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Wild Flower Rush - Crested Butte, Colorado

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |July 10, 2011 10:31 PM
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MSC#5: Wildflower Rush

Written by: Ernie Watenpaugh

The Mountain States Cup returned to Colorado this past weekend for the legendary Wildflower Rush in Crested Butte, Colorado.  A hefty winter snow pack retreated just in time to allow endurance racers from all regions of the Rocky Mountains a chance to sample the world famous singletrack of Crested Butte. 

The Clif Bar 40 cross-country race connected such infamous trails as the scorching descent off Strand Hill, to the lung bursting climbs of Deer Creek. Dry dusty conditions with close to twenty creek crossings, mixed with over 7500 vertical feet of climbing through endless fields of wildflowers left riders both battered and awe struck as they crossed the finish line.  Brutally long climbs followed by steep technical descents made for wobbly limbs, which led to numerous mechanicals and DNF’s. 

Continuing his winning streak, Mike West (Yeti Cycles) crushed the pro men’s field with his second straight MSC cross-country win of the season.

A neutral start from the base of the Crested Butte ski resort allowed the men time to warm their legs in the early morning mountain sun before attacking the bounty of singletrack. 

As the pace car pulled off and the riders entered the true course, a strong group of ten began to distance themselves from the pack as they began the first set of climbs.  
 Jay Henry (Tokyo Joe’s), West, Joshua Bezecny (Trek Store-Boulder), and Tim Allen (Niner-Ergon) broke away as the course rounded the front side of Mount Crested Butte.  Heavy dust clouds slowed the trailing riders, but hard charging locals Brian Smith and Travis Scheefer (both of Alpine Orthopaedics) were able to pick there way through the chaos.  Working as a team, the natives were able to bridge up to the leaders.
Deer Creek Trail proved to be the deciding factor of the race, as large gaps began to separate and shuffle the entire field, including the leaders.  
Henry suffered a mechanical coming off the summit of Deer Creek, which allowed West, Smith, and Allen to gain from his misfortune.  Henry managed to continue the race, and finished 11th.  
Veteran downhiller West was able to hang on during the climbs, and escape on the extended descents to take the win much in the same fashion as in Angel Fire three weeks prior.  Brian Smith was able to use his local trail knowledge to snag second, while Tim Allen held on for third.
The women’s pro race played out much like the men’s, with several riders breaking off the front, while small groups formed in the back.
The early season domination of Sage Wilderman (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) was put on hold, as Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joe’s) and Jennifer Smith (Alpine Orthopaedics) were able to suppress the younger Wilderman over the longer course.

Reeves and Smith distinguished themselves from the rest of the field by exchanging turns off the front for the entire forty-mile course.  Reeves would prove only slightly better over the duration of the race, taking the win from the Butte local Smith, by a mere one minute.  

Teal Stetson-Lee (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) rode an impressive solo race to take a solid third place.

The Mountain States Cup Series continues it’s high alpine tour with a return to Telluride, Colorado for the second annual Full Tilt July 8-10.  Big climbs and high altitude will definitely bring the climbers out for this one. 
Special thanks to Vast Action for all the incredible photos.  Racers can find and purchase all of their personal race shots from all of the Wildflower Rush events and all MSC races at -

Pro Men

1     Mike West            Yeti Cycles                            3:27:18 

2     Brian Smith          Alpine Orthopaedics              3:28:00         42.19 

3     Tim Allen            Niner-Ergon-Stans                  3:31:46       4:28.06 

4     Travis Scheefer      Alpine Orthopaedics            3:33:50       6:32.62 

5     Joshua Bezecny       Trek Bike Store - Bo          3:34:25       7:06.93 

6     Peter Kalmes         HoneyStinger/Trek                3:34:49       7:31.48 

7     Brad Bingham         Moots Cycles                       3:34:50       7:32.48 

8     Chris Baddick        University of Bath                 3:37:12       9:54.13 

9     Ernie Watenpaugh     Peloton Cycles/Speci         3:38:32      11:14.28 

10   Colin Osborn         Honey Stinger/TREK O       3:39:21      12:03.71 

11     Jay Henry            Tokyo Joes                            3:41:05      13:47.14 

12    Benjamin Moore                                                3:42:34      15:16.12 

13    Colton Andersen      Rocky Mountain Choco   3:42:44      15:25.83 

14    Jason Holbrook       Yeti/Jett Pro XC Tea         3:44:02      16:44.32 

15     Brian Riepe          Mountain Flyer                   3:44:05      16:46.78 

16    Macky Franklin       Yeti / Sram                       3:45:29      18:11.66 

 17    Barkley Robinson     Orange Peel                   3:45:46      18:28.05 

18    Nick Gould           Directory Plus/ Trek           3:46:23      19:05.71 

19    Max Taam             Honey Stinger / Trek         3:49:23      22:05.59 

20    Amar Mannina         Rocky Mounts/Izze         3:49:55      22:37.12 

21    Anthony Iannacito    Rocky Mountain Racin  3:50:36      23:17.85 

22    Nick Truitt          Yeti/Jett Pro XC Tea            3:53:09      25:51.40 

23   Jordan Williford     Epic Endurance Cycli        3:53:26      26:08.22 

24    Ezekiel Hersh        NoTubes                            3:57:02      29:44.37 

25    Greg Lewis           Directory Plus/Trek            3:58:07      30:49.01 

26    Lewis Gaffney        Team F.I.Taos                  3:59:41      32:23.41 

27     Len Zanni            Honey Stinger/ Trek           4:02:27      35:09.00 

28    Chris Brandt         Honey Stinger/Trek            4:05:43      38:25.71 

29    Miles Venzara        Directory Plus/Trek/         4:05:59      38:41.32 

30    Eric Emsky           Durango Land and Hom    4:08:18      40:59.95 

31    Dylan Stucki         Mafia Racing / Pabst          4:20:12      52:54.31 

32    Brad Johnson         Bicycle Ranch                   4:27:20    1:00:02.18 

Pro Women 
Pl Bib  License  Name                 Team                 Result      Time Back 
1      Gretchen Reeves      Tokyo Joes                   3:59:52 

2     Jennifer Smith       Alpine Orthopaedics/        4:00:54       1:02.12 

3     Teal Stetson-Lee     Rocky Mountain Choco 4:14:49      14:57.95 

4     Sage Wilderman       Rocky Mountain Choco 4:28:11      28:19.69 

5     Jennifer Gersbach    Honey Stinger/Trek       4:35:16      35:24.87

6     Heidi Rentz          Vermont Bike Tours          4:46:18      46:26.71 

7     Sonya Bugbee         Epic Endurance Racin    4:50:38      50:46.40

8     Anna Fortner         The T.E.A.M.                   4:51:34      51:42.59 

9     Rebecca Gross        Velo Bella                       4:59:27      59:35.50 

10    Sarah Rawley         Yeti Beti                         5:00:40    1:00:48.41 

11    Sarka Ruzickova      Epic Endurance Cycli  5:09:08    1:09:16.79  



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