Race Report: Kasper Woolley and Isabella Naughton Take the Win at Big Mountain Enduro in Winter Park

Sep 14, 2020 at 9:03
by BigMtn Enduro  

Words and Photos by Eddie Clark

The 2020 Yeti Cycles Big Mountain Enduro presented by Maxxis finished a Covid-19 abbreviated season in Winter Park, CO where its history of enduro racing runs deep as previous host to EWS racing in 2013 and 2014. The 4 stages of racing at Trestle Bike Park included wide-open fast Upper Boulevard and Lower Boulevard, the notorious Trestle DH, Search and Seizure, Space Ape and concluded with some backcountry singletrack shredding on Eye-to-Eye and Helle's Nuts. With pandemic safety precautions front and center, the individual race categories were split up into three days of racing to minimize large groups of racers at the venue as well as having a mid-day break and 5 minute start time gaps between categories to further spread out the racers.

Not so unexpectedly Friday's first day of racing started with a few inches of new snow that fell overnight. After all, this is Colorado and snowstorms in September are Mother Natures signal to start winter preparations as it is surely coming. Despite the snow, a statewide drought throughout the summer and some barely above freezing temps had the snow quickly melting from the tracks for a cold muddy day of racing the Sport, Am's and U21 women.


U21 Women's racer Camille Lamarque starts Stage 1 under some cold foggy conditions.
Ariana Soto emerged as the U21 season champion by taking the win at both stops for 2020.

The second day of racing featured more Amateur racing and the always stoked Groms who got about the best brown pow conditions of the weekend. It was one of those days when riders were stoked to be getting laps in some of the best dirt Trestle Bike Park sees all season.

Henry Rapinz took a well earned overall win in the Grom class.

By Sunday morning, the tracks were prime and even dusty in a few scant sections, and the stoke level was high to see who would emerge fastest on the final day of racing.

Kailey Skelton gets some puppy time in with KHS team pup Milo before heading up for practice runs on Saturday.
Humble National Champions even air up their own tires on practice days.

Isabella Naughton was on fire this weekend and took the win on 3 of 4 stages for the overall Pro Women's victory.

Kailey Skelton in the morning light of stage 1.

14-year-old WP local, Janelle Soukup, punched above her weight line to take an inspiring 4th place overall in the Pro Women's race.
Blake Hansen rode consistently to take 5th overall in the Pro Women's race.

Clear skies and big views were a welcome sight for the final day of racing.

Trevor McCutcheon got some redemption with faster riding to crack the top ten with an 8th overall in the Pro Men's race.
We can always count on Randy to send it deep. Marco Osbourne was just seconds away from cracking the top 5 overall.

It's hard to say if scrubbing left or right was faster, but Kasper Woolley showed us that the hype was real as he took the overall Pro Men's win.

Cody Kelley came within a second of Richie Rude's stage one fastest time to ultimately claim third overall on the day.

Isabella Naughton taking her first stage win on stage 2's Trestle Downhill.
Xylena Hoppen finished 6th overall in the Pro Women's race.

KHS Pro Nik Nestoroff put in another day of consistent riding to land in 7th place overall.
Last season BME Series winner, Evan Geankopolis, found some of his speed from last season to claim 9th overall on the day.

Max Sedlak had a solid weekend by cracking the top 5 with a 4th overall.

Carson Eiswald showed us some more consistency by rounding out the top 5 overall for the Pro Men.

Kasper Woolley was pure fire on the stage 2 Trestle Downhill by taking an amazing 13-second stage win over Richie Rude for a blazing stage winning time of 5:59.09.

Mitch Ropelato was in the running during the first 3 stages, but an unfortunate tweaked back on stage 4 saw him finish off the pace we know he can ride at.

Aidan Chapin took a highly competitive win in the Men's U21 race.

Stefanie McDaniel was putting in fast times all day to claim second overall in the Pro Women's race.

Kailey Skelton got to show us what she can do by taking third overall in the Pro Women's race

So close, but not close enough for Richie Rude this weekend. Still a real treat seeing our National Champion laying down the heat all day for second overall.

Kasper dominated this section of the Trestle Downhill by entering and exiting with frighteningly fast speed.
So fast, it was a bit mind-bending to watch it without cringing at the near impending disaster that would have befallen anyone else.

Isabella Naughton kicking up some dust on the backcountry-ish singletrack stage 4.

More big stage 4 views with Isabella.
8th overall Pro Women's Kate Lawrence wasn't quite on the same pace she had at Big Sky.

Stefanie McDaniel overcame near disaster to hang tough in stage for second overall in the Pro Women's race.
Stefanie posing with her snapped bars that did not survive the stage 3 endo she took within yards of the finish line. Always scary to hear about riders snapping bars at these speeds, but luckily she emerged relatively unscathed and was able to find another handlebar to finish the race on.

Pro Women's podium in a solitary room with just staff and podium finishers present due to COVID safety concerns. Their masks were just temporarily lowered for the photos.
Pro Men's podium.


Full results with individual stage finish times are live on the Big Mountain Enduro website. Thanks so much to everyone for bearing with us this season while we did our best to provide some of the best enduro racing in North America. Fingers crossed we'll be back with a full series next year!


12 Comments

  • 7 0
 Kasper The Friendly Shredder! What a Win against the best of em!
  • 6 0
 Chapin is definitely one to watch!!!!!
  • 5 0
 So excited for young gun @janellebikes for 4th in pro women. Way to make a statement that you’re here to compete!
  • 6 2
 Hey Kasper - 2019 called, it wants its fork back. How do you even ride that flexy 36, that is soooo last year.
  • 4 0
 It´s amazing seeing the hard work out there to bring racing back after all the chaos we been dealing with!
  • 3 2
 Incomplete reporting on Stefanie bar snap: A. Did the handlebar snap and CAUSE the endo? Or was the snapping bar a RESULT of the endo/crash?
  • 7 0
 The snapped bar was a result of impact from the endo!
  • 4 0
 @Mosstef: you're a BEAST!
  • 1 0
 @briceshirbach: Thanks Buddy!!
  • 1 0
 @Mosstef: Gnarly deal Stef...I saw the post stage video on Bella's IG and thought WTF...glad you are ok.
  • 1 0
 Maybe I'm biased....but super stoked for the Bella Naughton girl...for a girl that just started racing mountain bikes 4 years ago, I think this win is the first of many.
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