Race Report: North American Enduro Cup 2019

Jun 21, 2019
by North-American-Enduro-Cup  

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.

No, that’s not a photo trick. Stage 1 really was that off-camber and loose. Jimmy Smith testing his tires and the nerves of the photographer shooting in the danger zone.

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.

High line? Low line? Kelby Schrock and James Day investigating the advantages and disadvantages of each during practice.

Thad Lampson screaming on Stage 1.

Branham Snyder and Hayden Mans scoping things out on Stage 1.

Testing out the middle line high on Stage 6 practice.

Race Day

Riders setting off from the base area to climb to the top of Stage 1.

Luke Strobel (6th Pro) surfs his way down the towards the finish of stage 1.

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.

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Will Albertini brings it back across the roots. Throughout the weekend stage 1 changed dramatically, with corners getting pushed out and roots becoming exposed. What the racers saw on race day was a far cry from where practice took them.

Trust your knobs and hope there's no rain. War Gerbil was a nail biter, not the stage that would win your race, but certainly the one to lose it.

Kristian Duft dodges the corner that sacked a number of strong riders. Flat out, foot out baby!

Lili Heim putting the effort in for the raw clear cut sprint, with no discernible line cut in, it was on the racers to find their flow over the pitted and grassy straight away.

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.

Alex Zbarazky, the last soldier of squirrel, stays low and quick for a 13th finish in expert.

Stage two stuck riders with a 2 minute blast down Frankenbeans, one of the hallmark DH trails of Silver Mountain, and now one of the hallmark Enduro trails Wink . This unknown rider gets it done in the roots.

Course forerunner, Matthew Seemann, makes uncomfortable eye contact while testing the turns ahead of racers on stage 2.

Whatever it takes to make the race recap... Thankfully this was a practice mechanical, and not a race ender, but it goes to show that Silver Mountain doesn't just wreck wheels. Tighten your hardware kids, the NAEC will rattle you loose.

The weather outside wasn't frightful, in fact it was down right delightful.

2019 NEAC- Kellog Idaho
Mother Winter wasn't going to loosen her grasp on the mountain just yet though. Aaron Bradford takes the outside line through the last bit of winter on stage three.

2019 NEAC- Kellog Idaho
Fast and loose baby.

Past the snow it was rock pounding hell when racers were faced with the never-ending shale field off the top of Kellogg Peak.

Putting the stones in sticks and stones. Cole Fiene 56th Pro.

2019 NEAC- Kellog Idaho
It was a long day, but smiles for miles abounded.

2019 NEAC- Kellog Idaho
BUT then they saw more of this. JK, they stayed stoked.

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.

If racers thought the only danger on Goat Rodeo was the gnar, then they had another thing coming.....

Valerie Saladay samples the wares.

Taped wide and full of surprises, Goat Rodeo caught racers off guard and kept it lively on course. Aaron Bradford (4th Pro) demonstrates the proper technique to navigate the chunder.

Ian Williams (Jr. Exp 17U)

Heading back to stage 6 racers had the luxury of a ride up the hill on the longest non-stop gondola in North America.

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 staple on the podiums for the Cascadia Dirt Cup, Ingrid Larouche didn't pull it together enough for a finish on the top steps but was only one spot off in the wildly tight Pro field.

2019 NEAC- Kellog Idaho
Adele Mery fires off from the start gate on stage 6, working her way down the mountain with a blistering stage time of 14:49:50, earning her the second fastest time of the stage, and securing the overall Pro Women win.

2019 NEAC- Kellog Idaho
Despite winning the long stage 6, Hannah Bergemann couldn’t quite reel in Adele, taking the second step for the second time in as many years.

2019 NEAC- Kellog Idaho
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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.

At the end of the day though, it was Myles Trainer who took the top step, and the largest share of the $12,000 pro purse.

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).

Post race vibes.

2019 NAEC Official Results

2019 NAEC Bike Checks

What are people riding to try and tackle the 2019 NAEC Course? Have a look below:

Bryce Oxley and his Knolly Fugitive.

Jessica Hatch
Jessica Hatch and her Liv Hail.

Austin Hemperley has a great tee shirt. And a pretty cool Wreckoning too.
Austin Hemperley has a great t-shirt. And a pretty cool Evil Wreckoning, too.

2019 NEAC- Kellog Idaho
Can we get a bike check? Fine, beer check works too.

Alicia Leggit is our EWS Fantasy team Is she in yours yet
Alicia Leggit and her Knolly Warden is on our Pinkbike EWS Fantasy team. Is she in yours yet?

Paul Components are not something that you get to see a lot of m but we sure would like to see more.
Alica s Almost Dyna Plug
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.

Zoe Steel is stoked AF.
Zoe Steel is stoked with her custom painted Pivot Mach 6.

And her bike is almost as rad as her.

Kedzie Gunderson is ready to rock her Yeti SB150.

Aaron Bradford is no only the face of shimano he s also a hard podium contender. Watch out.
Aaron Bradford is not only the face of Shimano, he's also a perpetual podium contender on his Transition Sentinel. Watch out.

Count em.
On Coil.

Cameron Piercy didn’t let a little detail like rear suspension keep him down. 4th place, Hardtail Open.

Everyone is a photographer these days. Jimmy Smith switched hats after a 10th in Pro to tackle the duties of Water Park documenteur.

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Processed with VSCO with a1 preset
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.

Regions in Article
Kellogg, Silver Mountain Resort


  • + 11
 What a great race report! I had a smile on my face the whole race. Aaaand I’m officially out of the closet via PB. ????
  • + 10
 Such a fun race! Took a few days for my hands to feel normal again after that gnar fest!
  • + 5
 Dude my hands STILL hurt!!
  • + 5
 Great coverage! How come scribd works flawlessly here, but shits it's pants for world cup results?
  • + 5
 Nice coverage! Looks like everyone had a rad time.
  • + 5
 So much fun ????
  • + 0
 Looks epic!
What is everyone else's opinion with Enduro racing? I really do not think that there should be any practice. What are your thoughts? MTB Enduro's are based off of the moto Enduro concept and there is 100% no pre-riding or practicing the course. Why is it in MTB Enduro its allowed?
Safety? Moto enduro is just as dangerous, so I don't think that can be the case. Just wondering. Thanks
  • + 3
 Safety I would say is still a big one. Last I checked (but correct me if I'm wrong) Moto Enduro courses dont have 10 foot drops or sometimes ride down technical rock spines. If a Enduro promoter came out and said the Enduro was a no drop course that could be different but they want to make things challenging.

I was at Hood River last month and it is famous for it's rock garden (hidden). Fast guys huck and fly down that thing. On a practice run, a Moto guy was stopped on the trail as he made a wrong turn and he was kind of flabbergasted we were cruising down this section as he said he would never take a Moto down this had he known. Now I don't know how skill level as a Moto rider but Enduro is harder than you think.
  • + 5
 @AznKiDrew: Plus, most of the trails are not new. Quite a few regional riders know these trails well. It would have to be 100% new trail to be fair for blind racing.
  • + 3
 @Rhymer: true point. Don't tempt them though. I could see all new trails next year being just off camber roots and shale rock ????
  • + 1
 @AznKiDrew: Talking about Hood Rivers itsy bitsy rock garden on a thread about the raw knarly stages of Silver Mountain is kinda funny.. Man if only you saw the trails they were setting up for the Moto Enduro that was the weekend after NAEC. The moto guy you met at Hood, well he wouldn't even be able to make it to the trail head at Silver. Racing trails blind isn't really the problem in MTB Enduro, its making enough trails for a race, and keeping them secret/closed until the race that is hard.
  • + 1
 @AznKiDrew: moto enduro is blind (no prerunning and the speeds are just as fast, they have drops, super tech high speed stuff. I have raced / ridden both moto and mtb. .they are both super hard. And I really think they both should be no pre-riding check out www.redbull.com/my-en/videos/hard-enduro-riders-meet-their-match-at-extreme-xl-lagares-video
  • + 2
 Such a fantastic event. If there is one race you do a year this should be it!!
  • + 2
 Only thing blistering on stage 6 were my hands.
  • + 1
 What rear tire is Aaron running?
  • + 3
 Schwalbe Eddie Current. A new E bike tire
  • + 1
 "uncomfortable eye contact," love it! Nice pics.
  • + 1
 Another well written race report! Nice work Cam!!!
  • + 1
 any one know where we can find pics from the event?

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