Straight off taking first and second at round one of the WMA National Championships at Glen Helen, etnies Girl team riders Sarah Whitmore and Tarah Gieger finished second and fourth, respectively, at round two of the series at Hangtown Raceway in Sacramento, Calif., this past weekend.
Sarah Whitmore. (Photo courtesy of Steve Bonnau.)
The first moto kicked off at 3:30 p.m. with a quick gate drop, catching nearly a full gate of pro women riders off guard. However, both Whitmore and Gieger took off and managed to work their way to the front of the pack, Whitmore passing everyone all the way to third place, where she engaged in a battle for first with Livia Lancelot and Jessica Patterson. In an uphill turn, Whitmore made the pass, splitting Lancelot and Patterson, supermanning for a few seconds and almost losing control of her bike before ultimately maintaining control and taking the lead. Then, coming off a downhill jump, Whitmore crashed, giving first and second to Patterson and Lancelot.
Meanwhile, Gieger recovered from a tangled crash with Tania Satchwell and Jessica Gephardt and flew past the other riders to fight for position in a pack of girls battling for fifth, sixth and seventh. The tight track made it difficult to pass in several sections, and Gieger ended up finishing sixth.
The girls were once again surprised by the gate drop in the second moto, this time because it took a full 10 seconds. Whitmore and Gieger took off, with Patterson taking the lead. Hot on Patterson’s tail, Whitmore finished second without anyone challenging her position. Gieger was stuck in the pack and, on the uphill jump, sailed over Elizabeth Bash and crashed, giving up her fourth place position. She wasted no time getting back on her bike, and was back in the race to finish fifth.
After the race this weekend, Whitmore trails six points behind leader Jessica Patterson, while Gieger is just one point behind Whitmore for third. Round three will be held at Thunder Valley in Colorado in July. Before then, Whitmore and Gieger will be riding together at Mammoth and qualifying for Loretta Lynn’s.