Karen Jarchow crowned state champion | VailDaily.com

Karen Jarchow crowned state champion

16-year-old Quinn Simmons wins men's Firebird XC race

Karen Jarchow blasts down Boneyard Trail during the Firebird Cross Country – 2017 Colorado State Championships on Saturday in Eagle.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com |


Beer Mile & Milk Run

Sunday, June 4

Milk & Cookies Run, 11 a.m.

Beer Mile, 11:45 a.m.

4 laps, 4 deliciously cold draughts of Coors or four non-alcoholic drinks. Winners receive a 24-pack of beer. The beer category is open to runners 21 years or older. Solo and 2-person team categories are available. Non-alcoholic drinks will be on hand for non-drinkers. For kids 18 or under, the Milk Run will be broken into teams of two or four. After each lap the runners need to consume one glass of milk (chocolate or regular) and one chocolate chip cookie.

EAGLE — Hometown professional Karen Jarchow doesn’t simply work at the Eagle Outside Festival, she also participates in its mountain bike races.

On Saturday, Jarchow won the Firebird XC mountain bike race, which is the state championship cross country mountain biking race and the showcase event at the annual festival, which is put on by Uncommon Communications, Jarchow’s employer. Durango rider Quinn Simmons won the men’s race.

It was Jarchow’s third win in the past week, she also won the Eagle Ranch Classic town series race in Eagle on Wednesday and the Gunnison Growler last weekend. To get the win at Saturday’s Firebird, she had to finish in front of Katie Compton, a World Cup champion cyclocross racer with more than 20 wins to her credit. To beat her, Jarchow knew she would have to out climb her opponent. Jarchow rode a hard tail bike to help with that effort.

“Katie is just such an amazing all-around rider, I knew she wouldn’t give me any leeway anywhere,” Jarchow said. “When I saw my opportunity, I knew I needed to just try and get a gap there and just hold my lead as much as I could to the finish line.”

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.


The race took place across several laps on Eagle’s Boneyard, Redneck Ridge and Pool & Ice Rink and Haymaker trails. Jarchow trailed Compton on the first big descent, then passed her on the next climb, then lost the lead again on the flat section but managed to keep Compton in sight and make a final pass on the last flat section and maintain the lead through the finish.

Despite being on a hard tail bike, Jarchow achieved personal record times on all of her descents, using Strava to track herself.

“I think that just shows how well I know all the trails,” she said.

On Friday, Jarchow spent the day working along those trails, setting the courses for the multitude of races that would take place there on Saturday.

“It’s never an advantage to be out working in the sun all day on the day before a race, but it’s always an advantage to know the trails, and I think I was the one who knew the trails the best today,” Jarchow said Saturday.


On the men’s side, Eagle-Vail road racer Cristhian Ravelo, a member of the Colorado team the 303 Project, finished third behind Quinn Simmons and Erine Watenpaugh.

Simmons, who is 16 years old, surprised many with the win, but not Ravelo.

“That team is pretty well known for their juniors, so I knew that he wasn’t just a regular kid,” Ravelo said of Simmons, who is from Durango and rides for the Whole Athlete — Specialized cycling team. “Obviously you always want to win but I’m happy with third, he out climbed us and he deserved to win.”

‘Pretty Brutal’

Simmons said those climbs were “pretty brutal.”

The heat of the day, nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit, didn’t help either, Simmons said.

“Those climbs were really long and dusty,” Simmons said. “And then on those descents, I was tricked into thinking they were going to be like the climbs, but they ended up being pretty bumpy, so you didn’t get to recover that well.”

Simmons, who is about to finish his sophomore year of high school, said he knew the course well from racing it at the Colorado High School Cycling League state championships, which are held every October in Eagle.

“I raced it two years ago, but I’m not sure if I’ll be here this year,” he said.

The Eagle Outside Festival continues today with a first ever beer run — 1 mile, or four laps, around the streets of Eagle Ranch, while drinking four Coors beers along the way — starting at 11:45 a.m.

Walk up entries will be allowed leading up to the race.

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