Welcome to the Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, Colorado. Conditions were a bit stormy the evening of Stage 1. - Photos and story by Devon Balet
The Trestle All-Mountain Enduro opened up with a chainless DH race, testing riders' abilities to maintain speed through a variety of terrain.
Mike Buell cruised his way to a seventh place finish in Stage 1. Team Geronimo was in full force, claiming several Top 10s throughout the weekend. Brian Buell, Mike's team mate and brother, won the chainless DH by 13 seconds, jumping into the lead early on.
For most, this was their first go at enduro racing. Brian Buell found that it suited him very well and he was able to hang with some of the sport's big names.
As the weekend progressed, Brian Buell and Ross Schnell traded stage wins. Brian won Stages 1 and 2. Ross won Stages 3, 4, and 5.
Well known for his accomplishments on an All-Mountain bike, Mark Weir weighs in on the USA's newest event. He finished 5th overall.
Stage 2 sent racers down No Quarter, a trail littered with drops and steep rollers. Kyle Quinn and TJ Cowern made quick work of it.
Winter Park's trails suit a variety of riders. Roll it or send it, they're ready for anyone, which made the location idea for this event.
Lucas Lemaire stays focused while getting a little loose around a turn.
Enter Kelli Emmett, a World Cup level cross-country racer who has won a number of Super-D and All-Mountain events, including Downieville in 2010.
Efficiency, consistency, and the ability to ride all kinds of terrain are the keys to doing well at a multi-stage enduro race.
You can tell Kelli is pumped on this race format.
After Stage 1, Kelli Emmett was in 3rd Place, nearly 20 seconds back. Wins in Stages 2, 3, and 5 would ultimately put Kelly in the overall lead, but Rebecca Gardner was chomping at her heals the whole way.
Enduro racing is just as much about your pedaling power as it is your downhill skills. Jess Pedersen and Anthony Diaz get on the gas.
Ben Cruz, fresh off a trip to an Italian Superenduro event, struggled with the high altitude but still put in a solid effort, including 5th Place in Stage 1.
Using the Rain Maker jump trail as a course forced riders to keep their speed high and airs low.
The 5th and final stage brought out all the skin suits. Nate Hills (center), a Colorado local, rode consistently the entire weekend, landing himself in 3rd place overall.
It wasn't all about the Pros. Plenty of young rippers came out to race, like aCOS racer Trent Del Grippo who finished 3rd overall in the 15 and under class. Trent is 12.
Coming into the Stage 5, Buell led over Schnell, so Buell started at the front of the pack. Schnell turned up the heat and was able to pass him mid-course. "I knew I had second, so I threw in some flare," said Brian Buell. "I just really enjoy riding my bike."
Skin suits and whips, the Trestle All Mountain Enduro had it all.
As with any sport, enduro racing requires a specific skill set, and Cruz is learning from one of the best.
After Stage 4, Jess Pedersen sat comfortably in 5th Place. A flat tire in Stage 5 dashed his hopes of making the podium.
Mark Weir charges through the rocks.
In the end, the All-Mountain specialist triumphed over the DHer.
1st - Ross Schnell, 2nd - Brian Buell, 3rd - Nate Hills
The Trestle All-Mountain Enduro was a success on a number of levels for Schnell, as a racer and promoter. It's a pretty sure bet that there will be more North American enduro events in the future.
Freeze frame! Ross Schnell finds his flow.
No stranger to enduro racing, Trek's Ross Schnell was the mastermind behind the Trestle All-Mountain Enduro. Here he tackles the chainless DH, finishing third on the day and 17 seconds off the pace.