Schnell and Pritchett take the win at BME #2, Kennebec Pass Enduro

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Second race in the Big Mountain Enduro Series takes racers down Colorado Trail to Durango

Golden, Colo.- The second race in the Big Mountain Enduro series, the Kennebec Pass Enduro, brought world class competition to world class terrain on September 2, in Durango, Colo. Ross Schnell (Trek/SRAM) set the bar high for the day, putting 1 min. 12 sec into his next competitor, Jeremy Horgan-Kobleski (Subaru/Trek), despite a small mishap in the river during Schenll’s first stage.

“Durango in my humble opinion is the mecca of mountain biking. To see the number of local and world class racers who have raced in Durango at some point in their career, race head to head is a great example of the enthusiasm that surrounds the direction that Enduro is taking mountain bike racing,” said Keith Darner, race director of the Big Mountain Enduro Series.

Horgan-Kobelski has been entering Enduros for the first time this year, and has proved his multiple National Championship titles and World Cup racing experience crosses over well into technical trail riding and racing. Mike West (Yeti Cycles), who despite several injuries this season, rounded out the pro men’s podium with his local knowledge of the trail from growing up in Durango.

The pro women’s podium include Janae Pritchett (Alpine Orthopedics), Sarah Rawley (Yeti Pactimo Pro XC) and local talent Alisha Gibson (Second Ave Sports), all finishing within a mere 45 sec. after over an hour of racing. “The spirit of enduro was really exemplified at this race. We spent the whole first climb at the back of the pack chatting, and then at the top of the climb, it was time to race. At the bottom, it was another social group ride to the top,” Rawley said. “That is also the challenging part of being a competitor with this backcountryesque set-up, you don’t know where you stand among your competition until you’ve forgotten about how hard you went and you are laughing together at the post-race party.”

Full results for all categories can be found here.

The second race in the Big Mountain Enduro Series was logistically the most complex of the series, including an untimed climb from the shuttle to the top of Kennebec Pass where racers then set out to descend 6.2 miles and over 3,200 feet, crossing an open scree field, slippery and wet roots, and several creeks. Inclement weather the night before made this stage especially treacherous for competitors. At the bottom of Stage 1, riders cross Walls Gulch Bridge where their time was taken and they continued on for an untimed 4.2 miles to High Point, at their own leisurely pace. At High Point, racers lined up in the order that they arrived for Stage 2, 7.4 miles and 2,200 feet of fun, high speed corners to the finish line at Dry Fork Trailhead.

“The course was amazing and the number of compliments that we received from the participants was overwhelming,” Darner said. “It is not every day you get to put a race down a trail that usually sits on people’s bucket list for years.”

The post-race party almost one-upped the actual race course, where riders rode from Dry Fork to Ska Brewery, well known for their hoppy beers and casual post-ride hangout. Zia Taqueria fed all 94 racers and the several  operations and medical crew it took to make the race happen. “Ska Brewery was awesome in their kindness and opening their facility to us on their day off. The amount of schwag that we were able to give out to the podium contenders and the raffle participants is an amazing reflection of our great sponsors of this new series,” Darner said.

Shimano, DT Swiss, Teva and The North Face filled the tech/expo at Second Avenue Sports and Ska Brewery throughout the weekend, supporting racers with tech support, showing new product and adding more kegs to the post-race festivities. Maxxis, POC, Yee-Haw Pickles, Camelbak, Acli-Mate, Dirt Rag, Pinkbike.com, Mountain Flyer and Honey Stinger were also contributing sponsors of the event.

For more pictures and coverage of the event, visit Big Mountain Enduro on Facebook.

The final showdown of the series will take place on September 30 down the most acclaimed trail in Moab, a top five in the U.S. and perhaps one of the most distinguishable trails in the world. At 30 miles and 7,000 feet of descending, The Whole Enchilada will showcase the tops riders who have been vying for spots in this race all year. For more information visit www.bigmountainenduro.com.

All Big Mountain Enduro events are under permit of the US Forest Service and US Bureau of Land Management.

For all information on the Big Mountain Enduro Series visit www.bigmountainenduro.com

2012 Big Mountain Enduro Series Schedule

July 20-22 BME #1 Steamboat Springs, CO
Aug 31-Sept 2 BME #2 Durango, CO
Sept 28-30 BME #3 Enchilada Enduro, Moab, UT

Source: RaceMSC

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