Memorial Day Weekend means a weekend of grilling burgers, drinking beer and half price sales at your favorite Macy's, but more importantly, it means it was time for the first stop of the 2019 Yeti Cycles Big Mountain Enduro Presented by Maxxis. This is the fourth year that the Big Mountain Enduro has started the season at Glorieta Camps, located 20 minutes South-East of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and once again, it was a huge success with a sold out field of racers!
The weather leading up to the event included gusty winds, snow, hail and rain, but just before the first day of practice was to commence on Thursday the clouds opened and it left the trails in prime condition, and the sun kept smiling for the rest of the weekend which brought out plenty of supporters to cheer / heckle the athletes.
35 miles of pedaling and 8300 feet of climbing spread over six stages meant two big days on the bike, however, once the racers reached the top of the grueling climbs, they were rewarded with gnarly, rocky, tight and steep descents - and even some pedal to your hearts content, and then some more, descents. The big days did not scare away the positive vibe though, and everyone had a huge smile on their face as they rolled across the finish line on their last stage on Sunday; albeit a tired, dust covered, (in some cases blood covered) smile.
Racing was tight all weekend throughout all categories, but by the end of day one the leaders of their respective groups were making their presence known, and were not about to give the lead up without one hell of a fight. Cooper Ott (Crested Butte, CO. Pivot Cycles) took the top step of the podium in the Pro Woman's category, with first place finishes in 3 of the 6 stages, and second place in the other 3 stages - Cooper even got a second on stage 6, with her bars 90 degrees to her front wheel following a crash just above the Chili Dog Drop (see picture below) with a running finish!! Much like Cooper, Shawn Neer (Golden, CO. Yeti / Fox Shox Factory Team) had no interest in messing around on the hill; Neer secured his gold medal spot in the Pro Men's category with a first place finish on 4 out of the 6 stages.
BME Stop #1 Santa Fe
Women's Pro Open Final Results
1. Cooper Ott 0:43:42.08
2. Stefanie McDaniel 0:44:58.14
3. Alicia Leggett . 0:45:06.96
4. Lia Westermann 0:45:17.76
5. Isabella Naughton 0:46:09.68
BME Stop #1 Santa Fe
Men's Pro Open Final Results
1. Shawn Neer 0:37:50.72
2. Carson Eiswald 0:38:12.86
3. Cory Sullivan 0:38:13.46
4. Trevor McCutcheon 0:38:20.21
5. Scott Countryman 0:38:20.26
A solid weekend for all racers, fortunately there were very few injuries, and the weather held out. For a full list of all the results; Click Here. The next stop for the Big Mountain Enduro is Winter Park, CO July 13th, and it will be exciting to see if Copper Ott and Shawn Neer can keep their feet firmly planted on the top step of the podium, or if some of the other contenders have something up their sleeve!