CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. - The theme for the trails in Colorado this summer is dry and dusty. Even the typically lush alpine wonderland of Crested Butte is suffering from the drought, but despite the lack of moisture, the sunny skies and hard charging racers made for an awesome weekend in Crested Butte.
The Wildflower Rush is part of the Mountain States Cup and showcases both cross country and gravity events.
On Saturday the Pro, Cat 1, Singlespeed, and Wildcat (non-licensed suffer-seeking-individuals) classes battled for bragging rights on the classic course known as the Fat Tire 40. The 40 mile race with nearly 6000 feet of climbing heads out from Crested Butte Mountain Resort and circumnavigates Mount Crested Butte on some of the most famous singletrack in the valley. Out of the gates, racers climb up the mountain and drop down the West Side trail to the postcard, rough and technical singletrack known as the Upper Upper. After 1 hour of introductory, energy sapping singletrack, the course continues to the famous Strand Trail and eventually to the epic ten-mile Deer Creek trail where there is stunning scenery of the East River Valley enhanced with long climbs and rough, rooty descents.
After negotiating Deer Creek, racers are spit out on Gothic road, underneath Gothic Peak’s dramatic East Face, which leads them to their final climb/descent to the base area. Local legend Dave Ochs speaks about the race, “It was an awesome day. My favorite—of course—is hearing racers across the board calling this a real Mountain bike race! Real XC, with real singletrack, sick scenery, and great support out there. This brings me great joy!”
Colin Cares riding for Kenda/Felt of Boulder threw down a smoking time on the 40-mile course of 3 hours, 15 minutes 1 second. Never to be left out, Jay Henry of Avon came in second with a time of 3 hours, 17 minutes, 17 seconds. JJ Clark of Colorado Springs finished off the podium in third. Brian Smith, a Gunnison local who often dominates this race, came in fifth.
Gretchen Reeves of Avon riding for Tokyo Joes put down the fastest time for the Pro Women with an amazing time of 3 hours, 54 minutes, 8 seconds. Jennifer Smith (No Tubes) of Gunnison came in second with Amy Beisel (Alpine Orthopedics) of Gunnison in third.
The Super D on Saturday was a battle to the finish on Mt. Crested Butte’s Luge trail. Michael Pastore of Avon took the win in the pro men category and Sarah Tescher of Durango took the win for the women.
The downhill on Sunday featured the Avery trail on Crested Butte Mountain Resort—a purpose built, variety packed, swath of high-speed berms, drops, and challenging rock gardens. Grame Pitts of Nevada City, CA put down the fastest time
of the day at 3 minutes 37.29 seconds. Joey Schusler of Boulder took second with Austin Hackett-Klaube of Dillion in Third. Wendy Palmer of Moab took it for the women with a time of 4 minutes, 16.89 seconds. Rebecca Gardner of Marlboro, NY came in second with Katy Monger of Avon in third.