Race Report | SCOTT Enduro Cup Moab by Vittoria
Moab, Utah has become a traditional mountain bike season starting location in the central United States. The typical hot weather and loads of trails have made it a favorite of many people going back 25 years. That’s pretty much the entire existence of mountain biking. And Moab has stepped up their trail game in the last couple years, after resting on it’s laurels for some time before that.
The enduro race season has kicked off it’s spring campaign, at least for this part of the world, in Moab, over the last few years. The Enduro Cup is a three race series hitting two locations in Utah and one in Sun Valley, Idaho. Moab first, Sun Valley next, then onto Canyons, Park City, Utah.
While not incorporating as much vertical feet gained and lost as almost all other enduro race stops, the Moab Enduro Cup race makes up for that in sheer physical ruggedness. Not more than a few feet roll past that isn’t rock hard, ledgy step ups or downs, sharp things pointing at you, or huge boulders ready to wreck your shoulder should you lean too far in on any given corner. You’ll work your entire body during this race and 25 miles ridden will feel like 70.
New for this year was a previously unused race location, the Klondike Bluffs South and North areas. Changing from the Mag 7 area, which both Enduro Cup and Big Mountain Enduro have used in recent years, the race saw many new faces and was a sellout event with 200 riders. And in another piece of great news, the Junior field was jam packed.
The competition began with the Open Men’s division. Vittoria athlete Macky Franklin of Taos, NM, led the way by executing the technical sections of the course with fluidity and skill to receive a remarkably fast time of 19:50.36 dominating the high caliber division. Young gun, Cody Kelley, 21, secured the second fastest time at 19:58.24. Notably, third through 14th place athletes all finished within one second of each other.
Next, in the Open Women’s category, Katie Compton sailed through the four timed stages with a total time of 22:10.53. Within one minute of the first place time was SCOTT Sports athlete, Teal Stetson-Lee, at 23:29.62. Nearly missing second place was Enduro Cup veteran, Heather Irmiger at 23:31.92.
One notable absence from the Women’s podium was Enduro World Series veteran Kelli Emmett, who received three separate one-minute penalties (out of four stages) for a starting “foot down” violation. In almost all racing in America, as the timer counts down, one foot must remain on the ground until the final buzzer goes off, as opposed to a racer being in a “track stand” type position, with both feet on pedals. Emmett would have won the race with those three minutes in hand. She was bummed, but still grilled up some amazing hamburgers for a house party later that evening.
In a different situation in the Women’s field, one stand-out amateur competitor was Salt Lake City’s Lauren Bingham. As a 12 year-old, she competed in, and placed third, in the Amateur Women’s division. Woot! The future looks bright for young Bingham.
- Macky Franklin (19:50.361)
- Cody Kelley (19:58.241)
- Kyle Mears (20:08.072)
- Katie Compton (22:10.536)
- Teal Stetson-Lee (23:29.629)
- Heather Irmiger (23:31.928)
A full list of results is posted online at endurocupmtb.com.
The expert and amateur divisions were composed of high-energy, skilled riders representing both the weekend warriors and new racers. The junior division was represented by an enthusiastic group of young up-and-coming enduro racers. One stand-out amateur competitor was Salt Lake City’s Lauren Bingham. As a 12 year-old, she competed in, and placed third, in the Amateur Women’s division.
The Open category podium winners received $3,000 total in prize money divided evenly between men and women. The podium athletes in the Expert, Amateur and Junior categories received gear from SCOTT Sports and Vittoria. Many participants also received prizes in the raffle, which raised $364 for Grand County Trail Mix. Raffle prizes were also provided by SCOTT Sports and Vittoria.
Looking forward, the next stop is at the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival in Idaho on June 27-28. The final stop will take place at Canyons Resort in Park City, UT, on August 15. Athletes will be vying for points at each race this season to earn the overall Enduro Cup series championship title. Enduro races challenge riders’ physical endurance and technical downhill skills making it an excellent discipline for riders of all ability levels. Registration is open for the next events at EnduroCupMTB.com.
For more info visit: endurocupmtb.com
Photos: Courtesy Enduro Cup, Mike Schirf and Sean Ryan Words: Daniel Dunn / Enduro Cup PR