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Race Report: Jake Keller & Kate Lawrence Win stop #2 of Big Mountain Enduro at Durango Purgatory

Jul 18, 2022
by BigMtn Enduro  
Mick Hannah dropping into stage 1 of a huge day in the backcountry. jamesstokoephoto

The second stop of the Big Mountain Enduro Series presented by Specialized was hosted at Purgatory Resort in Durango, Colorado. Situated in the stunning San Juan Mountains, just north of the historic town of Durango, this weekend of racing was filled with epic climbs, big descents, and breathtaking vistas.

Keller on stage 3 of in Purgatory Resort. EddieClarkMedia

Making the steep and rocky terrain look easy. EddieClarkMedia


With afternoon thunderstorms forecasted everyday, racers buckled down to handle all the elements in what turned out to be a weekend of racing for the books.

The storm is brewing. dirkbadenhorst

The terrain in this area of the country is vast. With anything from tight backcountry trails, to flow, to technical rocky descents and BIG drops.

Bella dropping into one of the steepest rock gardens of the weekend dirkbadenhorst

Day 1 was a true test of uphill and downhill fitness as racers climbed and descended more than 5,400 vertical feet on two stages - one with a 20+ minute descent for most riders. All in all, the day ended up being a 44 mile round trip pedal for the racers.

Keep left Big drop offs at the bottom of Stage 1 in the Colorado backcountry jamesstokoephoto

Stage 2 Drop In. dirkbadenhorst

Rider dropping into Stage 1 Dirkbadenhorst

 dirkbadenhorst

Surviving the long Day 1 transfers in the Colorado backcountry Jamesstokoephoto

Cody Kelly in the Colorado backcountry Jamesstokoephoto

 dirkbadenhorst

Big backcountry views on Stage 1 of Durango BME. jamesstokoephoto

2022 Big Mountain Enduro Purgatory By James Stokoe

Narrow trails in the CO Backcountry EddieClarkMedia

Cody Wilderman trying to break his cranks dirkbadenhorst

Day 2 was spent racing 4 trails at Purgatory Bike Park where racers tackled the infamous World Cup and Links tracks. Spectators were in full capacity to cheer on and heckle their friends, family and racers from across the country.

Practice Day on Links dirkbadenhorst

It ain t a race unless you re wearing Jorts dirkbadenhorst

2022 Big Mountain Enduro Purgatory jamesstokoephoto

More cow bell Supplied by POC. dirkbadenhorst

Rider on stage 1 of the last day of racing EddieClarkMedia

Cruising to his second place podium in the U21 category. EddieClarkMedia

One of the many drops at Purgatory Resort. EddieClarkMedia

In the pits with Maxxis Factory Racing. EddieClarkMedia

Racer coming in hot on day 2 of racing at Purgatory. EddieClarkMedia

Final stage of the weekend dirkbadenhorst

Stage 2 - Divinity Flow dirkbadenhorst

 EddieClarkMedia

Post race bevvy s by 10 Barrel Brewing jamesstokoephoto

In total, the weekend had over 13,000 feet of descending, and race organizers threw in every type of challenge to keep racers on their toes. With a huge backcountry day along with steep tracks in the bike park, this event truly exemplified the true meaning of enduro and is a must-do event for racers in 2023.

You can see the Durango Purgatory BME race map on Trailforks .

After two days of tight racing, the Big Mountain Enduro at Durango Purgatory saw Jake Keller and Kate Lawrence taking the wins in the Pro Categories. Jake raced consistently all weekend long taking a stage victory on stage 2. Kate won stages 4 and 5, and didn’t place less than 2nd on any stage this weekend. The weekend of racing was incredibly tight with no more than 10 seconds separating the top 3 finishers in both the men’s and women’s fields.

Celebrating the right way. dirkbadenhorst

The young gun gettin hazed. dirkbadenhorst

 dirkbadenhorst

Mitch for the 5th spot on top EddieClarkMedia

Final Results for Pro Women:

1. Kate Lawrence (Yeti/ Fox National Team)
2. Porsha Murdock (Specialized)
3. Julie Duvert (Theory Racing)
4. Isabella Naughton (Liv Factory Racing)
5. Lauren Bingham (Cannondale Farm)

Pro Womens Podium EddieClarkMedia

Final Results for Pro Men:

1. Jake Keller (Specialized)
2. Colton Peterson (Maxxis Factory Racing)
3. Aiden Chapin (Trek/ Fasthouse)
4. Evan Geankoplis (DVO)
5. Mitch Ropelato (Cannondale)

Pro Men s Podium EddieClarkMedia

You can see the full results here.

Big Mountain Enduro prides itself in equal payouts for men and women, in addition to offering tens of thousands of dollars of product prizing to its amateur categories that includes Specialized frames and gear, Maxxis tires, FOX forks, Shimano pedals, POC protection and eyewear, Stans No Tubes wheels, Industry Nine hubs, DT Swiss wheels, FSA components and wheels and 10 Barrel Brewing beer (to those 21 and older). Also included in the amateur prizing mix was a Specialized Enduro frame won by the Amateur Men category winner, Brooks Nablo, for this stop. This is part of a Specialized hook up where amateur winners at each round of the BME will walk away with a brand new Stumpjumper or Enduro frame. A different amateur category will be chosen at random for each event for the big Specialized prize package.

The next Big Mountain Enduro stop takes place in Brian Head, Utah on August 27 -28th.

Stay tuned for more videos, updates and coverage from this last event in Durango. BME will keep all racers up to date about when racer galleries are LIVE so keep an eye out via social media for all of the professional shots from last weekend.

Words by Dirk Badenhorst
Photos by Eddie Clark, James Stokoe & Dirk Badenhorst

Stage 3 drop in with the Iconic Engineer Mountain on the second day of racing at Purgatory resort jamesstokoephoto



18 Comments

  • 10 2
 My kid debated doing this race, so we scheduled to be in the area while it was happening. We rode a day of park and most of the stages in the park but didn't hit the backcountry stages. Evidently, the course on the first day was just brutal. Two stages, 44 miles, 6000 ft. climbing, and one of the stages 20 minutes. Ouch. Then on the "bike park" day, things just got crazy technical. Links and Purgatory World Cup were both legit difficult trails that we got to ride while there. Even the pros were grumbling that this race was brutal.

Hats off to those who finished this race. At the end of the day, I was glad we didn't pull the trigger, though it would have made for some epic memories.
  • 8 0
 Wait, BME hosting a brutal race? Well, I NEVER! I bet that river felt so nice after all that climbing.
  • 2 0
 We're happy ya'll got out there any! It was a big race for sure!!
  • 12 0
 Brutal, yes. But my son and myself completed the race and he is 11. We also practiced all the stages on the two peace days so we did over 100 miles of riding in 4 days and came from Connecticut (sea level) to compete. He ended 26th of 40 in the 16u class so it can be done.
  • 2 0
 @Brooksinct: Congrats, and that's awesome! Those are memories that will last a lifetime!
  • 1 0
 @BigMtnEnduro: you all definitely know how to put on some awesome events! The boy did Ironton, and it was great (and also brutal, but in a different way... brutal on bikes more than on the legs).
  • 1 0
 @Brooksinct: So, a $10,000 race weekend? It better have been kickass! I hope you both had a great time. Probably worth the dough just to leave the East Coast.
  • 2 0
 @danger13: I lived out west for 12 years and moved back to the EC. There are benefits and drawbacks to everywhere.
  • 6 0
 Good to see racing in Durango!!
  • 3 0
 We were stoked to be back for the second year in a row!
  • 3 0
 As a Durango resident, I sincerely appreciated this event (even though I was too late to get a spot…). It was a great vibe, and course to tough. Looking forward to next year.
  • 3 0
 The Maxxis kits are FIRE!
  • 2 0
 And the team is FAST!
  • 3 1
 Crazy seeing so many half shells in these pics. Looks like a hell of a course.
  • 3 0
 A lot of folks wore the half shells for the two stages in the BC. Was a big course and racers CRUSHED it.
  • 2 0
 Thank you to BME for such an epic course! You definitely put on more than just a race but an experience to remember!
  • 3 0
 BME putting on PROPER Enduro races. Well done!
  • 2 0
 The fitness of these riders is insane. That course looked absolutely brutal. Congrats to anyone who simply finished.





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