Race Report: Mitch Ropelato & Porsha Murdock Win Big Mountain Enduro Big Sky Season Opener

Aug 24, 2020 at 11:54
by BigMtn Enduro  
Clear skies and fresh air to start the weekend.

Premiere North American enduro racing is back with the 2020 Yeti Cycles Big Mountain Enduro presented by Maxxis. The series returned with a massive weekend of racing at the new-favorite Big Sky Resort in Montana. As to be expected Covid-19 social distancing protocols were in place to keep everyone safe, which meant the venue area looked a little different than previous years. Protocols in place, it was time for some real enduro racing that we've been waiting all season for, and with 8 stages and roughly 5000 feet of climbing dispersed between 4 transitions the race was anyone's to win.

Socically distanced fist bump as the Am Women prepare to start racing.
Socially distanced fist bump as the Am Women prepare to start racing.

Mike West was holding the lead going into day two but lost a bit of time to finish out the weekend in second overall in the Master s 40 race.
Ever young Mike 'Old Man' West was holding the lead going into day two, but lost a bit of time to finish out the weekend in second overall in the Master's 40+ race.
Chris Canfield came back from DH retirement to suffer through nearly 5000 feet of climbing and clinch the Master s 40 win.
Chris Canfield came back from DH retirement to suffer through nearly 5000 feet of climbing and clinch the Master's 40+ win.

Myles Morgan took the win in a highly competitive Men s U23 race.
Myles Morgan took the win in a highly competitive Men's U23 race.

Erin Huck on a much bigger bike than she s normally found on.
Olympian in waiting, Erin Huck on a much bigger bike than she's normally found on.

KHS pro Nik Nestoroff came out swinging into the enduro scene by riding into 8th place on the first day.
Carson Eiswald was injured this time last year, but is apparently well recovered as he proved by taking 5th in the overall.

Cody Kelley getting almost perpendicular to the ground on stage 1.

Who rode it better, Marco blasting it or...
Richie Rude with his mega precise style.

It's hard to see a fraction of a second, but Shawn Neer had this corner on lockdown.

3rd overall Kate Lawrence safely makes it down the massive steep and gnarly chute on stage 3's Lobo trail.

Not everyone made it down safely...
Or on their bikes. It's why we buy lens filters.

And then came Mitch Ropelato to show everyone how it was done, full send!

By the end of day 1, Porsha Murdock assumed the lead by a margin of mere seconds.

Stefanie McDaniel said she spent too much time at 110 percent early on the first day, and started getting faster and more consistent once she reigned in the first-race-of-the-year enthusiasm. The strategy worked and saw her being super competitive all weekend to take second overall.

Alicia Leggett dropping stage 4 under a hazy sky.

Richie gave us all a good showing of what being a national champion looks like.
Richie gave us all a good showing of what being a national champion looks like.

Quinn Reece with the late day start in some rare but ideal light.
Quinn Reece with the late day start in some rare but ideal light.

Shawn and Richie s race steeds all fresh and clean after a big first day of racing.
Shawn and Richie's race steeds all fresh and clean after a big first day of racing.

U23 men head out for the start of the day under some orange morning smoke filtered light.
U23 men head out for the start of the day under some orange morning smoke filtered light.
Sunday s race started with a 1000 foot transfer up the service road.
Sunday's race started with a 1000 foot transfer up the service road.

Racers wait in the shade beneath the newly constructed Ran Charger 8-person lift.
Racers wait in the shade beneath the newly constructed Ram Charger 8-person lift.

Samuel Durnavich took the inaugural win in the first BME e-bike race.
Samuel Durnavich took the inaugural win in the first BME e-bike race.
E-bikes are here to stay but is the climbing advantage worth the weight penalty on the down
E-bikes are here to stay, but is the climbing advantage worth the weight penalty on the down?

Warren Kiss on the remaining loam of stage 5.
Stage 5 featured some newly cut trail with some soft fun loam that was quickly shredded by the end of the weekend. Warren Kiss on the remaining loam of stage 5.

Solid fast and calculated riding from women s winner Porsha Murdock.
Solid, fast and calculated riding from women's winner Porsha Murdock.
Shawn Neer on stage 5 s new fresh cut section.
Shawn Neer on stage 5's new fresh cut section.

Kera Linn lost some time when she laid in down early in stage 6 to slip back to 6th in the overall.
Kera Linn lost some time when she laid it down early in stage 6 to slip back to 6th in the overall.
US Olympic team member for cross country building skill and having fun to lock in 8th place for the overall.
US Olympic team member for cross country building skill and having fun to lock in 8th place for the overall.

Quinn Reece making a near vertical section look near vertical on the stage 6 Revenge steeps.
Quinn Reece making a super steep section look nearly vertical on the stage 6 Revenge steeps.

Richie Rude was on point with solid riding all weekend but just a hair off the winning pace for a fourth overall.
Richie Rude was on point with solid riding all weekend, but just a hair off the winning pace for a fourth overall.
Nik Nestoroff of KHS bikes was another big winner for the weekend by locking in a solid 7th overall for a first real foray into enduro racing.
Nik Nestoroff of KHS bikes was another big winner for the weekend by locking in a solid 7th overall for a first real foray into enduro racing.

Hard times getting good photos of Mitch Ropelato this weekend because we could never hear him coming. His Megatower was dialed and quiet as could be for that extra speed to be smooth and fast on some steep rowdy stages that suited his riding style.
Hard times getting good photos of Mitch Ropelato this weekend because we could never hear him coming. His Megatower was dialed and quiet as could be for that extra speed to be smooth and fast on some steep rowdy stages that suited his riding style.

A bit of a head-scratcher for Cody Kelley as he lost time on the second day to slip from third to sixth in the overall results. But he still looked as good and sharp as ever on the bike
A bit of a head-scratcher for Cody Kelley as he lost time on the second day to slip from third to sixth in the overall results. But he still looked as good and sharp as ever on the bike!

Stefanie McDaniel took 4 of the 8 stage wins and a close second overall on the weekend for some exciting pro women s racing.
Stefanie McDaniel took 4 of the 8 stage wins and a close second overall on the weekend for some exciting pro women's racing.
XC pro Rose Grant rode to a seventh overall in the pro women s race.
XC pro Rose Grant rode to a seventh overall in the pro women's race.


Kasper Wooley make a big entrance to the enduro scene by clinching third place overall in what was supposedly his first real enduro race.
Kasper Woolley made a big entrance to the Big Mountain Enduro scene by clinching third place overall.
Max Sedlak dropped back to 14th after flatting on the second day.
Max Sedlak dropped back to 14th after flatting on the second day.

Shawn Neer keeping was smooth and fast all weekend to finish within a second of the Mitch Ropelato after 28 minutes of racing for a second place overall.
Shawn Neer was smooth and fast all weekend to finish within a second of the Mitch Ropelato after 28 minutes of racing for a second place overall.

Pro men s podium.
Pro men's podium.
Pro women s podium.
Pro women's podium.

The second and final stop for the Big Mountain Enduro series will resume in Winter Park, Colorado on September 11-13 with some guaranteed fast and challenging tracks!

Full results here.

Good to see some medals finally getting used this year
That's a wrap!



37 Comments

  • 32 0
 Might want to adjust the title as Mitch won
  • 12 3
 proof that pinkbike is on yeti's payroll
  • 7 3
 Adjusted! Hadn't had coffee yet. URL was correct Wink
  • 6 0
 I love Ropo’s riding. I kinda feel he hasn’t achieved what he might have been capable of on a bike. I guess that’s a backhanded compliment...? Dude has amazing skills.
  • 13 0
 Why is the title Richie Rude wins when he got third? I'm so confused
  • 13 0
 It also says he got 4th in a picture caption.

WHY PB WHY?!?!
  • 3 2
 @meathooker: He was fourth overall, but was sitting in third after day1. He really is in the fourth slot for the podium photo... no explanation for the title other than a typo?
  • 13 1
 Ropelato getting no love. I guess PB just assumes Richie wins when he is on the start list at an Enduro Race?
  • 11 1
 Thumbnail pic is of Mitch.....title says Richie. Dang PB, this is one of the more egregious "i don't give a shit about proof reading" instances we have seen. Smile
  • 9 0
 Someone needs to do a behind the scenes on Ropelato. Dude seems like he comes out of nowhere and slay's everything he enters.
  • 9 0
 Damn, I could’ve sworn that Mitch won this...I swear that I actually saw it happen with my own eyes.
  • 9 0
 Bike check for Mitch plz!
  • 6 0
 Much respect to all the racers...course was so gnarly, blown out and steep. Watching the pros ride the lines you ride every weekend really puts into perspective how next level these guys are
  • 1 0
 I sat and watched a bit of the Buffalo Jump stage, the first big left hander going into chute right by the chairlift. Watching pros ride that after knowing how steep and loose it was having just ridden it was eye opening. I knew they were good but it's hard to know how good until you see them in person. Also Big Sky is a great park and I will definitely be back. It was actually a last minute change, my buddy and I were originally going to go to Trestle but the fire just outside the bike park had us scrambling. Big Sky was a similar drive so we headed up there instead and I'm very glad we did.
  • 7 0
 Patriots Win Super Bowl XLII
  • 6 0
 Nice Job Shawn Neer!!!

P"
  • 4 0
 Why aren’t we talking about Chris Canfield winning masters on a Revel Rail w dual crown fork? Guess this course was rowdy. Bummed I missed it.
  • 5 0
 I guess XC age groups apply now as U21 becomes U23 lol
  • 4 1
 Article was written by BIGMTNENDURO > YETI is one of the main sponsor > Richie rides YETI > et voila.
  • 3 0
 Richie gets the auto-win just for being there? Cool!
  • 4 0
 Poor Mitch
  • 3 0
 Is a full photo album posted anywhere?
  • 3 0
 one photo of Ropelato?! one.
  • 2 0
 What kind of Knee Pads Mitch is riding ? They seem to be pretty solid ????
  • 1 0
 He's wearing Troy Lee Designs Stage knee pads, but has a CTI knee brace over the pad on his right knee.
  • 4 3
 Mitch needs to fail a drug test or two before he can get full coverage at an enduro
  • 3 1
 Whoever is designing those yeti gear sets, needs to stop.
  • 2 0
 Uhhh there was no U23 cat...
  • 1 0
 Congrats to Mitch!!! One of the nicest pros you will ever meet!! He da man!!!
  • 2 0
 Socially distanced fist bump...but still touch - goons!
  • 1 0
 But what about the GROMS!
  • 1 0
 The groms and U21 killing it. Expert winner would have been 10th in U21!
  • 1 0
 Mitch is strong. Always has been
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