The Big Mountain Enduro event that took place over the weekend at Glorieta Camps, NM was one for the books! About 300 riders battled their way down some extremely technical and feature filled trails that are certainly some of the best in New Mexico.
Riders started out early Saturday morning, and departed on the longest transfer stage of the race right out of the gate. It was about a 3200 foot climb, with a good majority of that being a savagely steep hike a bike section.
However, the climb proved rewarding, with an inspiring view from the summit of Glorieta Baldy. If you look closely, you can see the Camp where riders departed off in the distance.
Stage One, Secret Trail was the longest of the race, with the top pro, David Camp, finishing in 8:49, and most mortals finishing closer to the 10 minute mark. This stage was steep, tight, and extremely loose and blown out in moon dust conditions. You could get caught out just about anywhere. I was not able to shoot riders on Secret Trail, because it was so far from base camp and I didn’t want to sacrifice shooting other stages just for the first stage. After Secret Trail, riders completed a short transfer to Stage 2.
Stage 2, 30 Acre Wood, was shorter and more open, allowing a few sections of no-braking. The conditions were still moon-dusty, with several ridders crashing hard in one particular blown out corner. The top Pro finisher for 30 Acre Wood was Scott Countryman, with a 2:58.
Lots of blown out corners were in store for 30 Acre Wood!
The pre-jump though…
Nate Hills sending a unique rock feature close to the finish of the stage.
Riders navigating a large boulder prior to the previous rock drop.
David Camp railing a corner on 30 Acre Wood. He would finish 3rd overall in Pro Men.
That sliver of rear wheel belong to NM local Macky Franklin. He finished 7th Overall in the Pro Men’s category, and was mating through this corner.
Cory Wittwer sending it through the moon dust!
The 3rd Stage of the race was Jagged Axe, probably the most celebrated trail of the day. I didn’t make it all the way over, as the distance between Stages 2 and 3 was too great to cover before the pros were already done. I have shot some photos there in the past, and will include them for reference. I would highly recommend watching Nate Hills video of this trail here. The trail is packed with technical features, rock gardens, step downs, bucks to flat, you name it. Scott Countryman took the win on Stage 3 with a 5:06.
One of the classic features of Jagged Axe is the roller into a walled chute. Sketchy is an understatement. Here, Ron Cura hits is a few weeks before the race.
One of several step downs on Stage 3 that riders had to commit to. This one was at the ending of a savage rock garden, so you had to carry speed through it cleanly to make the gap without casing.
After surviving Jagged Axe, the last stage of the day was Chili Dog, with its infamous rock drop ending, which is prime for spectator heckling. While not quite as feature filled as Jagged Axe, Chili Dog is a beast in its own right, with plenty of technical sections and a particularly sketchy roller for good measure. The fastest Pro down Stage 4 was Yeti’s own Jubal Davis with a 4:03.01 , with Yeti Teammate Shawn Neer 2nd with a 4:03.88. The duo’s tight times were something of a regularity as they battled all day for the top spot.
Check the videos of this section here!
All in all, it was an amazing spectacle watching Pros and Ams alike hurl themselves down this extremely demanding course! The racing in the Pro Men’s Category was insanely tight, with Shawn Neer taking the overall win by .29 hundredths of a second! His total time was 21:11:21, with Yeti teammate Jubal Davis in 2nd with a 21:11:50. Simply amazing. Davis Camp and Scott Countryman were both within 5 seconds of Neer and Davis, with Mason Bond very close behind! Can’t ask for better racing than that!