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Race Report: Big Mountain Enduro Stop #2 - Winter Park

Jul 15, 2019
by BigMtn Enduro  
Stage 1 transfer took advantage of the brand new Gondola s.

The second stop of the Big Mountain Enduro series saw 500+ racers tackle 4 burly stages at the Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, CO last weekend. With it being the largest BME event in history, spectators and industry supporters were out in full force and the action was non-stop.

Racers started the day at 10 700 feet.

Typical for July in Colorado, the weather was threatening on both practice and race days, bringing in afternoon storms, which created some delays until the gondola could re-start and get racers back up the mountain. With adversity at hand, the BME operations crew delivered once again, a flawless and world-class event and worked collaboratively with Mother Nature all weekend. And with rain, brings tacky conditions for racers to enjoy the tracks that much more.

Racers started the day with nice drop into stage one on the Trestle Dh trail.
Racers started the day with a nice drop into stage 1 on the Trestle Dh trail.

Grom winner Jesse Cruzel getting down to business on stage 1.
Grom winner Jesse Cruzel getting down to business on stage 1.
Takes the Master 40 win for the Winter Park locals.
WP local Petr Hanak takes another Master 40+win.

Big views of the Fraser Valley coming down stage 1 with Olson Hoogendoorn.
Big views of the Fraser Valley coming down stage 1 with Olson Hoogendoorn.

In the stacked U21 Men field with over 70 racers, Christian Atkins finished in first, followed by Aiden Chapin in second and Will Doherty in third. The newly added Sport Category this year, which is aimed at your first-time racers, also boasted a hefty 51 participant field, proving that Enduro is growing and more people are getting involved in the sport. Word around the pits was that it was the busiest weekend in the bike park's history, demonstration a bright future for both Trestle Bike Park and the BME.

U21 Men s winner Christian Atkins.
U21 Men's winner Christian Atkins.

For the Pro Women, Clare Hamilton finished on the top step, followed by Stefanie McDaniel, Lia Westermann, Cooper Ott and Alicia Leggett. Those ladies showed consistency coming off the first stop in Santa Fe, which was a completely different style of race, being 2 big days of backcountry, full pedal transition stages. That is what makes Enduro so special, in that each venue provides unique challenges and terrain that showcases the best overall riders and all-around mountain bikers.

Clare Hamilton won two of the four stages to take the pro women s overall win.
Clare Hamilton won two of the four stages to take the pro women's overall win.

Zephyer Sylvester taking a solid 6th place overall.
Zephyer Sylvester taking a solid 6th place overall.

Stefanie McDaniel rode heard to earn her best finish yet with a 2nd place.
Stefanie McDaniel rode heard to earn another 2nd place, and is now giving Cooper Ott a run for the money in the women's overall series ranking.

Lia kept it consistent with three seconds and a fourth to lock down 3rd place overall for the weekend.
Lia kept it consistent with three seconds and a fourth to lock down 3rd place overall for the weekend.

A costly mechanical set Cooper Ott a bit back on stage 1 but she rallied to hold onto 4th place overall.
A costly mechanical set Cooper Ott a bit back on stage 1, but she rallied to hold onto 4th place overall.

In the Pro Men field, Richie Rude was once again dominant, sweeping all 4 stages and following his pace from the past 2 weekends of the EWS over in France and Italy. Fellow teammates Shawn Neer, Carson Eiswald and Duncan Nason finished closely behind in respective 2nd, 3rd and 5th place positions, for a stacked Yeti podium. Coming in 4th place for Pro Men was Evan Geankoplis, who proved he could hang with the big dogs on any given day.

Evan Geankoplis was the 4th place disruptor for the near Yeti podium sweep.
Evan Geankoplis was the 4th place disruptor for the near Yeti podium sweep.

Dylan Crane takes a unique line on the Trestle DH to round out the 10 spot of the top 10.
Dylan Crane takes a unique line on the Trestle DH to round out the 10 spot of the top 10.

Quinn Reece taking 7th place for Yeti.
Quinn Reece taking 7th place for Yeti.

Kenneth Gustafson keeping it pinned.

Just like old times with Richie Rude smashing through the rock gardens Winter Park.
Just like old times with Richie Rude smashing through the rock gardens Winter Park.

Shawn Neer giving it the gas on the Trestle Dh trail.
Shawn Neer giving it the gas on the Trestle Dh trail.

Duncan Nason rounded out the podium for Yeti Cycles with his 5th place finish.
Duncan Nason rounded out the podium for Yeti Cycles with his 5th place finish.

Who hit it the best?

Carson Lange gives it the full tweak.
Carson Lange gives it the full tweak.
Cameron Joye whips it good and landed inside the top 10 with a solid 8th place.
Cameron Joye whips it good, and landed inside the top 10 with a solid 8th place.

Carson taking it a bit bigger.
Carson taking it a bit bigger.
Richie held it low and fast over the last big table top on stage 2.
Richie held it low and fast over the last big table top on stage 2.

Owner of BME, Brandon Ontiveros, stated, “I want to tip my hat off and congratulate our team for really stepping things up last weekend. The overall crew did an amazing job working together in creating a great racing experience for all who were in attendance. The Trestle Bike Park and Winter Park Resort staff also deserve a huge compliment; as they were on top of everything from admin, lift operations, trail building, medical support and communications. We look forward to partnering with their professional organization again next year and bringing this event back for 2020.”

Women s U21 winner Ainsley Haggart.
Women's U21 winner Ainsley Haggart.
Big tracks with the occasional big open view.
Big tracks with the occasional big open view.

Expert Open Men s winner Jake Ingram.
Expert Open Men's winner Jake Ingram.

No pedal strokes wasted.
No pedal strokes wasted.

Eyes on the prize with Shawn Neer taking 2nd just 17 seconds behind Richie Rude.
Eyes on the prize with Shawn Neer taking 2nd just 17 seconds behind Richie Rude.

Alicia Leggett held it down to take make it onto the Pro Women s podium in 5th place.
Alicia Leggett held it down to take make it onto the Pro Women's podium in 5th place.
Isabella Naughton coming in hot to take an 8th place in the overall.

Lacey Anderson showing some speed on stage 4.
Lacey Anderson showing some speed on stage 4.
Lauren Bingham taking another top 10
Lauren Bingham taking another top 10.

Pro Men s podium 1-Richie Rude 2-Shawn Neer 3-Carson Eiswald 4-Evan Geankoplis 5-Duncan Nason
Pro Men's podium: 1-Richie Rude, 2-Shawn Neer, 3-Carson Eiswald, 4-Evan Geankoplis, 5-Duncan Nason
Pro Women s podium 1-Clare Hamilton 2-Stefanie McDaniel 3-Lia Westermann 4-Cooper Ott 5-Alicia Leggett
Pro Women's podium: 1-Clare Hamilton, 2-Stefanie McDaniel, 3-Lia Westermann, 4-Cooper Ott, 5-Alicia Leggett

Shawn Neer secured his grip on the 1 plate going into race 3 in Telluride in two weeks.
Shawn Neer secured his grip on the #1 plate going into race #3 in Telluride in two weeks.

Full results can be found here on the BME website: https://www.bigmountainenduro.com/schedule/bme-winter-park-co/

The next stop of the Yeti Cycles Big Mountain Enduro presented by Maxxis will kick off in Telluride, CO on July 27th. Racers will get to experience one of the most beautiful venues in Colorado tucked deep in the San Juan Mountains. This single day event will highlight some backcountry stages, mixed in with the freshly announced Telluride Bike Park, and a DH race taking place after the Enduro culminates on Saturday. Like all BME events this year, the Telluride event is close to being sold out, so get on it if you’d like to take part in the action.

Photos by Eddie Clark Media: https://www.eddieclarkmedia.com/


18 Comments

  • + 40
 Hey, I had lots of fun this weekend and I love racing BMEs but "a flawless and world-class event" feels like a bit of a stretch. I waited around for 4 hours after stage 3, not just because of weather, but because it was organized so that stages 1 and 4 intersected, so racers had to wait until stage 1 was completely done, and then retaped before the whole mess of 500 racers could be run down stage 4. I got super cold and bored and I ended up not even doing 4 and taking the DNF because it got too late and I had to go pick up my kid. Not stoked on that.
  • + 17
 Yeah that was super frustrating. I got stuck at the base because the gondola stopped running for a while. Was in line to head up for my category start on 4 when it shut down. Waited an hour for it to run again and had to leave when it didn’t. My buddy and I took a DNF.

Really poor planning on this one. I was wondering if they had to change their course map due to the late snowfall and trail conditions.

Also, slowest to fastest order doesn’t make sense.
  • + 5
 I do want to say that I had a blast on the first 3 stages, though! I will be riding this one again.
  • + 3
 Been there done that Enduro line dance. I've been through enough Enduros now to know to get in there and get it done because there's cold ones waiting for me in the cooler. I've always thought the Enduro Series were ridiculous where they start everyone out on the same stage anyways. 500 Racers and make everyone wait at stage one seems totally ridiculous.
  • + 2
 I felt awful for the people who started really early. Some of the first women were at stage 4 before 9:00am and had to wait until 1:30pm to start racing again.
  • + 4
 Yep, it was fun, but horribly planned. I definitely expected better from North America's premier enduro series.
  • + 2
 Yeah, that was a fail for sure. Lots of people sitting around for a long time makes for unhappy people. Poor planning.
  • + 1
 I didn't race this round but I heard of the shitshow it was. Its interesting because at Santa Fe they organized rider groups to do the stages in different orders and it went really smoothly. Not sure why they thought this set up was a good idea. That many people and using the same trail twice was bound to create issues.
  • + 1
 @ianswilson815: I have two theories:

1) Trestle didn't want them to use any other trails as they wanted to keep as many trails open to the general public as possible.
2) BME is way too serious and didn't want to do anything other than a technical, more difficult trail as a stage. There are plenty of trails that would have been fun to race down but BME wouldn't consider race worthy (i.e. Rainmaker, double jeopardy, Free Speech)
  • - 4
flag truehipster (Jul 17, 2019 at 9:58) (Below Threshold)
 How can you guys complain? There was no peddling to speak of and most got to sit out the monsoon! Yes they had to use intersecting trails but that’s not BME’s fault that WP is not loaded with gnarly trails.
  • + 2
 With over 500 racers and a thunderstorm in the middle of the day shutting down the lifts I think they did a pretty good job of making it work best for everyone. Working around the weather and safety for everyone is hard to do
  • + 2
 @Obeh: Had stages 1 and 4 not crossed, it would have been perfectly smooth. Weather wouldn’t have even been a factor, because the race would have been over well before it rolled it.

The course planning was the only thing that caused issue.
  • + 6
 500 racers in an Enduro race please tell me again how popular downhill is
  • + 4
 I've done some enduro's and I agree probably should run fast to slow. Also I'm mid-slow. I think it would speed up the course of the day and allow for more after beer.
  • + 3
 Short lines. Do the stages in any order. Ride with your friends, Do the stages as many times as you want. Best of format. Check out the Trail Party race at Durango on 8/3
  • + 1
 Good day for Yeti. Release a new bike and it looks like 4 out 5 racers on the podium highly recommend Yeti bikes.
  • + 1
 #5 KONA Process

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