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Full Tilt: MSC #6 Telluride, CO

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |July 25, 2011 10:38 PM
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MSC#6: Full Tilt in Telluride

written by: Ernie Watenpaugh

Telluride, Colorado served up some spectacular mountain bike racing this past weekend, as the Mountain States Cup knocked off stop number six in the Rocky Mountain series. The world-renowned ski resort treated riders of all disciplines to some of the San Juan’s finest singletrack in truly epic conditions.

Afternoon thunderstorms throughout the week had left the cross-country course tacky on the steeps, but sloppy and rutted in the zones hidden from the sun.  Dry trails welcomed the start of both the men’s and women’s races.  That all changed by the middle of the second lap as riders were forced to brave hard rains through already slick conditions.

Tame golf cart paths led riders from under the start banner, and around the colorful hotels at the base of the resort. Weaving in and out of maintenance roads, ski runs, and BC esque singletrack, racers steadily climbed their way up to a lung shattering 11,500 feet in elevation.  A long rolling descent took riders through dark pines, tight aspen groves, and loose off camber trails back to the base of the resort. 

A stellar Pro men’s field saw Ernie Watenpaugh (Life Cycles/Specialized/Honey Stinger) grab the hole shot as the riders cranked through the Mountain Village core. Kalan Beisel (Pro Cycling) soon took the reins as the pack entered the first set of steep climbs.

A strong group of five including Watenpaugh, Beisel, Jay Henry (Tokyo Joe’s), Travis Scheefer (Alpine Orthopaedics), and Macky Franklin (Yeti/SRAM) jumped off the front to set a blistering pace no one would challenge for the rest of the race. Telluride native Watenpaugh made an early move just before the group entered the dark climbs of the Prospect Trail.  The climber quickly opened up a thirty second gap, but the powerhouse combo of Henry and Beisel slowly reeled in Watenpaugh before they began the descent back.

Henry, Beisel, and Scheefer were able to distance themselves from the fading Watenpaugh as the snaked back down, while a hard charging Franklin was able to bridge back up to the lead group. 

The giant descent held mixed emotions for the riders. "I was able to open up a twenty second gap on Kalan before the start of the second lap.” Said Jay Henry. Beisel on the other hand claimed, "The descent was the hardest part of the course.”

The climbs would prove just as profitable for Henry as he turned his twenty-second gap into several minutes by the summit of the second lap.

A mechanical forced Scheefer to dismount and fix his machine at the beginning of the second lap, which allowed Beisel to escape and Franklin to catch back on. 

Franklin and Scheefer played a brutal game of tug of war all the way up the climb.  "I kept telling myself, ‘You have to hang on! You have to hang on!’” said an ecstatic Franklin at the finish.  Franklin did hang on, and let the descent carry him to a solid third place finish. 

Henry crushed the alpine course in just under two hours to take the victory, while Beisel rolled in several minutes later to take second.

The women’s Pro race saw a near complete podium sweep by the ladies of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  Sage Wilderman (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) attacked right from the line.  The talented youngster led from start to finish by absolutely hammering the climbs, and ripping near flawless descents. Teal Stetson-Lee (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory), tried to hold her teammates wheel, but couldn’t match Wilderman’s pace. 

Stetson-Lee fought off several attacks from climbing specialist Jari Kirkland (Alpine Orthopaedics). Stetson-Lee would use the long rugged descent to put time on Kirkland each lap, and the two would end the day second and third respectively.

The MSC series will continue in two weeks for the Keystone Classic in  Keystone, Colorado.  

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 Telluride, Full Tilt events and all MSC races at - www.vastaction.com.

 Pro Men Results:

1

Jay Henry

Tokyo Joes

1:59:52

2

Kalan Beisel

Procycling

2:01:38

3

Macky Franklin

Yeti/SRAM

2:02:56

4

Travis Scheefer

Alpine Orthopedics

2:04:03

5

Ernie Watenpaugh

LifeCycles/Specialized

2:07:01

6

Jan Koles

MAFIA/Pabst

2:08:11

7

Anthony Iannacito

Rocky Mountain Racing

2:08:58

8

Nick Truitt

Yeti/Jett Pro XC Team

2:13:33

9

Jordan Williford

Epic Endurance Cycling

2:18:07

10

David Ochs

Alpine Orthopedics

2:18:24

11

Eric Emsky

Durango Land and Hoes

2:20:44

12

Lewis Gaffney

Team F.I. Taos

2:20:52

13

Dax Kastrin

 

2:28:22

14

Dylan Stucki

Mafia Racing/Pabst

2:28:59

 

Pro Women Results:

1

Sage Wilderman

Rocky Mountain Chocolate

2:22:27

2

Teal Stetson-Lee

Rocky Mountain Chocolate

2:32:38

3

Jari Kirkland

Team Alpine Orthopedics

2:34:45

4

Rebecca Gross

Velo Bella

2:38:23

5

Heidi Rentz

Vermont Bike Tours

2:39:26

6

Sarah Rawley

Yeti Beti

2:49:34

 

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