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The Ohio Woods Riders hosted Round 3 of ACES on Sunday, May 31 in Chandlersville, Ohio. Heavy rains in the early morning of race day made the course more challenging. Getting traction on hills proved to be difficult for many of the 114 riders who competed.
Broc Hepler, aboard his Five Star Cycle KTM XC250, dropped 35 points for the day, while second place finisher Robbie Jenks dropped 37. In third was, Brett Zofchak with 39 points. Fourth place went to 200 A rider Jake Walters, who grabbed Overall A for the day aboard his Wheelsports KTM. Jeff Anderson, Senior A class rider, rounded out the top five.
Hepler said the trails were definitely more tacky/muddy than he expected.
“The grass sections were really slippery also,” Hepler said. “When I was planning for the race, I thought the rain was going to hold off until lunchtime. I think with the conditions, I had to be a little more cautious to be smooth, but I thought the trails were great.”
“For me it was difficult to go any faster because of the tight trails, and it did make it tough to pass at times with all of the growth on each side of the trail. I loved what the club did and the work they put in, but it makes it more difficult to push any harder with tight sections.”
So what keeps him coming back for more every round?
He says he started riding this series because of the great trails.
“Tight single-track is what I enjoy at home,” Hepler said. “So there is nothing greater than the ACES in that department. I avoid some of the other series because of the lack of new and tight sections. I also like the enduros the best, because it’s you only ride the trail once during the day. You don’t have people cutting sections like you could have with multiple-lap events.”
He thanks KTM, Five Star Cycle, PR2, Dunlop, Scott, and 6D Helmets.
“I also want to thank the ACES clubs for being open to adding some restart format events,” he said. “It has allowed me to bring friends that are not familiar with timekeeping to come enjoy the trails the clubs create.”
Hepler leads the AA point standings, with 53 points. Jenks has 42, followed by Jeff Melik with 33.
Jake Walters is on a roll this season, capturing Overall A for the second time.
“I kept missing arrows early in the morning, and I thought it was setting me back,” Walters said. “So, I pushed ahead harder. I enjoyed the course and was really happy about winning the Overall A once again.”
Jeff Anderson, Senior A, tied Walters with 41 points. However, it was Walters who beat Anderson with emergency check points. Brian Melik, Vet A, followed in third for the Overall A chase.
Walters leads the series point standings for Overall A, then Anderson followed by B. Melik.