This year I decided to go back to Cortez and Phil’s World for the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde. I have done this race before and was excited to go back. The course is super fun with lots of twists and turns, a pump track style trail with technical sections that make for a very well rounded course, definitely a bike-handlers course.
The course was in perfect shape after some moisture in the days leading up to the race. The weather was looking to be perfect for the 900+ racers that were about to jump on the 12 hour merry-go-round of Phil’s World. I’m not a huge fan of the running start but at least it was short, I got clogged up in the bike grab area and had to make up a lot of time before the single track. I was able to make my way into the top 10 before we hit the trail but had to sprint to get there so I took a break and sat on for the first lap at a nice steady pace.
After the madness of the first lap things settled in and spread out, even though the course is 99% single track it’s not congested even with 900 people racing. I felt great most of the day had a couple of bike issues but for the most part things went very smoothly. Even though I was supporting myself, my pit stops were really fast. I had all of my bottles ready to go for every lap and just grabbed what I needed. My goal for the race was to finish 8 more laps then when I raced here 3 years ago. After a couple of bike problems and having to do my own pits I was 5 minutes off my mark. All in all, the entire race was great! I felt good, had a great time, saw a bunch of great people and rode my bike all day, not much more you could ask for. Oh yeah, I won the solo race too, so that’s pretty cool.
The 12 Hours of Mesa Verde has become a must do for most of the Colorado mountain bike race scene. It’s really a well-run race and I only have good things to say about it. It’s on my list for next season!