The Pierre’s Hole 100 has become one of my favorite races of the season! If you’re looking for a bike race that covers all the bases this is the one. The location is really beautiful, I can’t think of a more incredible backdrop than Grand Targhee ski resort. With views of the back-side of the Grand Teton’s and surrounding mountains with their massive rock monoliths it really is amazing. You camp right in the parking lot of the ski area and there are showers available for all the racers, families show up in there various van, camper and whatever other cool setup you can think of. Dogs and kids running and riding bikes everywhere, it’s a cool little village of bike racers for the weekend.
The course gets better every year, I started racing here 5 or 6 years ago and the amount of trail that they have added in that time has really made this race what it is today. It’s about 90% single track and all of it is purpose built super fun, more switchbacks than you can shake a stick at, and no shortage of climbing, about 13,000 feet to be exact.
This year there have been a lot of issues with course marking at other races, not with this race. Any spot where you could get lost there’s a course marshal siting there all day making sure no one goes the wrong way, they really have it dialed. After the race is a cool scene as well, everyone hanging out talking about close calls or how hard they were ripping on the great trails, and how hard it was because make no mistake, this a hard race.
I definitely had my work cut out for me this year with a very strong field of riders showing up to race. Jeremiah Bishop, Taylor Lideen, Jamie Lamb, and Sam Sweetser were just some of the guys I would have to deal with. The start of the race played out like I expected, Jeremiah jumped out to an early lead with Taylor hot on his heels. Jaime and I were just behind them. By the middle of the first lap we were all together in a group of four and kind of just taking it easy on the 38 special decent. When we got to the bottom and started the climb back to the base of the ski area, Jeremiah just took off and started sprinting we all kind of looked at each other and were content to settle into our group of three. We worked together well trying to bridge the gap to Jeremiah through the second lap and the pace was pretty high, I was definitely feeling good and all of a sudden Jamie was gone. Taylor and I rode the rest of the race together, it was really nice to have someone to ride some supper fun trails with and we were really pushing each other to keep the pace high.
In the last hour of the race Taylor started to get little gaps on me and then I would reel him in, this happened two or three times and then in the last 10 minutes of the race he got a gap that I couldn’t bridge back to him. He ended up getting second and I came in just under a minute behind him in third. I am really happy with 3rd place, any time I can push hard all day and have a race I feel good about in the end result is really rewarding. What a great race this is I can’t say enough good things about it.
If you want to know how to put a bike race on take a look at this one, they have the blue print for how it should be done.