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2019 Big Mountain Enduro - Telluride, CO. 1

The third stop of the 2019 Yeti Big Mountain Enduro p/b Maxxis finds itself in the picturesque town of Telluride, Colorado for competitors to battle over four stages including backcountry and bike park racing.

2019 Big Mountain Enduro - Telluride, CO.

The state of Colorado is able to boast some of the most breath taking locations in the country, without argument. Whether it's a secluded lake at 12,000' only to be found after a six mile hike through mosquito infested woods, or the inspirational view that was the muse for "America the Beautiful", Colorado has no shortage of exhilarating places to fill your lungs with mountain air and get high off the beauty that you'll find laid before you, however, Telluride, well, Telluride is something truly special and unique...   

The third stop of the 2019 Yeti Cycles Big Mountain Enduro p/b Maxxis brings us to Telluride, Colorado. A year-round destination located in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The town's history is based around mining, however, the town's history also includes bank robberies by Butch Cassidy and the formation of one of the top ten skiing areas found in the United States. But this weekend it played host to 450 mountain bike enthusiasts chomping at the bit to conquer the 9,000' of climbing (including lifts) and almost 10,000' of descending over 33 miles. This stop of the BME also played host to their inaugural Downhill Race which was to be held after the enduro event in Telluride Bike Park.

The one day event would include two backcountry stages sandwiched by two stages in Telluride Bike Park; this was a big day for all competitors and the Colorado weather did not make life easy for the athletes who were faced with scorching heats, high winds, rain and hail before their day was done. 

The athletes who entered the sport category would race three out of the four stages, passing on one of the backcountry stages known to the locals as "Deep Creek" and "Stage 2" to the competitors who were required to pedal / hike a bike up approx. 2,000' of elevation to the start of Stage Two, this included donating at least 2 gallons of blood to the relentless mosquito population on the way; it definitely had many folk (mainly the writer of this article) rethinking their life choices.

The stoke was high throughout the event leading to some fantastic racing. Fan favorite, Richie Rude had a flat on stage one which would put him behind the winner of the stage, Carson Lange, by 21 seconds, Richie fought hard the rest of the day to gain that time back, but after some savage racing from both Carson Lange and Evan Geankoplis, Rude found himself in third place at the end of the day with Lange taking second and Geankoplis grabbing the top step of the podium. The Pro Women category saw big names such as Cooper Ott, Stefanie McDaniel, and Lia Westermann roll up to the start line, but this stop of the Yeti Big Mountain Enduro p/b Maxxis would see Westermann take a clean sweep of all four stages with an overall lead of 24 seconds over Ott, and McDaniel rounding out the top three 18 seconds behind Ott. 

Hosting an enduro which spans both bike park riding and backcountry stages will always be inherent with a plethora of logistical challenges, however, even with the weather playing havoc, the big day that the athletes had on their bike, and the wedding planner who needed lifts shut down in what seemed like minutes after the weather hold was lifted - this was one of those events that all the riders were stoked at the end of the day - with a beer and a taco in their hands there were big smiles on faces all around the sponsor village. This event brought a high level of stoke; there are not enough positive descriptive words in the english language to convey how beautiful of a location this was for a race, the back country stages really displayed what Colorado riding is all about, steep and techy with magnificent views. Even while hiking a bike, with your sweat and drool becoming one, you couldn't help but look around and smile. The bike park stages meant that it was easily accessible for the fans to come support their favorite rider, whether it was Lia Westermann, Richie Rude or their granddaughter 

There's a lot of great places to hold a race of this caliber, but this is definitely one of the best, no argument, and we hope that we see another BME in Telluride next year.  

For all results go to: https://zone4.ca/race/2019-07-27/2d79291c/results/ 


Overall winner in the Pro Men category Evan Geankoplis is just getting started...

The climbs were no joke. These guys looked great compared to some of us...

Creator of #followcamfriday, and international star Nate Hills is fresh back from racing in Canada and getting re-acclimated to the Colorado singletrack.

Unfortunately the backcountry single track took some victims, fortunately, Sarah Smith picked herself up and kept charging after this mishap.

The views were something from an issue of Nat Geo; however, Casey Norton didn't have time to stop to smell the wild flowers.

Pro Women third place finisher, Stefanie McDaniel looked confident on everything the four stages threw her way this weekend.

It's always a pleasure to see Scott Countryman out at an BME. Looking strong, Scott finished the day with a solid eighth place.

Wild flowers, wild riders and wild views...what more could you ask for in a day of racing?

Eli Smith ripping it through some waist high skunk cabbage.

Do we even have to caption this?...this is what dreams are made of.

Zack Baxley holding it down for the Sport Male category.

As family doctor dot com always says; "It's important to stay hydrated during physical activity."

Although it didn't stay too long, we had a storm come through early afternoon which had athletes pushing through rain, hail and high winds.

The storm got the best of a couple of the sponsors' banners...

The boys were sure to find time to refuel; Adam Prosise (L) is trying to figure out what that special spice in the tacos was...Flynn George (R) found ecstasy after getting some grub in his belly.

After he got refueled, "Pro-Sauce" tweaked it out over a small table over looking Mountain Village.

Flynn George said, "Hey Prosise!! Look what I can do!" Style for days from both these boys.

Becky Gardner pinning it through some aspens and heading towards an 8th place finish.

Max Sedlak is a common sight at the Big Mountain Enduro races, he looked solid all day and walked away with 6th overall for the day.

Views...

We're excited to see what Antonia Wurth has got in store for her future, walking away with a well earned 6th place for the day.

Camila Vizzoco with smiles for days!

Blake Hemming is in the Youth "Groms" category, and he rips, maybe rips faster than you! (he's only 12)

Lacey Andersen had a little trouble on stage one, but pulled it back to finish the day in 4th place.

This kid is hoping to grab enough air miles that he's going to be able to reserve a private flight off that runway in the background.

Your first place finisher, Evan Geankoplis

First place finisher for the Pro Women, Lia Westermann. Interview below.

 

Richie Rude taking a second to take the view in...

 

Cooper Ott, a staple at the BME races, walked away with second this week, her and Lia couldn't be more stoked for one another, and that's what riding bikes is all about.

Blair Reed, the self proclaimed "Yeti Hype Man", was unfortunately not able to ride this weekend, so he self proclaimed himself as the team manager for the weekend, I had a minute to catch up with him, listen below.

1. Lia Westermann

2. Cooper Ott

3. Stefanie McDaniel

4. Lacey Andersen

5. Zephyr Sylvester

1. Evan Geankoplis

2. Carson Lange

3. Richie Rude

4. Todd Renwick

5. Clayton Otto

Caption contest...

The real winners are the kids!


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