After one of the longest and snowiest winters I have seen in Breckenridge, the first race of the season had finally come, it was time to start racing. Having not been to Cortez in about 6 years I was looking forward to riding Phil’s World, where the race took place. I was not disappointed! The course was incredibly fun with fast pump track style sections mixed with techie rock sections that traversed beautiful canyon rims. The views from the course were outstanding, at some points you looked out to Telluride and the San Juan mountain range and at other times you were looking into Mesa Verde where ancient Anasazi once lived.
The race started out with a fairly short la-mans style run start. I got my bike quickly and jumped to the front and got out to an early lead. I was in a group of four guys who were competing in the team category that were really hammering, it was super fun so I stayed with them for the first lap and came in way ahead of the other solo riders for the first lap. After that lap I settled into my own pace for the rest of the race. By the 6-hour mark I had a good lead of 30 minutes but I wanted to push myself and really went hard for the next couple laps. The temps were in the low 80’s and not having ridden in much heat this season, I was starting to feel it. The riding on the last couple of laps was really hard, but I rallied with a solo guy named Stew on the last lap and got a burst of energy, it just felt like we were out on a ride and that was a great way to end a really fun race.
The 12 hours of Mesa Verde is a great event and I would recommend it to any one who likes to ride super fun singletrack!