Summit locals win at inaugural A-Basin Reverse Enduro mountain bike race
Ski area plans to expand the event in future years as trail offerings grow
Nearly 40 cyclists climbed more than 1,500 feet to race Saturday, July 31, at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s first-ever Reverse Enduro mountain bike race.
Eleven women and 27 men challenged themselves by climbing the three miles from A-Basin’s base to the top of the Zuma Lift at 12,456 feet.
Breckenridge cyclist Taylor Shelden completed the course in the fastest time at 31 minutes and 6 seconds. He beat men’s runner-up John Rauen of Breckenridge (36:36) and third-place finisher Kevin Minard of Dillon (37:43).
Alisha Scheifley of Dillon, who won the Soda Creek Scramble last week in Keystone, won the Reverse Enduro women’s race with a time of 38:27. Scheifley bested runner-up and Summit local Meggie Manzo (46:38) and third-place finisher Shauna Bocksch of Frisco (50:30).
Scheifley said the event was a fun one that felt inclusive to cyclists of varying ability levels, as some of the more carefree racers donned costumes before celebrating the ski area’s Festival of the Brewpubs in the Mountain Goat Plaza base area.
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“It’s suited to the needs of all mountain bikers, but it’s definitely a difficult course,” Scheifley said. “Riding a bike up A-Basin is no easy feat. It’s hard, 1,500 vertical feet in three miles. It’s tough.”
Scheifley, who is a ski patroller at A-Basin, said her goal entering Saturday’s time-trial race was to complete the course in fewer than 40 minutes. She said the most difficult part of the uphill course was the final half-mile of steep, rocky road before the finish line above the Zuma Lift.
Shelden said Saturday’s race reminded him of races from Summit County’s yesteryear that were held at Keystone Resort, which ranked racers on the cumulative time it took them to race up the mountain and then back down again. Saturday’s race was dubbed the Reverse Enduro as it only contained the uphill portion. In traditional mountain bike racing, an enduro is a race where downhill portions are timed while uphill legs are not because they are regarded as neutral transfer stages.
Shelden said the uphill time-trial format was similar to experiences he had during his professional road cycling career.
Shelden and Scheifley agreed that they think the A-Basin event has future potential. Both said they’d like to see more of a timed-downhill component incorporated into the day’s racing. Both said that on Saturday mountain bike racers chatted about the possibility of adding in the classic Lenawee downhill trail off the back side of A-Basin into the event next year.
“It could really be something special,” Shelden said.
Katherine Fuller, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area spokesperson, said in an email Tuesday, Aug. 3, that A-Basin will definitely keep this event going and plans to grow it as the ski area’s trails expand.
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