Enduro Cup season starts in Moab
The SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria launched its first race of the season at the Klondike Bluffs Trail System in Moab, Utah. The sold-out event drew 250 athletes to the desert for a day of enduro mountain bike racing, a tailgate barbecue, awards and raffle. Results are in as Nate Hills and two-time champion Katie Compton claimed the fastest times overall for the men and women’s pro/open category.
Event organizers worked closely with the BLM and Grand County Trail Mix to host the race for a second year at Klondike Bluffs. Racers were organized into five categories for both men and women, including pro/open, expert, vet expert (35+), amateurs and juniors (13-18). Riders in the pro/open and expert categories rode four timed stages descending approximately 3,000 vertical feet with a total mileage of 29 miles. The amateur and junior categories rode three timed stages covering 25 miles.
Nate Hills, 39, of Keystone, Colorado, beat the spring showers, leading the charge for the pro/open men’s category with a total time of 21 minutes, 28.84 seconds. Last year’s Moab champion, Macky Franklin, 28, slid into second place at 21:43.504. Downhill legend Mike West, 41, took third at 21:54.334.
"When I started biking, there was only cross country and I have always liked downhill," said West. "Now that I am in the enduro scene, it’s what I love the most. It is an all-around race. You have to be able to pedal, you need to be fit, but you also have to have the technical skills to get up and over all the cracks and crannies that cover slickrock. Moab is great. This venue and the SCOTT Enduro Cup is a great place to kick off the season."
Katie Compton, 37, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is no stranger to the podium. She once again landed in Moab’s first-place position for the pro/open women’s category, with a total time of 24:12.336. SCOTT Sports athlete Teal Stetson-Lee, 30, finished in second place with a total time of 25:01.920. Cooper Dendel, 24, fell just two seconds behind Stetson-Lee, landing her the third-place spot at 25:03.809.
"All of today’s stages were fun and fast, and technical," said Compton. "The faster you rode, the more fun they were. There was a solid camaraderie between all the riders, doing the rider transitions together and just hanging out, having a good time on bikes. That is the most important part for any cycling discipline. Slickrock is great to ride but it definitely takes it out of you."
Lauren Bingham, 13, and brother Bryn Bingham, 14, of Sandy, Utah, both took home first in the juniors category.
"I have been racing since I was six," said Lauren. "Racing with Katie and Teal, it’s amazing knowing you are out there racing the same course, and just to see the pros out there [with you]."
New this year, the Vittoria Bolt awarded the fastest downhill time of the third stage. Nate Hills (03:29.626) and Katie Compton (04:03.155) were each awarded a $100 cash prize. This award will be featured at each 2016 race.
Podium finishers in the pro/open category shared prize money equally divided between men and women. The podium athletes in the expert, amateur and junior categories received gear from SCOTT Sports and Vittoria. All riders were entered into a raffle, with proceeds going to the Grand County Trail Mix. Raffle prizes were provided by SCOTT Sports, Vittoria, ROTOR and G-Form. A special thanks goes out to the bike shop partners — Guthrie Bicycles for mechanical support and Chile Pepper Bike Shop for providing the registration and athlete meeting venue.
The SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria will hit the trails again in Angel Fire, New Mexico, June 11-12. Angel Fire is a new venue for the series and the race is a part of the North American Enduro Tour (NAET), making it an Enduro World Series qualifier race. The third race of the season will be held at Sun Valley, Idaho, June 25-26. The final stop of the season will be at Deer Valley in Park City on Aug. 28.
For registration information, visit endurocupmtb.com. Registration is open to men and women, professional and amateur adults and juniors ages 13-18.
The Youth Sports Alliance will host a team scramble golf tournament on June 3 at Victory Ranch in hopes of raising funds for its scholarships and youth programs.