Enduro season wraps up at Deer Valley
September 2, 2016
The SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria launched its final race of the season in a new location, Deer Valley Resort in Park City. The three-stage enduro race drew more than 230 athletes to the Wasatch Back for a challenging season finale. The results from the day awarded the top five of each category as well as the overall series champions. Utah local and World Cup racer Mitch Ropelato returned to his home mountain, finishing first in the men’s pro/open category and Angelica Ramirez completed an impressive Enduro Cup season herself, finishing first for the women’s pro/open.
The three stages were a true testament to the balanced rider, blending highly technical, rocky descents with flowy and fast terrain. Stage one was the most difficult of the day, if not the season, dropping down Deer Valley’s legendary NCS, formerly used in the NORBA DH. A more traditional Park City flow was felt on stages two and three. Stage two ventured down Upper TG to Payroll, and three ran Upper Aspen Slalom to Fire Swamp, for a fast and loose finish. The excitement of riders could definitely be seen and heard as they rode wheelies and hollered on the final stretch out to the expo on Silver Lake beach.
Ropelato, 24, of Ogden, has had a busy season returning to the World Cup DH circuit. He set aside some time from his international travels to visit his home mountain, taking first with an impressive overall time of 12 minutes 54.747 seconds.
“Walking away with a win, I am pretty excited about that,” said Ropelato after being chased around the base area and annihilated with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. beer. “NCS is one of the gnarlier tracks — especially with it being a former NORBA track from back in the day. So to be racing that on a trail bike is pretty rowdy. I was definitely white knuckling a couple of sections.”
Chris Boice, 29, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been making the enduro rounds this season, finishing with an overall time of 13:04.279. Boice has run all of the SCOTT Enduro Cup stops, finishing first in Angel Fire and fourth place in Sun Valley, Idaho. He finished the season in first place overall, making him the men’s open/pro overall champion. Demetri Triantafillou, 20, of Salt Lake City, who rode the UCI MTB World Cup in Mont St. Anne, Canada, earlier this month, beat Ropelato in stage one by two seconds, but lost his lead, ending stage three with an overall time of 13:06.696 finishing the day in third place.
Ramirez, 30, of Salt Lake City, joined the women’s pro/open category, finishing in first with an impressive lead and overall time of 15:32.789. Deer Valley local and longtime Enduro Cup competitor Ileana Anderson, 29, ended the day at 15.52.682. Anderson’s second-place finish secured her as the overall champion of the 2016 series. After coming back from an injury she acquired at the Angel Fire stop, Teal Stetson-Lee, 30 of Reno, Nevada, finished in third place with 16:00.198.
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Cowbells and wheel "bells" were heard around every corner as the event drew a significant number of local and visiting spectators.
“It was cool to see all the locals come out and show support,” noted Anderson. “The crowd in Barney Rubble was perfect. Helped me push through some of those awkward moments and make it to the end.”
New this year, the Vittoria Bolt awarded the fastest downhill time on stage two. Ropelato (04:04.802) and Haley Batten, 19, of Park City, (04:40.043) were each awarded a $100 cash prize. This signature award was featured at all 2016 race locations.
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 Mountain Trails Foundation. Raffle prizes were provided by SCOTT Sports, Vittoria and ROTOR, Pearl Izumi and G-Form.
The Deer Valley stop of the SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria was the final race of the 2016 season. Stay tuned as news on the overall series champions will be announced in the coming week. The series would like to thank all of its competitors and sponsors who support this incredible community.