Race Report and Photos by Shawn Lortie
This years Laramie Enduro went down without a hitch, as nearly 500 racers were set loose on a roughly 70 mile journey around the Laramie Range of Southeastern Wyoming. The course was nearly identical to previous incarnations of the race from the last few years. With over 8,600 feet of climbing and a course that would cover no ground twice, the riding and the surrounding scenery provided plenty of inspiration for the racers to put the hammer down.
The race started and finished in the Hidden Valley Picnic area that sits within the Pole Mountain trail area about 10 miles east of Laramie. The racers headed out up a short road climb then dove into the woods for a quick taste of the singletrack to come. After a dirt road loop of about 20 miles, the racers were delivered back to the trail system in the Pole creek area where they were treated to plenty of singletrack as it wound through Aspen groves, rock gardens, and pine forests.
The course continued in this manner, connecting all the killer singletrack in the area with sections of dirt roads and 2 track throughout the Routt National forest. As Ward Baker, a Pro/Open racer from Boulder said; “The Laramie Enduro is a challenging race with a great variety of singletrack riding, from fast sagebrush sections to steep technical wooded climbs. The 2 track and dirt road sections are nice because you can eat and drink while getting ready for the next killer section of singletrack.”
The kicker was the last climb on the Headquarters Trail. The steep and loose 2 mile climb at around the 70 mile mark had many a racer off the bike, head down, and wondering how much further. Once at the top, riders were rewarded with awesome views and ripping trail back to the finish area where food and beer awaited.
In the Men’s Pro/Open race, Kelly Magelky, Joseph Saperstein, Jay Henry, and a few others led the pack early on, but it was Jay Henry, riding for Tokyo Joes, that ended up putting the hurt on the pack. A flat tire slowed him, but not for long. Ward Baker was in the first chase group through aid station #1 at about 15 miles; “I saw Jay pulled off fixing a rear flat. Then I saw him stopped again topping off his tire about 2 miles later. Jay passed me again and he was flying; it was impressive to see him come back from a flat, reel in the leader group and then go on to win the race.”
In the Women’s Pro/Open, Kelly Boniface, riding for Moots Cycles, left it all out there on the course and took nearly a half hour off her second place time from the previous year to take the win. Before the race, Kelly had this to say about the challenge that lay ahead: “If I can keep improving on my time each year, I feel like that’s a great goal. Because it’s the same course, you can tell how you’re doing from year to year.”
Once again, The Laramie Enduro was a huge success. Fun was had by all those involved, and the event is sure to fill up fast again next year, so mark the date on your calendar and register early!
For full results, please visit The Laramie Enduro