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