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Race Report: Telluride 100 2020

Jul 26, 2020
by Eddie Clark  

Words and Photos by Eddie Clark and Devon Balet

While the seventh edition of the Telluride 100 was run a bit differently due to Covid-19 social distancing, and especially a deluge of rain in the days leading up to the event, there was no shortage of miles and climbing to put everyone in the pain cave at one point or another. Permitted at 200 racers, instead of a mass start organizers had racers starting in groups of 10 at 30-second intervals with a 6 am start for the fastest racers heading out first. Another change was a slightly shortened version for the 100-mile race as the climb up to the second-highest point on the course on Last Dollar Rd proved to be too muddy for any support or emergency vehicles to access, and thus the decision was made to remove that section from the route.

All racers were required to be Covid-19 symptom-free and had their temperature verified as part of the staggered packet-pickup process

A cold, rainy and dark start to the day.
The first wave takes off.

Racers hit the first singletrack climb of the day on the Deep Creek Trail in the early dim light of the morning.



Race leaders on their first lap up the Telluride trail in a cold rain.

Alexis Skarda traded the lead with Erin Huck during the first lap and would go on to finish second on the day.
Alexis Skarda traded the lead with Erin Huck during the first lap and would go on to finish second on the day.
Former winner Liz Carrington was holding down third place for most of the first lap before dropping out as many other racers did during this very inclement edition.
Former winner Tara Kelly was holding down third place for most of the first lap before dropping out as many other racers did during this very inclement edition.

Single speeders get off more, or so they say.

Climbing to the high point of 11,182 feet on the Prospect Trail.


And the slippery descent on Prospect Trail

Race leaders Keegan Swenson, Riley Amos, and Russell Finsterwald on their first descent of the T35 trail which when not wet and muddy is a ripping downhill.

Erin Huck shredding the T35 descent where she also shredded the chamois from her shorts during a wet mid-race nature break.


With intermittent rain all day, calling the singletrack greasy would be an understatement to every racer trying to keep it on the trail.


The clouds parted for some big views on the Galloping Goose Trail.




Coming into the bottom of T35 on the second lap, Swenson had already opened up a 10-minute gap on second-placed Riley Amos.

Finsty in high gear to pull back the couple minutes he was trailing behind Amos between T35 and the finish.

Well stocked aid stations were key in keeping the racers going for the full pull.

Keegan stopping the timer with winning ride of 6:32:16 and an 18 minute gap to second placed Finsty.

Keegan was very happy about deciding on going full suss and had glowing reviews about how the Pivot Live Link suspension platform kept him in the lead.
Ze German, Ben Sonntag is definitely missed and not forgotten.

Erin Huck rolls across for the women's victory with her partner Andy Clem.

Erin Hucks Scott Spark
Not exactly a loam shelf but very telling of how muddy it was out there.

Huck with a replica of an actual mining pick used a century ago by one of the early miners from Telluride.

Full race results [L="https://my.raceresult.com/153964/results?lang=en"]here[/L].


19 Comments

  • 27 0
 It looks miserable and yet I'm also very jealous of what they got to do...
  • 8 0
 "had glowing reviews about how the Pivot Live Link suspension platform" You mean the DW link suspension? That aint a Spot. Or are you talking about Fox Live Valve?
  • 4 0
 @eddieclarkmedia It should say FOX LIVE Valve!
  • 1 0
 @ehvan: yes it should, I was looking at one thing and thinking another.
  • 9 2
 The Telluride area is absolutely beautiful.
  • 5 2
 who would downvote lol
  • 4 0
 Colorado gets gnarly in the rain!
  • 3 0
 Everything gets gnarly in the rain. But cool rain looks good compared to 95F and high humidity we've been getting around here lately.
  • 4 0
 @bde1024: This ain't cool rain... it's 50 degrees and unrelenting. If you stop moving you risk hypothermia. Although compared to 95 and humid... not sure which is worse.
  • 6 0
 @Jvhowube: 95 and rain is much worse.
  • 2 0
 @bde1024: I mean compared to PNW where rain and riding can sort of co-exist, places like this become impassable and dangerous-gnarly. The trail surface gets slickery.
  • 2 0
 A couple corrections: Keegans bike had Fox Live Valve suspension, and the photo of plate #1 is Former winner Liz Carrington (not Tara Kelly).
  • 2 0
 Running Aspens in the rain is boss - Were tire inserts used? Pressures? Nice ride Keegan!
  • 1 0
 Total boss. Trail and enduro riders take note.
  • 2 0
 Maxxis Aspens, his go-to tire, at 20 and 21psi. He didn't mention anything about inserts.
  • 1 0
 Wow what a beautiful place. I only know about it from history books but wow that riding looks terrific. Is it all full up with billionaires?
  • 3 0
 Fuck yeah T-ride
  • 1 0
 Can you name the tires leaving the marks in the mud photo?
  • 6 0
 Fred, Sally, Octavius and George.

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