Cycling, Events 0

2015 Big Mountain Enduro – Keystone

For two days this past weekend, enduro racers from all over converged on Keystone Resort for the second stop of the Big Mountain Enduro race series. The Keystone stop was six stages split across Saturday and Sunday. I was able to make it up for Saturday’s three stages. The trails used for the course were some of my favorites at Keystone Bike Park, which made it easy to pick out key locations to photograph the racers. I ski Keystone a lot. I ride it a lot. I never realized how spread out the locations I wanted were until I actually hiked the entire front side of the mountain.

There were racers doing it for fun. There were racers who were unbelievably blindingly fast. Then there was Jared Graves. Additional commentary is not really needed. He won the weekend by almost a full minute. Second place went to his Yeti teammate, Richie Rude. By the end of the day, I was not sure who was more tired, myself or the racers. Either way, it was an absolutely gorgeous day for a really fun race series. I am looking forward to getting out to watch another stop in the series and who knows, maybe even race one…

Pro Men Results

1st – Jared Graves
2nd – Richie Rude
3rd – Curtis Keene
4th – Nate Hills
5th – Austin Hackett-Klaube

Pro Women Results

1st – Alyson Cockrell
2nd – Heather Irmiger
3rd – Krista Park
4th – Rachel Throop
5th – Leigh Bowe

The calm before the storm. A loan rider pedals his way through the event area to catch the lift for a warm up lap.

The calm before the storm. A loan rider pedals his way through the event area to catch the lift for a warm up lap.

There is always time for a social check-in on a quiet mountain trip.

There is always time for a social check-in on a quiet mountain trip.

Laser focus on the trail ahead means missing the stellar views at Keystone Bike Park.

Laser focus on the trail ahead means missing the stellar views at Keystone Bike Park.

A flat section through the trees on Stage 1 means flat out pedaling.

A flat section through the trees on Stage 1 means flat out pedaling.

One of my favorite fast sections through the woods. Be prepared for the sharp left-hander coming up though!

One of my favorite fast sections through the woods. Be prepared for the sharp left-hander coming up though!

Getting chased down in the woods.

Getting chased down in the woods.

Yeti Team Rider, Jared Graves. There's a reason why he is Number One.

Yeti Team Rider, Jared Graves. There’s a reason why he is Number One.

Catching up with friends in the staging area at the top of Dercum Mountain.

Catching up with friends in the staging area at the top of Dercum Mountain.

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Dercum Mountain staging area.

Dercum Mountain staging area.

Heading out of the start gate for Stage 2.

Heading out of the start gate for Stage 2.

The women's field waiting for Stage 2 to get rolling.

The women’s field waiting for Stage 2 to get rolling.

Pinning it through a fast section at the top section of Stage 2.

Pinning it through a fast section at the top section of Stage 2.

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Airing it out over a double.

Airing it out over a double.

A rider picks up speed just before the looming rock garden ahead on the Cowboy Up trail.

A rider picks up speed just before the looming rock garden ahead on the Cowboy Up trail.

Making it out of the rock garden in one piece is an accomplishment in itself.

Making it out of the rock garden in one piece is an accomplishment in itself.

Hard right turn onto the TNT trail.

Hard right turn onto the TNT trail.

Peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo

Railing a fast right hand berm through the TNT trail.

Railing a fast right hand berm through the TNT trail.

A rider launches off one of the numerous Fuzzy Karl drop-offs.

A rider launches off one of the numerous Fuzzy Karl drop-offs.

Focused and prepared to drop off another Fuzzy Karl.

Focused and prepared to drop off another Fuzzy Karl.

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Jared Graves making the most of his ride back up the hill.

Jared Graves making the most of his ride back up the hill.

Pedaling hard, pedaling fast.

Pedaling hard, pedaling fast.

Another perfect berm through Keystone woods.

Another perfect berm through Keystone woods.

Proper spectating gear, a cowbell and a bottle of wine.

Proper spectating gear, a cowbell and a bottle of wine.

Sending it through the bottom section of Stage 3.

Sending it through the bottom section of Stage 3.

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Looking down at BME race HQ for the weekend.

Looking down at BME race HQ for the weekend.

Social check-in? Results check? Probably both.

Social check-in? Results check? Probably both.

 

Editor’s Note: Please welcome Sean to our Team! This is Sean’s second article with us and we look forward to many more. His excellent photography and passion for adventure and mountain biking will provide amazing content for all of us to enjoy. Located in Denver, Colorado, he is in the heart of mountain biking, hiking, camping and adventure territory! 

 

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