Friday, August 2, 2013

Team Geronimo report from Enduro World Series- Winter Park Colorado

It was a rough and wild weekend of racing.  Photo Devond Balet//
Jess mining for some of the Rocky Mountain brown gold.  photo Winter Park Resort
This past weekend World Champions, Olympians, big names in the mtb world and a host international competition flocked to Winter Park to do battle with North America's best at the 4th round of the Enduro World Series. The most monumental Enduro race held on American soil proved to be a great one as Trestle Bike Park did an amazing job of creating tracks that challenged all types of riders. After securing his 2nd straight CFF Air DH victory, Team Geronimo's own Brian Buell mixed things up the first day of competition with a 4th overall placing out of 120 participants. Stay tuned as Brian provides you with his take on the weekend and how things all shook out for TG over 3 tough and stormy days of racing.

Dirt TV race recap brian @min 7
Rider Brian Buell attacking the Trestle DH track on route to a 4th place.  Photo Devon Balet//
A quick history lesson. The Trestle Enduro started 2 year ago and each year the competition has grown. In 2011 I finished 2nd overall and fallowed that up with a 10th in 2012. I've always loved coming to Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park and have had some of my most successful race weekends dating back to 2009 at Crankworx. This race is essentially at my home mountain as I grew up less than 2 hours away. I have had this event circled all year long!
Brian circa 2011 on his way to a 2nd place in the original Trestle Enduro  Photo: Devon Balet//
Wednesday Practice
Brian testing some lines during practice for stage 2.  Photo Daniel Dunn//
I arrived with a crew of Kiwi's early Wednesday afternoon and started my managerial roles of parking the trailer and getting set for the week. After all that was said and done I played tour guide on the mountain to my Kiwi friends Nick and Pang. It was both their first time at Trestle, so I took them on all the previous years race tracks to get them up to speed on what to expect this weekend and to get used to the terrain. The track conditions were dry and some were rougher than usual due to the heavy traffic the mountain has seen this summer. After 5 runs on just about everything that I could imagine racing within the park we called it day and left to set up our Kelty camp by moose lake.
Plenty comfortble and at home in my Kelty Gunnison 2.2.  Photo Holly Turner
Thursday Air DH 
Brian keeping it low and fast up high on the Air DH.  Photo Devon Balet//
Teammates and friends joined forces to put up our team pit area first thing Thursday morning which freed me up to register for the Air DH and get to work on the bike. The Air DH is apart of the Colorado Freeride Festival and something I've done since the start here at Trestle Bike Park. The track utilizes the lower half of Rainmaker, a flow trail chalked full of jumps and bermed turns, and it proves to be one of the hardest races I enter each year as its three and a half minutes of all out effort. There was a local only contingency this year as most enduro racers were focused only on the EWS, but I thought this was a great opportunity to ride a portion of stage 2 at race pace. After defending my Air DH title with a solid effort, the word got out and racers joked that I got paid to pre-ride tomorrows track, all in all a win win if you ask me. Michael also put the peddle down for a 3rd place, a great way to start the weekend with 2 TG riders on the podium. A late night of race prep left me ready to give a good effort the fallowing day on stages 1-2.
Brian's Air DH winning bike, the Banshee Rune.  Photo Brandon Turman//
Jess prepares to drop into the rocks on the Trestle DH track.  Photo Devon Balet//
Brian piloting his Banshee Rune down the Trestle DH.  Photo Daniel Dunn//
The EWS racing format for the weekend was unique as racing commenced before noon each day, the same time that we would be informed which courses we would be riding the fallowing day. I liked this as it kept riders on their toes, and it provided equal training opportunities for everyone. This meant that racing also started early at 9am and 2nd run continued immediately fallowing your 1st run with scheduled start times for both, quick pit stops only as there was only a small window to make any changes necessary. Anyways, I had a good day of racing with a strong 4th place effort on the Trestle DH track which was rough, but awesome due to some moisture that fell overnight. I had some euros scratching their heads after I fallowed up my 4th with an 11th on a very peddle driven stage 2 to keep my 4th place overall position after stages 1-2. The course maps for the fallowing day were released and off to the Winter Park back country we would go where a mixture of XC, technical DH and natural terrain.
"Almost too fast for the photographer. Brian Buell came in with number 49 and ended up with 4th place. That's nothing to sneeze at."  photo  Philip Ruopp//
Michael navigating the double jeopardy rocks on stage 2.  Photo Daniel Dunn//

Saturday Stages 3-4 
Michael putting the hammer down on some roots up high.  Photo Daniel Dunn//
Spirits were high going into the fallowing day as I slogged up the 20 minute and 500 vertical foot climb, but I was not too confident heading into both stage 3-4. Both were extremely physical and resembled cross country courses, a big difference from the previous day. I've always struggled with my pacing on these longer stages, my strategy was to keep it smooth and find a rhythm over the massive amount of momentum robbing roots. I kept to plan and rode well up top, but hardly felt fast, so I tried to make gains on the technical DH run Mountain Goat but was still gassed near the end of the 12 minute stage. Stage 3 was broken up into 3a and 3b as we had a un-timed transition in-between. Stage 3b was back in the bike park and I was determined to make up for a mediocre 3a. I nearly OTB'd on a feature that took out Ross Schnell, but held on for another top 10 finish, but the damage was done and I moved from 4th to 12th overall after stage 3. Stage 4 was cancelled due to lightning hitting the lifts, this left me with a bad taste in my mouth as I knew I could have gone harder in 3a, but then again so did everyone. Stage 5 was revealed and riders once again found their way to the top that evening for a go once the lifts resumed operation. I did a lower mountain lap on a piece of track I was unfamiliar with and called it a day to preserve equipment.
Brian trying to stay smooth on the high altitude singletrack.  Photo Daniel Dunn//
Mountain Goat proved to be a tough and technical trail that pushed rider and bike to the limit.  Photo: Eddie Clark//

Day 2 video Jess @3:06:,22225/sspomer,2
Sunday Stage 5
Trestle Mountain Bike Park certainly has some awesome terrain and Jess loves to rip it to shreds.  Photo Devon Balet//
A late 11am start meant sleeping in was in order. It had been a physical weekend thus far and I was looking for as much rest as I could get, so I skipped the morning practice session making sure both bike and I were ready for the race. I walked the only piece of track I hadn't seen yet and then waited for riders to drop on the first corner. After observing the top ten I attended to my warm up and was soon in the gate. The first few minutes were slow rolling single track and just as I thought my legs and lungs were about to implode the course dropped back into the bike park utilizing the trails and the DH track. It was an awesome mix and the best stage of the weekend and I was hopeful I could break back into the top 10, however it was no meant to be as even a strong 14th place finish with one big mistake still left me 5 seconds outside the top 10 in 13th overall. After getting over the disappointment, I reflected back on the weekend and was very proud of my 13th place finish. Also, I was very happy for Colorado friend Joey Schusler on his 6th, it was rad to see so many North American riders representing so well. 
Jess up and out of the saddle giving it 100% on the final stage.  Photo Daniel Dunn//
Brian on his way to a solid 13th place overall.  Photo Scott Hefel//
Day 3 video: Michael @ 1:31 Jess @ 1:44 Michael @ 3:51 Dylan Podium @ 4:50,22231/sspomer,2
Its a Wrap
Brian likes the thin air as less oxygen means more airtime.  Photo Daniel Dunn//
Giddy up, thanks for the support and telling me to pedal dad.  Photo Tom Buell
The high altitude may have played a part in how things all played out, but I was extremely pleased with how all Team Geronimo riders did this past weekend. Junior Dylan Gressett rode great all weekend and finished in 2nd place overall in his category. Michael Buell put in a solid effort with a 44th place overall and Jess Pedersen rode very well with some impressive times. This was the closest thing to a World Cup I've seen in the rocky mountain region and I'm incredibly excited to head up to Whistler to Participate at round 5 of the Enduro World Series. 
The future of mountain biking is bright with Dylan 2nd place on the podium.  Photo Brandon Turman//

Media Links CFF recap vid:,22275/970biking,307?

Denver Post Article w/quote

stages 3-4:,6108/Slideshow,0/sspomer,2 Brian Picture 14

stage 5:,6114/Slideshow,0/sspomer,2 Jess Picture 14


VeloNews gallery by Daniel Dunn
Mountain Flyer Gallery by Eddie Clark

Cycling News 

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