The series kicks off July 15-16 at Angel Fire Resort in Angel Fire, NM; travels to Powderhorn Mountain Resort outside of Grand Junction, Colo. August 5-6; features new, never-raced trails in Steamboat Springs (Enduro-X) September 9-10; and wraps up the season with the two biggest backcountry enduros of the year—The Whole Enchilada in Moab, Utah September 17, and Monarch Crest Enduro September 29 – October 1 in Salida, Colo.
Stemming from 30 years of combined experience— Keith Darner, former race director of the Mountain States Cup, 2009/2010 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships, creator of the Big Mountain Enduro Series, and current director of Chocolate Bunny Productions, teams up with Dave Scully, race director of the Enduro-X, to produce the RMES.
“Going into 2017, we recognized a void of regional racing in the Rocky Mountains, and wanted to serve the mountain bike community with thoughtful events that suit the schedules of passionate mountain bikers who are also weekend warriors,” said Keith Darner, co-director of RMES and founder/producer of Chocolate Bunny Productions. “This series will allow for racers and families strapped for time to have an amazing race experience and still keep travel to a weekend time-frame.”
RMES will offer a balance of backcountry and lift-service stages for Pro and Amateur, age-based race categories. The first four races will offer points to qualify for the Series Overall, which will ultimately be determined at the Monarch Crest Enduro. Angel Fire, Powderhorn and Steamboat will each host two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday and include both lift-accessed and pedal liaisons; The Whole Enchilada will have 1-day of racing on Sunday; and the finals at the Monarch Crest Enduro will feature five world-class descents form atop the Continental Divide over three days or racing, Friday – Sunday.
“It’s exciting to take the next steps in the evolution of Enduro racing and event organizing with the creation of the Rocky Mountain Enduro Series,” said Dave Scully, founder and event director of Enduro-X. “The proliferation of trail building in Steamboat Springs is allowing race access on new backcountry tracks at the Enduro-X in Steamboat Springs, paired with fun, gravity-assisted racing on the second day.”
The Whole Enchilada will offer multiple stages lengths and courses that will allow the racer to select courses to fit their riding strengths. “The Vegetarian” combines two timed stages with minimal climbing and two untimed transfer stages, starting at the top of Burro Pass, and ending on the rough and rugged descent down the Porcupine access road to Sand Flats Road, for approximately 13.5 miles and 5,350 feet of descending during timed racing.
“The Traditional” brings back The Whole Enchilada to its racing roots in 2012, the first time this world renowned trail was raced on. One solid stage from the top of Burro Pass down Hazard County, UPS, LPS and Porcupine Rim trail to the WSA Boundary. This is pure grit from top to bottom, no letting up for approximately 23.5 miles and 7,570 feet of descending and 1,200 feet of climbing.
Finally, “The Supreme” is for the enduro masochist who wants the biggest descents for their buck with “The Vegetarian”, and shuttled back up to do it all over again down “The Traditional”. We’re talking 37 miles, 12,920 feet of timed descending over three stages.
Ties for the limited start positions at the Monarch Crest Enduro will be determined by results from The Whole Enchilada.
Staying true to the roots of enduro racing, the Monarch Crest Enduro will deliver stages on Colorado’s most pristine singletrack with 14,000 feet of timed descending. All five stages start about 10,200’, with stage three starting at 12,600 feet. Challenging transitions will be in store, especially on Day 2 with over an hour hike a bike to the start of the stage. However, racers will be rewarded with ripping singletrack descents, and buffet dinners included in race registration, Thursday – Sunday evenings.
Starvation Creek, Greens Creek and Fooses Creek are just a few of the off-shoots of the Monarch Crest that will be raced on. All courses, maps and descriptions are defined in advance on www.chocolatebunnyproductions.com.
Registration is now open for all events at www.rockymountainenduroseries.com/registration starting at $190 per event. Discounts on multiple race entries are offered. Due to field size limits imposed by land managers, the Monarch Crest Enduro will open first to the top ten points leaders in each category, then available to participants of at least one other RMES race, and then to the public. A pro purse will be on the line for men and women competing in the Pro categories.