After racing Pierre’s Hole several years ago I’ve been wanting to make the trip back to Grand Targhee Ski Resort in Wyoming to try this race again. If you’ve never been to Grand Targhee you should just come for the mellow vibe and the insane views. I knew that they added miles of single track to the course this year, so I figured it was a good time to get back up there. The course did not disappoint, the trail crew has done plenty of trail work since the last time I was there. The riding on course was spectacular with lots of high alpine climbing, fast flat out descents, switchbacks, and fast, flowy, rolling sections.
The race started out with a huge climb straight up the mountain and it just seemed to go on forever. That sorted out the pack and I quickly jumped to the front with local legend Cary Smith. We rode together for most of the first lap but at about an hour and a half, he got a small gap on me and by the end of the first lap of three, he had about a minute on me. On the second lap I was feeling good but not great and I just tried to keep a good pace going. I had a couple of close calls because of all the insane views, at one point I came around a corner and the Grand Teton was in perfect view, with a cloud getting sliced in half by the summit.
At the start of the third lap, Cary had a four-minute lead on me and I was just trying to stay strong for the rest of the race. After a wet and muddy start to the race, the trail had dried up and was riding like a dream! I was really enjoying rallying such great dirt. I ended up finishing about 7 minutes behind Cary in second and more importantly, I had a great time at this race with super fun riding and the organizers did a great job putting it on. There was camping on-site for 20 dollars with showers for three days and you really can’t beat that. I definitely recommend this race for anybody looking for a fun track in a beautiful setting, it’s a great event and I will be back again.