Race Report: Richie Rude & Bex Baraona Win Big Mountain Enduro Season Opener in Ironton, MO

May 17, 2022
by BigMtn Enduro  
Downtown Ironton: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

The first stop of the Big Mountain Enduro race series presented by Specialized kicked off this past weekend in historic Ironton, Missouri.

With hot and humid temps straddling the high 80s to mid 90s, it was an absolute scorcher of a weekend on and off track.

Big Mountain Enduro - Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by dirkbadenhorst
Kera Linn, Rachel Strait & Porsha Murdock: Big Mountain Enduro - Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

BME fired off the weekend from the sponsors village in downtown Ironton where locals kindly shut down two streets to accommodate the event which was home based next to the historic three story red courthouse scarred by the impact of cannon fire and still guarded by two civil war era cannons.

 Sick Mic on stage 1 of 9 of the BME in Ironton. Photo dirkbadenhorst
The legendary Mick Hannah on stage 1 of 9 in Ironton: by @dirkbadenhorst

Familiar faces from the North American Specialized Enduro team, Maxxis Factory Racing, Yeti Cycles, Liv Cycling, KHS, Cannondale and many other teams fought it out on 9 total stages, each with about 600 ft of descent on average and totaling around 5,000 ft of gain and loss on trails designed and built Jagged Axe Trail Designs The newly formed e-bike category also saw many racers tackle the tough tracks, where "Sik Mik" Mick Hannah dominated every single stage for the victory.

Sponsor Village in Ironton: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Kasper Woolley: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Below the surface of this charming midwestern town and home of Shepard Mountain Bike Park and the seeming benign green canopy of the rolling hills lay a monstrous variety of tracks and terrain that proved to be totally physical and brutally punishing to those who made mistakes. Many wheels and tires were taken as a sacrifice to the mountain this weekend by tracks that could simply be described as “a little dirt, in a sea of rocks”.

The weekend was filled with tight racing in most fields due to small mistakes having big consequences on the overall standings.


Big Mountain Enduro Ironton 2022
Cody Kelley: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @jamesstokoephoto


Ultimately however, the Big Mountain Enduro at Ironton saw the two time EWS champion Richie Rude, racing for Yeti, take a commanding win over the rest of the pro field with 6 out of 9 stage wins and a 21 second lead ahead of his closest competitor and teammate, Kasper Woolley.

Bex Baraona, from Scotland and racing for Yeti, took the win for the Pro Women's field after 8 out of 9 stage wins with more than a one minute lead over her next competitor. See the BME Results page for full rankings.

Final Results for Pro Men

1st: Richie Rude

2nd: Kasper Woolley

3rd: Nikolas Nestoroff

4th: Colton Peterson

5th: Shane Leslie

Richie Rude: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Final Results for Pro Women:

1st: Bex Baraona

2nd: Kate Lawrence

3rd: Porsha Murdock

4th: Kera Linn

5th: Fiona Dougherty

Bex Baraona: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @EddieClarkMedia

Full Results can be found HERE.


Porsha Murdock & Jakob Snow: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @EddieClarkMedia

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 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 frame won by the Groms category winner 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.

Curtis Keene & Henry Rapinz who won the Youth Groms category and a Specialized frame in Ironton this past weekend: by @dirkbadenhorst

The next Big Mountain Enduro stop takes place in Big Sky, Montana on June 25-26, a favorite of those who race the series. Tracks at Big Sky are notoriously long, steep and raw.

Stay tuned for more updates later this summer from coverage of the remainder of the BME events this season.

Words by Dirk Badenhorst

Photos by Dirk Badenhorst, James Stokoe & Eddie Clark

Once racer galleries are posted, BME will notify racers on their social feeds. But for now, check out these photos highlights from BME stop number 1 in Ironton, MO.


Big Mountain Enduro - Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by dirkbadenhorst
Evan Geankoplis: Big Mountain Enduro - Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by dirkbadenhorst
Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Practice Day Shuttle: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Kera Linn: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @EddieClarkMedia

Rachel Strait: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Porsha Murdock: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @EddieClarkMedia

Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Specialized racer Austin Hackett-Klaube: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Big Mountain Enduro Ironton 2022
Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @jamesstokoephoto

Big Mountain Enduro Ironton 2022
Finn Smith: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @jamesstokoephoto

Marco Osborn styling out the final jumps of the last stage of the weekend in the rain: by @EddieClarkMedia

Big Mountain Enduro Ironton 2022
Trevor McCutcheon: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @jamesstokoephoto

10 Barrel Brewing: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @EddieClarkMedia

Pro Men's Podium: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @EddieClarkMedia

Pro Women's Podium: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @EddieClarkMedia

Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by dirkbadenhorst
Sweet Victory with Kera, Kate, Bex, Porsha & Fiona: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park by @dirkbadenhorst

Big Mountain Enduro Ironton 2022
Specialized Racer: Big Mountain Enduro -Shepherd Mountain Bike Park - Specialized Rider by @EddieClarkMedia



23 Comments

  • 14 0
 funny that they yeti team had the specialized logo blacked out on their number plates
  • 8 0
 That'll cost you 50 francs
  • 2 1
 No UCI Fines... or BME Fines... (Yes I know BME is not UCI sanctioned).
  • 3 0
 Sh*t gets real out there. Yeti and Specialized are still recovering from a bidding war over Kirt Voreis 20 years ago. Those scars run deep.
  • 1 1
 Specialized, the most hated bike brand... Yeti: Hold my beer.
  • 7 1
 Yes Bex! First win on the new bike.
  • 2 0
 Go go Bex, it doesn’t seem that long ago that she was raffling of tickets to pay for a seasons racing as a privateer. Just goes to show how far hard work and determination can get you! Well done Bex, we’ll deserved. … still got the gloves I won and the scars from the Welsh gravity enduro race Smile
  • 2 1
 How is the ebike category new? I raced in it at this venue last year. Also the BME cut 2 races off the emtb race it’s from last year. Why have a class and it not participate at all venues?
  • 6 1
 Possibly due to land manager regulations on ebikes?
  • 1 0
 The only big enduro race close-ish to Wisconsin. I'd love to race in the amateur category some time in the next few years just for the experience.
  • 2 0
 Put 4 more psi and an insert in that rear tire and you'll be good
  • 1 0
 Been seeing Fiona Dougherty on race results for a few years now. Super impressed with her drive to compete at such a young age.
  • 2 0
 Kasper! 18 seconds behind Richie this week and 21 seconds behind Jesse last week. Lookin good.
  • 3 0
 RANDY IS BACK
  • 4 2
 OZARK
  • 8 0
 (filmed in Georgia)
  • 2 0
 @AndrewFleming: Oh really. I know next to nothing about the region but was happy to learn that, along with murder and money laundering, there is mountain biking!
  • 2 0
 @blanshard16: Yea, Georgia has turned into the filming industry capital of the US due to tax breaks, etc. And there's decent riding near where Ozark and other shows are filmed in Georgia. That said, I need to get to Missouri, visit an old friend and ride these trails with that old friend. And, I have so many mixed emotions about Ozark's ending!
  • 2 0
 @AndrewFleming: you and me both on the ending
  • 1 0
 trusty old sb 150 still capable for a podium or two, not bad!
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