The Crested Butte trails are definitely a local favorite & Grassroots Cycles has a great relationship with the lift served resort mountain. When a great event such as the Mountain States Cup “Wildflower Rush” goes down on the same weekend as the Crested Butte Bike week, Chain-less World Championship & Fat Tire 40 people come out of the woodworks & things get crazy!
|Below is a video on Crested Butte's website from the weekend featuring Jesse Ruland (at 14 seconds in) & Eric Landis Jumping the top rock garden (44 seconds in).|
Crested Butte Bike Week from Crested Butte on Vimeo.
Dont forget also about the "Crested Roots" video we shot with the mountain last fall!
|These are not the 2 Beaver.|
For many of us the week started out with sampling some of the classic high alpine trails such as Deadman Gulch or Dr’s Park. These usually consist of beautiful but leg numbing climbs which reward you with some of the best & flowey descents in the world. Add in multiple creek crossings wildlife sightings, such as 2 Beaver in our case, & the experience is world class.
|Eric & Sara heading out for a trail ride.|
|Navigating one of many refreshing creek crossing.|
|Sara getting ready to head down.|
Racing got under way Saturday afternoon with the first of 2 Super D races. This Super D is a race that had a mass start with racers sprinting up a wide open hill to be the first one to the single track heading downhill. Once you get to the single track it is difficult to make passes but not at all impossible. From there it is a 10-15 minute run which includes several uphill sections testing the riders physical stamina along with their technical downhill bike handling ability. The first day of SD racing went down a relatively tame trail while Sunday morning brought on the air time as they raced down the Timeline trail which it littered with huge drops & jumps!
|Noah laying down power|
|Jesse riding smooth|
Several Grassroots riders rode great in this event including Noah sears & Jesse Ruland. Noah races in the highly competitive Pro class & Jesse in the Open Men 30+. This was Jesse’s first time racing Super D & none of us knew what to expect. He said I am going to out power the competition at the start then out ride them down the trail. That is exactly what he did earning 2nd the first day & winning the 2nd day!
Noah has been training hard & although he had a tough first race came back strong in SD2 with a 14th against some of the best in the country. Good work Boys.
|Jesse on the top of the box. #1!|
Sunday brought on the Downhill race. Crested Butte’s track is a super fun mix of rough rock gardens & wide open fast sections with lots of corners & pedaling opportunity. Hold speed & ride loose is the name of the game here. Along with Noah & Jesse racing this event we also had Pro’s; Eric Landis, Craig Carlson, Andrew Templin & Cat 1 Riders Curt Clemetson, & BMX phenom Derek Johnson.
This was Derek’s first real DH race riding a borrowed Transition TR250 with single crown fork on it. He was a little under gunned but rode his best coming down safely in 28th Cat2 19-29.
|Derek racing hard.|
Curt Clemetson looked great in practice putting down impressive runs & looking dialed. He thought he was on a winning pace but had a flat in his race run. Even with that came in 5th in Cat1 40+.
Jesse Ruland came out of the gate apparently swinging because he did not make it into the first tree section before going down hard enough for him to forfeit finishing the rest of his run. I can only hope winning the Super D earlier that day took the sting off. :)
|Looks like Jesse's medals are healing.|
Noah was also dirty at the bottom of his run indicating he fell down but had a huge smile on his face. He felt good & was going fast when he went down. That’s racing he’ll get ‘em next time.
|Noah Goon riding before the race:)|
The Pro’s were feeling good & ready to throw down against the formidable riders from all over the country. Qualifying got underway which is a seeding run to place the riders in order, the fastest going last, for the main run. In the finals Andrew Templin had a solid run placing 27th leaving Craig Carlson & Eric Landis to battle it out for fastest Grassroots rider of the Day. Craig beat Eric at the first DH race of the season in Angel Fire & a healthy team rivalry may be in play as they raced hard. Craig threw down big time with a 3:47:66 coming in 15th place.
Eric had his sights on a podium run & was feeling great coming into that last run of the day. He cleared the big rock garden jump in the top section only a few riders were doing but made a mistake & over cooked a corner costing him some time. Coming across the line at 3:45:70 in 10th place he was stoked with his run & knows he is making progress & has more to work on!
Big thanks to Grassroots Cycles & check out all the team sponsors at the top right.