The North American Enduro Cup (NAEC) has never been described as an easy race. The 2019 NAEC, however, upped the game even more and cemented the event’s legacy as a monster. The switch to a one-day format added a level of challenge unseen in the three preceding years of the NAEC. The fastest overall times - just under 40 minutes of timed racing - were only a couple minutes less than the fastest times from the previous two-day format.
The 2019 North American Enduro Cup wrapped up late Saturday evening with more than 300 participants attacking one of the most technically and physically demanding enduro race courses in North America. It took some riders more than eight hours to complete all six stages and transfers. Silver Mountain Bike Park’s epic terrain and incredible Trail Crew meant that the NAEC was able to showcase three new trails for the 2019 course, two of which were brand-new trails for the event. Every year, the NAEC’s course explores more of Silver Mountain’s endless terrain and challenges everyone’s perceptions of what can be done on a bicycle.Friday Practice
The North American Enduro Cup Friday practice introduced racers to the six stages for the pros and experts and four for the sport racers. In quintessential NAEC fashion, the first riders down Stage 1 and Stage 3 (both being brand new, fresh trails cut just for the race) were some of the first tire tracks made on those trails. Their lines were then studied, debated and adjusted as more riders went through. Each stage presented unique challenges for racers. Some stages were loved and some were loathed. In addition to the new trails, riders also got reacquainted with some Silver Mountain classics like Snake Pit, Frog Trees, and Mutton Conductor.Race Day
Stage 1 was one of Silver Mountain Bike Park's masterpieces. Stage 1’s incorporation of the newly-constructed War Gerbil laid waste to more than its fair share of racer energy. This magical ribbon off-camber loam and tight trees weaved in and through holes big enough to swallow bike and rider whole.
You can't take the dirt out of the dirt bag.
Despite the outstanding accommodations provided by Silver Mountain Resort, many racers stuck to the roots of the sport and set up camp right in the lot. Whether it be vans, tents or trucks, everyone was trying to win the glamping game.
Stage 5 brought back into the fold a trail that was new for the inaugural NAEC, Mutton Conductor, but added a fresh and rowdy entrance, Goat Rodeo. With a professional mixture of tightly taped chunder and wide multi-line DH style sections, Goat Rodeo kept everyone on their toes.
The top-to-bottom Stage 6 was so massive that at one point, there were 55 racers on Stage 6 at the same time.
With the fastest pro time of more than 12 and a half minutes, Stage 6 left everyone pleading for mercy by the bottom.
A bet's a bet. Make a podium, get a mullet. Damon Sedivy jumped two spots from last year and took the #2 step at the end of the day, leaving the race with a little less hair, and a lot more money.
Who wore it better? The annual Transition party train kept it tight but loose through the top of stage 6. Logan Wetzel (Left, 5th Pro) and Nate Hoch (Right 15th Pro).2019 NAEC Official Results
2019 NAEC Bike Checks
What are people riding to try and tackle the 2019 NAEC Course? Have a look below:
Paul stem? Not something we see a ton of at the NAEC (Not saying we don't want to see more... But Alicia's "not-quite-a-dynaplug" plug? Now that's an enduro staple if we've ever seen one.
Thankfully for the racers Silver Mountain resort has an A+ water park onsite for everybody's post-race needs. Float the lazy river? Check. Water Slide? Check.