The 2018 Yeti Cycles Big Mountain Enduro presented by Shimano season kicked off in Santa Fe, NM on Saturday and what an event it was. With a sold out field and some of the top riders in the world, excitement was in the air. Over 300 racers tackled the 4 challenging stages that the BME crew put together at Glorieta, including the new steep DH track (Stage 2) that challenged racers to the fullest. The infamous and final stage 4 Chili Dog was as entertaining as ever, always boasting a huge heckle zone and hundreds of people taking in the action; and crashes.
Shimano was out in full force, launching their new XTR 12-speed products at the BME season opener. Richie Rude ran the new XTR and took the Yeti SB5.5 to a dominating victory over some of the world's best, winning by over 37 seconds. With a tight battle for 2nd place, Curtis Keene barely held off Marco Osborne for the second step. Coming in 4th and 5th were Duncan Nason and Scott Countryman. For the pro women, Cooper Ott held the top step on the box, followed by Rachel Strait, Alex Pavon, Lia Westerman and Liz Cunningham.
The tracks were steep, rocky and well-balanced at the Glorieta headquarters, but as challenging as the big day was on the bike, all racers were stoked and smiling come post-party time in the sponsor village. The raffle was huge, the prizes were stacked high. Shimano also gave out full sets of brakes as part of their sweepstakes and pros walked away with some serious cash, with equal payouts for men and women. It was good to see such a positive group of racers yesterday at the BME season opener and to see Richie Rude smiling again and riding as fast as we've seen him yet in his young career.Expert Open Men:
1st: Josh Gaube
2nd: Lars Romig
3rd: Robby MadeirosAmateur Men:
1st: Chris Thomas
2nd: Aidan Scott
3rd: Wendell MontgomeryMaster Men 40+:
1st: Mike West
2nd: Joe Lawwill
3rd: Jonathan ReedMaster Men 50+:
1st: Dee Tidwell
2nd: Don Fritts
3rd: DL WoodAmateur Women:
1st: Ariana Soto
2nd: Katie Gillen
3rd: Merel WitteveenMaster Women 40+:
1st: Amber Tinstman
2nd: Krista Birkelo
3rd: Lisa GustinU21 Men:
1st: Max Sedlak
2nd: Travis Claypool
3rd: Talus LantzGroms:
1st: Aidan Bond
2nd: Braden Linde
3rd: Izak BoarmanFull results here: http://www.bigmountainenduro.com/results/BME RAW Video: Photos by Eddie Clark and Tony Wilhelms.
More media coverage, videos and full photo gallery soon to follow via BME social media channels and Pinkbike.
A huge thanks to all of the BME sponsors, including Yeti Cycles, Shimano, Maxxis, FOX, Stan's No Tubes, Upslope Brewing, Ryno Power, Honey Stinger, Enduro MTB Training, Backcountry Research, Smart Cycling Service, along with the Glorieta Camps and Jagged Axe Trail Designs.