Report and Photos By Devon Balet
(Aug 21-22, 2010) TELLURIDE, Colo.-Endurance mountain biking is always an uphill battle in Telluride Colorado. The elevation of the town is nothing to bat an eye at. When the endurance racing for this years Full Tilt in Telluride tops out over 11,000 feet, you begin feel the grip the thin air had on racers.
Saturday’s cross country race sent racers out onto the Prospect Trail for a 12.9 mile loop into Telluride Ski Resort. Racers climbed their way through the thick timber and mud, snaking their way high into the resort. The course topped out above lift 11, well above 11,000 feet. After making your way back to the bike park, racers blasted their way back down to the village.
Jay Henry of Eagle Colorado brought home the win in the cross country race for the Pro Men. “I was a little uncertain how I would do after just finishing the Leadville 100 race last week. You never know what to expect when you come off an effort like that,” said Henry.
Henry was able to fend of his closest competitor Troy Well. Troy and Jay spent the entire first lap together, battling their way through the course. “Troy motored the first climb and we stay together pretty much the whole first lap. I charged on the start of the second lap climb and was able to put a gap on Troy,” said Henry Troy Wells finished up nearly five minutes of Henry, with Travis Scheefer of Crested Butte Colorado hot on his heals.
Kalan Beisel of Colorado Springs and Andy Schultz of Durango rounded out the top five. On the Pro Women side, Erin Huck racing for Tokyo Joe’s had a strong day finishing nearly ten minutes ahead of Laura Anderson with Alpine Orthopedics. Kelley Cullen with Honey Stinger/ Trek brought in the number three spot.
Sunday’s hill climb race started racers at the Jurassic Trailhead near the very bottom of Mountain Village. From their racers made their way to the Village Center and The Beach. As racers climbed their way up the Village Trail they topped out near the entrance of the bike park. A total of five miles and 1,500 feet of climbing. This hill climb brought more rolling terrain then most, giving racers some bit of rest in their uphill grunt.
Jay Henry again was the fastest rider on the mountain taking the hill climb win. “Hill climbs are always a tough thing. The first ten minutes was definitely the hardest part. This course rolled a lot so there was a lot of breaks. Overall though it was a fun course,” said Jay Henry.
Travis Scheefer followed in second with Jan Koles of Winter Park Colorado in third. Erin Huck had a repeat from the previous day’s racing as well. Erin again put in a strong effort with the reward of the top Pro Women’s spot on the day. Kelley Cullen was close on her heals though, finishing a close 24 seconds away.
With the return of racing to Telluride, the draw of the mighty San Juan Mountains brought racers into some of the roughest mountains in Colorado. Racers got their full dose of endurance pain with some of the best views Colorado has to offer. The Full Tilt in Telluride was a great reminder to the excellent riding that south west Colorado has to offer.
For complete results please visit RaceMSC