Yesterday, over three dozen racers embarked on one of the hardest multi-day mountain bike races in the world, the Colorado Trail Race. With roughly 470 miles to cover and over 60,000 feet of climbing, this event is taking racers from Denver to Durango through some of the most rugged and remote terrain that Colorado has to offer.
With no entry fee, no prizes, and no support, riders are required to complete the course totally self-supported. They can resupply only in a few towns along the way, like Leadville, Buena Vista, and Silverton. It's a similar sort of format to the Tour Divide Race along the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico, but of course, going through only one state, it is much shorter overall.
Topeak Ergon's Jeff Kerkove was one racer looking forward to the challenge. "My entire season has revolved around training for this event. Ever since November of 2009, I have been training specifically for this event and testing equipment. This event will be the hardest thing I have ever done on a mountain bike. It will be a true test of mind, body, and equipment."
The Colorado Trail Race is a non-stop event. Riders are expected to take four to nine days to complete the course.
"My goal is to make it to Durango in between four and five days (the course record is four days, three hours - Ed.)," said Kerkove. "That is a solid pace, but weather and luck will play a huge role."
Riders will wear SPOT tracking devices just as they do in the Tour Divide.
The following video was taken by Jeff Higham and documents the first trail section of the Colorado Trail Race. To see more videos from this race, visit highonwheels.blogspot.com.