. Hunter gave Ingles Performance a 1-2 finish with a second-place effort, while Pro Open Rookie-of-the-Year Cody Paolella (Team Southside/Polaris) crossed the stripe in third.
On Sunday, Kristoffer Holm (Team Southside/Polaris) grabbed the all-important hole-shot and started to pull away from the field. The Norwegian had a rare off-sled mishap on the bombed-out uphill section, handing the lead to a surprised, but more-than-grateful Hunter Patenaude.
The newly-crowned ISOC Sport national champion was closing in on the finish when his sled blew a belt on the final corner. Acting on pure instinct, he grabbed the transponder off his machine and sprinted to the line on foot. The rulebook states a rider must push his disabled sled across the line to earn an official finish, thus Leo (second at the time) gets the win. Holm rallied back for a second-place finish, enough to secure the 2017 ECS Pro Open crown. Hunter Patenaude was officially credited with third place on Sunday.
In Pro Lite action, Marco Travaglini rode into the record books on Saturday with his first-ever Final round victory. The rising star from Norfolk, CT, passed early leader Ryan Dupont on the uphill section and never looked back. Scott Vandeborne challenged Travaglini for a few laps yet settled for second, while Jared Gessner (Team Southside/Polaris) finished in the third position.
On Sunday, Vandeborne grabbed the hole-shot and checked out on the field. The veteran from Denfield, Ontario, was impressive all season in New England. Dylan Roes (D&D Racing/Arctic Cat) blasted his way to second after a strong qualifying effort (1-1), while Dalton Jacquier (Arctic Cat) filled out the podium in third. Jared Gessner (Team Southside/Polaris) officially clinched the 2017 ECS Pro Lite championship on Sunday.
Kassie Thibodeau gave Team Southside another reason for pride in Findley Lake. The native of Rumford, Maine, held off a hard-charging Alyssa Ashline to claim Saturday's Pro Women final. Ashley Baird (also with Team Southside) settled for third as the Polaris squadron dominated the action.
Thibodeau was on a mission Sunday, powering away to the early lead with nothing but a title on her mind. That second straight Pro Women crown (Vermont veteran Nykea Williams earned it in 2016) became reality after six laps, with Thibodeau on top of the box. Ashline crossed the line in second, while Baird capped a solid finale weekend in third.
In the highly-competitive Southside Sales Sport class, Nikos Soklaropoulos rode to victory in Saturday's Super Stock final. Emmitt Scott crossed the line in second, while Vermonter Bradley Tatro filled out the podium in third. On Sunday, Wyatt Hoffman, one of the series' hottest young talents in 2017, powered his way to victory in the Super Stock final. Bruce Gaspardi Jr. (Team Southside/Polaris) was rock-solid all day and finished second, while Ryan Bernard came home in third.
The Sport Stock 600cc Weekend final was claimed by Tatro (Green Mountain Racing/Arctic Cat), with Gaspardi (second) and Scott (third) filling out the podium. Tatro is another of the "young guns" in ECS competition who can rise above his rivals whenever the pressure to perform increases.
In the Junior classes at Peek'n Peak, Gavin Fleury and Travis Emery each recorded final round wins. Fleury won Saturday's Jr. 16-17 Stock 600 title, while Emery claimed the 14-15 class final. On Sunday, Emery notched the 16-17 class win while Fleury earned a victory in 14-15 competition.
Other final round winners over the weekend at Peek'n Peak include 'Radical' Rick Bernard (Plus 25/35 Sat. and Sun.); Adam Ashline (Jr. Sport 12-15 Sat. and Sun.); and Ryan Earle (Transition 8-10 Saturday and Sunday). Congratulations to all of our final round winners on the longest and most challenging track of the season. We know it took strength and stamina to prevail on that race course.
East Coast Snocross would like to thank the staff and management at Peek'n Peak for hosting our season finale again in 2017. It is always a pleasure to end the year at such a fine venue. We hope to return again in 2018 for more of that warm, wonderful western New York hospitality.
ECS officials would also like to extend a sincere thank you to new title sponsor Conx2share, who brought our series into the 21st Century with first-ever Live video streaming in 2017. We also thank presenting sponsors FXR and Woody's Traction Products for the valued support, along with all of our fine marketing partners. Our season could not have been as successful without your assistance.
The East Coast Snocross Conx2share Series, presented by Woody's Traction and FXR, is an ISR-affiliated sanctioning body for snowmobile racing in the northeastern United States. ECS maintains a regional circuit intended to keep grass-roots snocross racing healthy in this part of the country while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow's factory-backed national Pro teams.
Poirier, (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) of St. Theodore, Quebec, slotted into second behind Dahlgren at the start of Sunday's final, but quickly found his way around the Swede and led from lap 2 to the finish. Dahlgren settled for second, while George capped a consistent weekend with a third-place finish.
Cody Paolella (Team Southside/Polaris) swept the Pro Lite class at Snow Ridge, nipping Wade Acker in a 10-lap tussle on Saturday while fellow Sport graduate Joe Bishop filled out the podium in third. On Sunday, local rider Andrew Bristol followed Paolella across the stripe for second while Acker powered his way to third.
“I think the weather was perfect and snow conditions were good,” Paolella said. “It was a little different to race on a ski hill. The downhill part made it challenging by having to use the brake to get through the bumps. The track was pretty wide with some good jumps, but I'd still say it was important to get a good start because the snow dust was pretty bad. I'm super pleased to sweep both finals.”
In Sport class action, Bristol held off a hard-charging Marco Travaglini and Dalton Jacquier for top honors in Saturday's Super Stock final. On Sunday, Travaglini found redeption as he outgunned Jamie Vanderaa and Jeff Roylance for top honors. This class is where tomorrow's Pro Lite stars hone their skills, and the 2015 season is delivering some great racing from these young athletes.
Other big winners over the weekend at Snow Ridge include Nykea Williams (Pro Women Sat. and Sun.); Bruce Gaspardi Jr. (Plus 25 Sat. and Sun.); Michael Newman (Jr. 16-17 Sat.); and Anthony Paige (Jr. 16-17 Sunday). Congratulations to all of our final round winners in Turin on a job well done.
East Coast Snocross would like to thank Snow Ridge owner Brad Horn, Russ Horn and the entire staff for hosting Round 4. The warmth and hospitality extended to our racing fraternity was second to none, and this facility is ideal for snocross on the famed Tug Hill plateau. While trail riders have frequented the Tug Hill region for decades, racers are quickly becoming fond of it, as well.
Teams will now prepare for a trip to western New York this coming weekend, Feb. 6-7, to join with ISOC at the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca for the Eastern Nationals. This is ISOC's only race in the east, and ECS athletes will be looking to impress the big teams.
East Coast Snocross, presented by AMSOIL, Woody's Traction and FXR, is the eastern regional affiliate of ISOC. ECS strives to maintain a healthy level of competition in grassroots snocross, while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow's factory-backed national teams.