CRESTED BUTTE ULTRA ENDURO
FIVE DAYS OF AN ENDURO BATTLE
Day one of the Crested Butte Ultra Enduro sent racers to over 12,000 ft elevation during two timed stages.
Day two of the Crested Butte Ultra Enduro sent racers out for 33 gruelling miles with 6,729 feet of descending and 5,699 feet of climbing. Opening the day with a climb UP the Deadman's switchbacks to Cement Mountain Trail. Racers descended Cement Mountain Trail to Roaring Judy Trail for the first timed stage of the day. After a 17 mile transfer racers lined up for the second timed stage, Doctor's Park Trail. This Crested Butte classic trail is one of the best trails in the area if not the state. After nearly 30 minutes of timed racing the final standings for the day were extremely tight. On the Pro Men's side young gun Marco Osborne continues to hold off the field with a 10 second lead over Ross Schnell in second. Kathy Pruitt held onto her first place position in the Pro Women's category over Heather Irmiger.
After yesterday's rain, today's race was altered slightly. The extremely steep, rooty and rocky trail Waterfall was taken out, making today two stages instead of three. Riders were sent up to the top of Double Top, an extremely beautiful trail making its way over to the start of the day's first stage, Trail 409.5. The previous day's rain made for some slick and sloppy conditions. After making their way down the first special stage, racers then made their way up Trail 409 to the Cave's Trail decent. Cave's Trail being the shortest of all the timed stages, but possibly the steepest. The trail finishes with endless tight switchbacks, testing rider's cornering abilities. At the end of the day Jerome Clementz led the Pro Men by over 10 seconds and Kathy Pruitt continues her dominance of the Pro Women's race.
Day four of the Big Mountain Enduro, Crested Butte Ultra saw racers take on a single timed stage. After racers climbed/hiked nearly 3,000 feet up to the base of the Athracite Range for the start of the Green Lake Trail. The trail starts out super rocky then gets steep! After a brief section of dirt road racers dropped into the second section of the trail, a very physically demanding trail. The rolling flat left racers gassed and gasping for air. The tight switchbacks near the end allowed the top cornering riders to shine. After over 12 minutes of timed racing Jerome Clementz once again brought the fastest time, just three seconds off was Marco Osborne in second and Ross Schnell in third. For the Pro Women Kathy Pruitt continues to prove her dominance on the trail finishing 12 seconds faster the Heather Irmiger in second and Sarah Rawley in third.
The fifth and final day of the Crested Butte Ultra Enduro sent racers to Elevation Bike Park on Mount Crested Butte. Each of the three stages brought very unique trails. Stage one on Luge was a anaerobic nightmare. Stage two went down Avery, the park's downhill track. The third and final stage sent racers down the brand new trail Captain Jack. Recently opened, Captain Jack has tons of steep and over camber roots through loamy dirt with one major rock garden.
Photos and words by Devon Balet
Full results here