Words & Video by: Mick Gilligan // Photos by: Mark Martinez & Keegan May
What was supposed to be round two of Revolution Enduro
shifted into round one; you may not be familiar with the series, but you can guess why. In a summer where race cancellations have more common than race announcements, Revolution Enduro, based in Colorado, completed the Eagle Enduro on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
Revolution Enduro worked with the Town of Eagle, Eagle County, US Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management to make it happen under current Colorado COVID guidelines. It was the first event of its kind in the area and the first backcountry race in Colorado. Social distancing, masks, a 175 participant cap, self-shuttle, groups of 25 with 30-minute journey start gaps, rolling staggered awards, and boxed meals were all part of COVID risk mitigation. A HUGE thank you to all the athletes and supporters of the athletes for coordinating the self-shuttle. The shelf-shuttle was the final detail for the event permitting process and the solution to meet COVID guidelines.
The thought of getting back to racing was exciting, to say the least. 2020 has brought so much uncertainty and instability to everyone’s life. The event approval for the Eagle Enduro, only three weeks before the event date, energized the Revolution Enduro race crew and manager, David Scully, into race organization mode and brought a sense of purpose.
Ok ok, back to the race recap at hand...
The Eagle Enduro had athletes peaking out at 10,800’ that descended 5,000’ with four stages over 23 miles.
Race day was beautiful, with a sunny morning followed by a clouded afternoon. The clouds made racing much more comfortable. After the vehicle “self shuttle” racers were greeted with an 8-mile warm-up to complete the pedal transfer on Sawmill trail, with stunning alpine views and short descents to get athletes ready for the first stage.
Stage one started on a ridgeline at around 10,500 feet. The start of the track sent you hurtling down the alpine through peaking wildflowers with wicked fast straights into sweeping high-speed corners. Mid-stage brought the first test of racer fitness with a gut punch pedal section across a meadow before the final trail section into a rocky gnarvana. Racers were rewarded if they could stay off the brakes and let the bike dance through the loose, tight, and square edge, rocky section of the stage.
A short pedal transfer brought racers to stage two. On the map, it looks like your average double track, right? The Revolution Enduro crew named the stage “White Knuckle.” It reminds you of old school racing, but today racers can descend it on the latest and greatest enduro bikes. Makes one realize how rowdy the guys and gals were back when racing double track was all they had and bikes were basically just modified road bikes.
After hitting maximum “White Knuckle” speeds for the day and possibly the season, the racers climbed a short hike-a-bike transfer to stage three, Mike’s Night Out. This trail is a former moto trail that is flowy singletrack with a steep gypsum chute at the finish, that follows a ridgeline down off the alpine and brings the riders to the lower desert sagebrush trails in the Eagle area.
One of the best transfers of the day is to stage four. It is a quality bit of trail that provides some fun, “off the clock” ride time for racers to arrive at stage four, Worlds Greatest; one of the most popular descents on the lower trails of Eagle, according to Trailforks’ Heat Map. It’s fast, flowy, and with the highlight being the gypsum-chalk chute near the bottom of Worlds Greatest. Turning to Elmers, the lower portion of the stage racers were challenged with large holes and loose dirt leading into high-speed blind corners. Elmers pushed athletes to stay on the gas until the finish line. A great stage to finish out the day.
See the full results here
Revolution Enduro would like to thank the athletes, supporters of athletes, our volunteers, and the race crew. This community is the best! Massive shout out to all of our great sponsors; Intense Cycles
, Skratch Labs
, Storm Peak Brewing
, David Chase Furniture
, and Max Mortgage. This race wouldn’t be possible without these great brands. Finally, we can’t forget The Town of Eagle, Eagle County, The Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service for working with us in these crazy times. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
Want more trails in Eagle?! There is currently a GoFund Me page to build a new advance trail in Eagle. The Hardscrabble Trails Coalition is looking to raise 10K. If you can give them some support and read about the project here
Next up, Round 2 in Steamboat Springs, August 8 and 9. Click here
for event information.