GoPro Mountain Games bring action to Eagle with enduro race
Men’s Pro winners
Alex McGuinnis: 18 minutes, 59 seconds
Adam Craig: 19 minutes, 10 seconds
Brian Lopes: 19 minutes, 12 seconds
Women’s Pro winners
Katie Compton: 21 minutes, 3 seconds
Joanna Petterson: 21 minutes, 48 seconds
Georgia Gould: 22 minutes, 4 seconds
EAGLE — The town’s push to become a mountain-bike destination appears to be working.
“That’s actually the biggest reason why I wanted to do the race because I had heard great things about the trails in Eagle,” said Georgia Gould, Olympic bronze medalist who finished third in the women’s professional division Friday.
More than 20 professional men and nine professional women competed in the first-ever GoPro Mountain Games event in Eagle, with 150 total participants. The enduro consists of three downhill sections — Mayer Gulch, Pool & Ice and Redneck Ridge.
In total, $7,500 was given out to the men’s and women’s professional podiums, with the winners taking $1,750, second place earning $1,250 and third finishing with $750.
Competition was tough on the men’s side, with Alex McGuinnis, of Winter Park, taking home the gold despite a crash on the second stage.
“All of a sudden I was on the dirt, and so close to the finish line,” McGuinnis said, adding he had gone so hard on the first section that he was suffering from breathing problems leading into the second. “So I got up on my bike and my handle bars were all crooked, and I had to twerk those a little bit and descend down. I was all grumpy and almost wanted to 86 (quit) on the race.”
The race started early Friday morning, but the sun became a factor later in the afternoon.
“We’re in Colorado right now. They were Colorado conditions,” said Adam Craig, of Bend, Oregon, who finished second in the men’s pro division. “It was kind of like dust over hard pack, which I sort of love. I kind of like the Colorado dirt. It doesn’t look like you can ride fast on it, but you can.”
Brian Lopes, two time national champion, rounded out the men’s podium, with Chris Del Bosco, of Eagle-Vail, not far from the money in fourth place.
‘THEY’RE ALL FAST’
On the women’s side, winner Katie Compton, of Colorado Springs, won the race her first time on the course.
“The Enduro’s so much more fun, so I saw that they were doing the Enduro and said I’d definitely do that,” she said. “It was fun. It was super dusty, but it was a real trail. It was twisty-turny, which I love.”
Joanna Petterson, originally of South Africa, finished second.
“It was tough,” she said. “It was hot, but it was really fun.”
Gould rounded out the professional women’s podium, despite a flat tire in a transition that Compton helped her finish. Gould competes in the cross-country competition Saturday.
“You have an Olympian, Georgia Gould. We had multiple national champion Brian Lopes. Everyone, right down to the kids, they’re all fast,” said Charlie Brown, owner of Mountain Pedaler.
Next year, Eagle hopes to build on this year’s success by adding a multi-day event with trails on the west side of town, possibly World’s Greatest trail, and more competitors.
“It’s really exciting for Eagle,” said Amy Cassidy, marketing and events coordinator for the town. “To have people out riding our trails and going home and talking about it is huge.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram during the GoPro Mountain Games at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
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