High altitude, high-speed action
by Stan Cola
The Big Mountain Enduro circuit comes to a climactic close in Crested Butte this Friday through Sunday, September 2-4. The three-day Crested Butte Finals will blend high-altitude backcountry adventures with some of the best descents in the area and some surprise stages held at Evolution Bike Park.
Riders will be challenged with three days of racing, with big climbing transitions that will take them to high alpine passes overlooking majestic peaks and serene mountain valleys. Expect the first two days of racing to encompass big backcountry adventures at high elevations and upwards of 6,000 to 7,000 feet of descending and climbing, respectively, so plan and train appropriately.
The terrain and descents will contain a variety of above-tree line stages, many high-speed sections that Crested Butte is known for, technical rocky/rooty trails, steep and raw trails that will keep riders on their toes, some classic bench-cut Colorado singletrack, mixed with endless scenery that will leave lasting memories of this rugged mountain paradise. Riders should be prepared with necessary parts, clothing and food, as each day will be deep in the backcountry, with river crossings and mountainous weather that can be threatening at any moment. This race will be a true test of mental strength and fitness and will require a huge sense of adventure to get through all three demanding race days.
Shuttles for all three race days
Lift ticket at Evolution Bike Park for Sunday’s race day
Oskar Blues beer each race day
Lunch provided by BME chefs and catering each race day
Full on-course medical support
Large awards ceremony and raffles
Donations to local trail advocacy group CBMBA (Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association)
In the spirit of enduro, courses were released Wednesday morning, thus giving riders one to two days to scope out trails and form a racing strategy for the big three-day event. See www.bigmountainenduro.com/schedule/crested-butte-2016 for the race courses. Maps and information will also be posted and downloadable online via BME website and social media outlets come race week. Printed race booklets with detailed maps will also be available for all riders on Thursday at packet pick up taking place at The Alpineer in downtown Crested Butte.
Day 1: Two stages, 19 miles, 4,600 feet of climbing and 5,100 feet of descending
Day 2: Three stages, 26 miles, 6,700 feet of climbing and 7,550 feet of descending
Day 3: Four stages, 20 miles, 2,400 feet of climbing and 6,200 feet of descending
Thursday: Official practice day, and race registration/packet pick up from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Alpineer in downtown Crested Butte
Thursday: Mandatory riders’ meeting at 7 p.m. in BME sponsor village located behind the school when you first enter town. Make a right turn on Red Lady Avenue from Highway 135 and drive behind the school to access sponsor village and event HQ
Friday: Race day starting at 9 a.m. (first wave of shuttles leaving at 7 a.m. from town)
Saturday: Race day starting at 9 a.m. (first wave of shuttles leaving at 7 a.m. from town)
Sunday: Race day starting at 9 a.m. (first wave of shuttles leaving at 7 a.m. from town) followed by awards and post party at 5 p.m. in BME sponsor village