The Revolution Enduro series came to North Routt for its fourth race of the season and a weekend of backcountry racing in the Nipple Peak area from July 30-31.
The race consisted of seven stages split between two days with five stages on day one and two on day two. The first day included over 20 miles of riding and 5,000 feet of elevation gain with the second day covering the final two stages and nearly 18 miles.
An Enduro mountain bike race is a competition where only the descents down the mountain are timed. Each timed descent is called a “stage” and although this race had seven stages, they were not all the same.
Between stages, riders must perform a “transfer,” which is an uphill section that does not count towards their final time but will need to be completed within a time limit to ensure riders don’t take advantage of the break.
While some races offer a shuttle for transfers, this race had all-pedal transfers for participants, meaning they had to bike for the ascent between stages, which gave them less of a break.
Four Steamboat athletes had podium finishes in their respective categories, while several others from Steamboat were introducing themselves to the sport and competed in the 12-and-under Youth Enduro category.
Mary Mclarnon, 14, took gold in the Pro/Open female division. She had the fastest time for each of the seven stages and finished with a time of 34:28.65 while being one of the youngest competitors in her division.
One of McLaren’s cycling coaches, Tim DeBoom, is impressed with how she has grown as an athlete and is excited to follow her cycling career.
“She’s very driven. I’m in constant contact with her, training her outside of the group stuff and everything. It’s gonna be fun to watch her grow,” DeBoom said.
Aidan Haack, 16, finished in 33:13.48 and was the third finisher in the 15-16 male division to earn a bronze medal. Ryan Montgomery, 14, also took bronze with a time of 35:23.33 in the 13-14 male category.
Haack, a rising junior at Steamboat Springs High School, thought this race stood out from some of the others with the number of steep corners and the intensity of the pedaling.
“I found it really fun,” Haack said. “It was nice to get out and be out of town in a more backcountry area where there’s not a lot of people around.”
Robbie Wodnick, 12, competed in the 12-and-under Youth Enduro race, and took home second place with a 28:08.43 time in a smaller, six-stage race format.
Matt Martinez, an Enduro competition athletes coach with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, loves how different Enduro races can be and how they combine the best parts of mountain bike racing.
“I would say it’s a little more relaxed than a typical cross-country race, but bringing those two aspects in is what makes it exciting,” Martinez said. “It’s not purely pedaling, it’s not purely downhill. You get a little bit of each.”
Martinez and the SSWSC encourage younger athletes on the amateur team to sign up for the Revolution Enduro series to start competing early.
They believe it contributes to great experience for all athletes and is a great opportunity to learn from the older groups of competitors.
“Really, it’s just to kind of give them a little taste of what competition is like,” Martinez said. “Instead of just riding your bike with your friends, it gives you a whole other aspect of racing. It kind of ignites a little bit of a spark when the younger kids see the older kids doing competitions and just being part of the community is a fun and rewarding thing for them.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email [email protected]