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Just prior to the Crested Butte 5 Day Ultra Enduro, in Colorado, USA, we caught up with a few of the pro riders and asked them all the same question. A big race like this, with huge elevation gains and losses, starting at an already high elevation of 8900 feet, is bound to stir up some emotions.


“What are you concerned with, what are you excited about, what are you nervous about?” is how we phrased it to the racers, and here’s what they had to say.

Joey Schusler

Hah, I haven’t gotten that far yet, just kinda showed up, trying to get the bike dialed, I put my tires on backwards this morning (Schusler has been on the road for a month, and drove straight through the night from Revelstoke, BC to arrive in CB. Solo!) I gotta sort that out first, and then I’ll worry about the stages. I am feeling the altitude a little, after being gone for a month. But yeah, it should be good. I know the terrain around here.

Casey Coffman

I’m probably most concerned with the Bud Light party, (Bud Light basically bought out the town of Crested Butte for it’s international “Whatever” advertising campaign, and is throwing a series of huge parties, with hot tubs lining Main St.) and how that’s going to affect everyone’s results, but hey, it’s the same party for everyone, so I’m just going to take it as it comes.

Jeremiah Newman

I’m really looking forward to the adventure of it all, I’m pretty nervous about staying in the race all five days, and not injuring myself. But my goal is to just make it through the week and have tons of fun. Should be good!

Marco Osborne

Just trying to make it through the whole event with no mechanicals, just trying to conserve the bike, play it safe a bit. Just try to get into a good rhythm. I’ve never done one of these kind of races before, so it will be interesting and it should be a fun adventure.

Heather Irmiger

Hmm, concerned? I dont think I am concerned. I’m super excited to ride a bunch of new trails. We tried to pre-ride just guessing wise, and we guessed right on three trials, so I’ve seen three of them once, and the rest of them never, so really, I think I’ll really enjoy the transfers, because other than last year’s event, I haven’t really ridden in Crested Butte, so for me, this is like a Tour de Crested Butte opportunity worked into a race, so I’m pretty excited about that.

Ben Cruz

Hah, I’m definitely concerned with the elevation. I live at about 80 feet, so pedaling around today, and running up and down stairs was a little bit difficult, but I think it will go away after the first few days. Looking around the mountains, I’m pretty stoked to go get our there and check out what this place has to offer, I’ve only heard good things, so, it should be a good week.


Jerome Clementz

I’m excited to ride these mountains, it looks pretty sweet. I think it’s a lot of different terrain, a lot of unknown terrain for me. I was listening to the briefing, and they were naming the trails, and it sounds like everyone know the trails and names really good (laughs) But I’m excited to ride blind and just spend the days outside with all the riders.

(Enduro MTB Mag- You’re racing mountain bikes again, you pumped about that?) Yeah, I’m really happy. I didn’t expect to be back so soon, but after the rehab center I did for my shoulder, I was feeling really good, and the first rides were really good, so I decided to come last week, and I enjoy the ride.

Curtis Keene

I’m looking forward to all of it. I’ve been to Crested Butte once, and we only rode the bike park, and it was a blast. I haven’t ridden any of the other trails, and I’ve heard nothing but awesome things, so I’m really excited for that. It’s all going to be blind for me, so I’m here to have fun, I’m here with a couple buddies, and we’ll do a bit of recon for next year. I mean, the suns out, the foods great, the Bud Light party is here. My IG account is going to be awesome! I’m just here for the awesome photos, that’s what I’m really looking forward to!! (laughing)


Cody Kelley

I’m looking to have a blast. Should be sick, big backcountry days. Yeah, I rode the bike park today, and everything is good and fun, there’s some really good terrain out here in Colorado. Not really concerned about any one specific thing, just looking to get through the week.

Chris Johnston

I’m looking forward to getting on my bike and riding with a bunch of friends again (Johnston is recently returning form a big injury.) and having some fun out there. Concerned? Blind racing, there’s always a bit of concern isn’t there? Coming up hot on something, Brandon was saying we might be reaching 40 mph, so yeah.

Josh Carlson

To be honest, I’m not really that nervous or concerned, sure, I’m definitely concerned about the blind racing, but I kinda feel relaxed, and really looking forward to it. I’m not really here to go for the win, or be in the hunt with the top guys, if it happens it happens, but I’m here to have fun and really enjoy Crested Butte and the trails. My focus is Finale in a couple weeks, so I’m going to enjoy myself and take my time. I left that sticker on my top tube from Scotland “Slow is Fast”. For me, that’s my game, I’m gonna go a little slower and enjoy it, rather than going for the win, and pinning it, and taking those chances that are needed to take for the win. I guess concerns are blind racing, I guess the locals have an advantage over us, but at the same time, these are brand new trails for racing, and we’re riding in one of the most epic locations in the world, so yeah, I’m way more excited and stoked to be here and be racing here, than I’m worried about blind racing.

Race organizer Brandon Ontiveros giving everyone the lowdown.
Race organizer Brandon Ontiveros giving everyone the lowdown.

Racing starts bright and early Wednesday morning. Come back daily for updates here on Enduro Mountainbike Magazine where we’ll be posting photos and keeping you posted on the ups and downs of the first race of it’s kind in America.

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