Forcing riders to manage their fitness, Revolution Enduro’s backcountry racing returns to North Routt

Revolution Enduro mountain bike racers faced two backcountry rides in North Routt over the weekend in the Nipple Peak area. 

Enduro races are mountain bike rides split into multiple timed downhill stages where the riders use the uphill portions as recovery time before heading down the next timed stage. 

The North Routt race is so unique because it is the most “all-mountain” event Revolution Enduro has to offer. Many of the other races use lifts or shuttle services to carry racers to the next stage, whereas this one is all manpower.

“I believe this race in the series is the hardest one with the most pedaling,” racer Adam Prosise said. “Also, just with the heat of today, and a lot of the transfer stages are in the sun — it is about managing your fitness and taking breaks as much as you need.”

Prosise has competed in Enduro races for nearly a decade. He said safety and communication is the No. 1 concern during these races, especially in the backcountry where there is no cell service. 

At the start of each stage, there are two people. The first is the starter who listens to their radio and communicates with other race organizers throughout the day. The second is a medic who is there to keep all racers healthy and safe during the competition. 

Prosise explained that Enduro races can be extremely dangerous if not done correctly. Riders need to find the balance between riding carefully and pedaling hard to clock good times in each stage. 

Prosise crashed on the first corner of stage one Saturday and estimated he lost about 20 seconds on his time. 

“Crashing is always slower than taking it easy,” he said. “You can always sprint to the finish, but if you sprint and make a mistake, that is slower than carefully going to the finish.”

Prosise found himself with a 17th overall finish with a 21 minute, 52.02 second combined time between the five stages. While it only took Prosise and many of the other stronger competitors a little over 20 minutes to complete the five stages, the race ran for more than four hours including transition times. 

Grant Shoemaker, an Enduro veteran who finished 23rd in Saturday’s race, said due to the length of these races, it is important to make sure your equipment will last the whole race and you bring the right supplies with you. That includes water and snacks for the long haul. 

“The thing about Enduro is it is supposed to be self-supported,” Shoemaker said. “You need to end with all the same equipment you start with. You can change tires and things like that but if you change wheels, suspension or the bike itself that will disqualify you or add time to you.”

This weekend’s races marked the halfway point of the 2023 Revolution Enduro circuit. The final three all hold lift components and will take riders from Keystone to Powderhorn before closing the year in Snowmass.

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