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Race Report: Plenty of New Stages at the MooseDuro 2019

Sep 24, 2019
by Alberta 66 MTB  
Caroline Keats Photo
Race registration at dawn. Photo by Caroline Keats

After 2 years of pre-race snow and wet conditions, MooseDuro 2019 was rewarded with blue skies, sunshine, and tacky dirt at Moose Mountain, Alberta. Race organizers Alberta 66 MTB totally revamped the course this year changing two of the three trails for each the long and short course.

Jason Fischer Scenery Moose Mountain
Jason Fischer Photo
Views from the top of stage 1 and the roots that awaited the riders. Photos by Jason Fischer

Long course riders were sent to the most challenging stage first thing in the morning, a trail called Special K. As they climbed Moose Mountain Road, local freeride crew ‘The Flannel Crew’, drove by cheering, heckling, and handing out "beverages" to keep the riders spirits high. Special K was split into two stages to match its split personality. The trail starts off old-school with steep, tight, and rooty turns then completely changes to fast berms, flow and some pedaling required.

Jason Fischer Photo
Michael Aqueveque Photo
Stephane Pelletier taking the aggressive line on stage 1 on a borrowed bike. Steedz Enduro rider Simon Hirota staying ahead of the competition while navigating the tight trees. Photos Jason Fischer and Michael Aqueveque

The community vibe is strong at MooseDuro – long course participant Stephane Pelletier had flown back from Vancouver to make the race and his bike was lost in transit. His friend and competitor Quinn Hepburn didn’t want him to miss out so lent him a bike to ride. Unfortunately, Stephane had a mechanical on that bike in stage 2 .. but managed to borrow ANOTHER bike mid-race from previous year winner Sean Alexander who was standing at the top of stage 3 cheering on the racers. With two borrowed bikes, Stephane finished the race in an impressive 6th place in open men, unfortunately beating out his generous bike-lender Quinn, who finished in 7th.

After a brutal climb up Moosepackers trail, the long course racers reached the aid station, where they rejoined short course racers who had ridden a local favorite, 7-27 trail, for their stage 1 and all racers headed to the last two stages together. This year the well-stocked feed station was sponsored and run by local riders and previous MooseDuro Masters winners – Heather Cleveland and Louis-Julien Roy. They were set up next to local mountain bike service shop The Inside Line, who was busy reviving bikes before all racers headed down SHAFT.

Much needed refreshments and mechanics at the aid station. Photo by Caroline Keats

SHAFT stands for Super Happy Awesome Fun Trail – which we would agree with on a non-race day. In a race the trail is hard work – one of the longest runs on the mountain with dozens of corners requiring the riders to pump and push until their legs are tired out, then use up their last energy on a steep, rocky finish.

Luke Marshall Photo
Luke Marshall Photo
Alyssa Bruce eyeing up her next turn on SHAFT and Nick Quinn taking the inside option on a particularly infamous rocky corner. Photos by Luke Marshall

Racers had one last climb up after SHAFT to take on the trail that has been in MooseDuro since its inception, Brakeless. The top starts with great berms, corners and a steep line that sends you rocketing into the woods. The bottom half is a suspension test - rooty and fast to the finish. By this time riders were tired and had to work hard to hold on to their bikes.

Michael Aqueveque Photo
Dylan Fysh railing the Brakeless berms. Photo by Michael Aqueveque

After a long day on the trails, the racers returned to the start area to a well-deserved BBQ, provided by local company Ignite CSG, and beer provided by Ridley's Cycle. It didn’t take long to revive energy levels and volunteers and racers were stoked when it was time to win raffle prizes and announce podiums.

Jason Fischer Photo
The race day BBQ was provided by Ignite CSG and manned by Laura's parents and Jeff's son and son's girlfriend - thanks family! Photo by Jason Fischer

Caroline Keats Photo
MMBTS Executive Anne-Marie Chantal dressed for the occasion. Photo by Caroline Keats

The fastest time of the day was taken by former MMBTS trail boss Alex Silverthorne. Alex won the race in 2017, then was disappointed with a 4th place finish in 2018. He drove back from his new hometown of Revelstoke to take back the Moose crown – narrowly beating out his old Tuesday night riding buddies Ryan Silliker and Nick Quinn. The Prairie Girls Racing squad took two of the top steps in the Long Course Open Women, Krista Cook winning the day and Suzanne Winkelmann in third, with Lauren Lankester splitting the two.

Kim Mustard took the top Masters women’s time followed by second place Jill Simek – who had planned a trip from Alaska to ride the Moose area and proceeded to lay down some of the fastest stage times of the ladies. Coach and Spin Sister rider Fiona Mulvenna rounded out the podium. In the Masters men, CNES regular Grant Murray took a commanding lead over Bobby Komer and Josh Moffat.

Youth representation was strong at the race with 24 riders in U21 and U15 categories. We were stoked to see riders and their coaches from the local Bragg Creek club – XCBC as well as Canmore’s Rundle Mountain Cycling Club, Calgary’s Drift Racing, and Edmonton’s Hardcore Mountain Bike Club.

Short course participants still had a long day with over 1000 meters of climbing over three stages, and many racers were first-time enduro participants! We were stoked to hear many of them enjoyed their first race, and for the returning riders it was exciting to race a new course.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Short Course Open Women Andra Andrew and Amy Kraemer had never raced enduro before, both said their coming back for MooseDuro 2020. Photos by Tara Walmsley

Thanks again to our small army of volunteers who made the day run flawlessly, this race would not happen without you and we are eternally grateful. As well, thank you to our amazing sponsors who kept bikes working, fed the racers, and donated awesome prizes. All this generosity and hard work led to us raising several thousand dollars for Moose Mountain Bike Trail Society - the dedicated group of volunteers who build and maintain the trails that we raced on. Full profits to be announced on social media @alberta66mtb and @mmbtsinfo, and keep an eye out as we'll be releasing more photos from the event for purchase on Roots and Rain this week. Photos will be $5 each or $20 for a bundle of all photos of one racer, with all profits again going to MMBTS, thanks to our generous race photographers: Caroline Keats, Jason Fischer, Luke Marshall, Tara Walmsley and Michael Aqueveque.

Jason Fischer Photo
Jason Fischer Photo
Long Course Open Men and Open Women

Jason Fischer Photo
Jason Fischer Photo
Long Course Masters Women and Masters Men

Jason Fischer Photo
Jason Fischer Photo
Long Course U21 Men and U21 Women

Jason Fischer Photo
Short Course Open Men and Open Women

Jason Fischer Photo
Jason Fischer Photo
Short Course Masters Men and U15 Men



Regions in Article
Moose Mountain


27 Comments

  • 20 0
 Fantastic event, as always. And the mini cinnamon rolls lived up to the hype.

AB66 have become the gold standard in what a small business is capable of when it comes to supporting and promoting the local riding scene. Jeff and Laura are permanent fixtures on the mountain - whether it's working on a trail, running courses, or just stopping for a chat in the parking lot. And between the money raised by this event and the number of mmbts memberships that are (undoubtedly) sold because of it, it's a big deal for the trails. It's always wild seeing the surge in riders on the mountain leading up to the mooseduro. Really cool.

It was an inspired course choice this year - I loved it! Of course people will say "wah, you didn't pick MY favorite trails!" but then they ride Special K and remember how much fun it is. And then they start wondering when Brakeless turned into such a good time. Thanks for giving us reason to revisit some underused trails and some old favorites.

Oh, and those views in the valley heading out of Elbow for the last stage can't be beat this time of year Smile
  • 8 0
 Thank you so much for your kind words! We love this mountain, MMBTS and our fellow Moose Riders!
  • 8 0
 Couldn't have said it better myself! The weather was amazing, the trails were MINT. I'm still mentally recovering from that hellish slog back up the mountain from Special K up to SHAFT, but it was totally worth it. I set PBs on every single run I did that day and couldn't have been happier with the race. The Alberta66 team were gracious enough to give some of us campers a free shuttle up to the top on Saturday for some last minute practice runs. They were going up anyway to prep for the race and made sure their vehicle was filled with riders before heading up. I was just going to do a Brakeless run with my family shuttling me up, but being able to head up with AB66 and do Special K instead helped me immensely. I'll make sure to pay it back and book a day on the trials with them next season! Also, this event was organized fantastically. Everything from a racer's perspective was totally seamless and we only needed to focus on riding our bikes. Outstanding.
  • 6 0
 I crushed like 4 of those tasty little cinnamon rolls lol
  • 6 0
 This was my first ever enduro and first time riding moose mountain. I hope to ride moose a lot more so I can come back stronger next year!!
  • 4 0
 AB66 killing it as per usual. Had an absolute blast this weekend and so cool to see how big and stoked the Calgary riding scene always is. I may be biased but I think it might be one of the best out there. Thanks again Laura and Jeff for doing so much good in the community!
  • 4 0
 Such a fun day shooting pictures all over the place! Some riders were pinning it and others were pretty casual, but everyone had a grin on their face! It's always amazing to see the community come out and celebrate bikes and the amazing trails we have. Thanks Laura and Jeff for all the hard work you put in to organizing everything!
  • 3 0
 Hi all! I forgot to link to the results, sorry about that! The link to results and photos is at www.alberta66mtb.com/mooseduro . Also - I forgot to put in the U21 men short course podium photo.. it will be uploaded to the race recap album ASAP.

We try our best to seem professional but it doesn’t always work ????. Just stoked most of you had a good time and appreciate everyone who came out to race and volunteer!
  • 4 0
 Great report! I had an awesome time doing my first Enduro, and will be back next year!
  • 3 0
 Great event guys, killed it !
  • 2 0
 It was an awesome day, Thanks for organizing the race hope to do this again next year.
  • 2 0
 That's my Bronson all pimped in red! Woot woot!
  • 2 3
 @aricthred went to KH and shredded some sweet trails for less money ????
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