Colorado Enduro World Series Photos

Posted by on August 20, 2014

Trestle Downhill Start at the Colorado Enduro World Series

This was the start of stage 2 and stage 7 at the EWS in Winter Park.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to photograph the Enduro World Series (EWS) in Winter Park, Colorado. If you aren’t a mountain biker or you’ve been living in a cave, enduro is the latest mountain bike craze: competitors race multiple timed stages, with a downhill emphasis, usually over two or three days. Sometimes racers even have to pedal uphill between stages. The idea is that enduro mountain bike racing replicates the way most of us really ride – we suffer the uphill grind to get to the top – then we let it all hang out on the downhill.

Aurelien Giordanego - Colorado Enduro World Series

EWS pro racer Aurelien Giordanego, on stage 3 of the Enduro World Series stop in Winter Park, Colorado.

Brian Lopes - Colorado Enduro World Series

Brian Lopes showed up to race the Colorado EWS. He looked great, as always, and finished 17th.

Enduro racing isn’t a new concept. It’s been a staple of off-road motorcycle racing forever and it seems like a natural addition to existing mountain bike racing disciplines. It’s less specialized, more like the trail riding most of us weekend warriors do, and it rewards overall skill and fitness rather than pure strength, technical skill or endurance. Enduro is also pushing mountain bike technology forward at a rapid pace. Just as the racers need to be versatile, enduro bikes need to be able to handle anything. As a result, trail bikes have become lighter, tougher, more agile, and better able to handle steep technical descents. Most enduro race bikes have carbon fiber frames, weigh about 30 pounds and have 6-inches of stout air-sprung suspension. Frankly, I was amazed at the level of riding being done on these bikes. Winter Park’s Trestle Downhill Trail is something I would only consider riding on a true downhill bike. But the EWS pros were riding it fully pinned on what are essentially, 6-inch trail bikes.

Yeti Pro Jared Graves With His Enduro Race Bike

Current EWS points leader, Jared Graves, with his Yeti race bike (this is actually a prototype). Check out the bike check story I shot for Italian Web site, TriRideMTB: Prototipo Yeti SB6 Carbon 650B Switch Infinity – bike check con Jared Graves

Marco Osborne - Enduro World Series Rookie Racer

My main subject at the Colorado EWS stop was Cannondale-Overmountain rookie racer, Marco Osborne. Check out my photos in TriRideMTB’s feature article on Marco.

I went to Winter Park to cover the EWS for Italian mountain bike site, TriRideMTB. They were looking for a feature on a rider so I hooked up with the Cannondale-Overmountain team and spent the weekend tagging along with their up-and-coming rookie racer, Marco Osborne. I shared a hotel room with him, ate meals with the team, and basically did my best to cover what a full EWS weekend is like for a pro racer. You can check out all of my Marco Osborne photos in TriRideMTB’s article, here.

Marco Osborne Pinned - Winter Park EWS

One of my favorite photos from the Colorado Enduro World Series – Marco Osborne going all out during stage 1 of the race, on Friday. Check out the feature article on Marco that I shot for Italian Web site TriRideMTB, here.

Elinor Wesner In the Rocks - Colorado Enduro World Series

Another one of my favorites from the Colorado EWS. I love how the rocks are stacked up in this photo from stage 3, the “Mountain Goat stage.”

I also shot a couple of “bike check” pieces for TriRideMTB and some photos of a new Transition prototype enduro bike for MTB-News.de. And of course, I shot tons of racing photos. Scroll down to the gallery at the bottom of the page to see a few of my favorites from the 2000+ photos I shot in Colorado.

Transition Enduro Bike "Spy Photo"

German mountain bike Web site, MTB-News.de, asked me to get photos of the prototype Transition enduro bike Lars Sternberg raced in the Colorado EWS. So I tracked down the bike and we made this fun “spy photo” with Lars and Transition owner, Kevin Menard. Check out all the Transition enduro prototype photos in the MTB-News.de article.

Camera Gear & Photo Info:
This was my first time photographing EWS and it was an interesting experience. Although it was held at a ski resort and much of the event was lift-assisted for the riders, it turns out photographers actually need to ride their bikes to effectively shoot the event! That’s pretty cool, in my opinion. The first day I just rode the lift with a huge pack and all my camera gear. But on Saturday I used my bike and limited my gear to one camera body, a flash and cable, and two lenses. The camera was my Canon EOS 70D. It’s small, light, can shoot 7 FPS and has great continuous auto focus – perfect for shooting high-speed action from the bike. It also has built-in Wi-Fi so I can post photos from the trail, via my Smart Phone. The lenses were my trusty Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8, and 70-200mm f/2.8. Honestly, most of the time, that’s all you need – two fast zooms. I my camera gear, along with extra clothes, tools and water, in the MindShift Gear 180 Panorama pack. I’ve been riding with the MindShift pack all season and I love it. It has an integrated belt pack that rotates out of the pack so you can get to your camera without having to take off the backpack. There’s nothing else like it and it truly is a paradigm shift for serious outdoor photography.

Wildflowers - Colorado Enduro World Series

Pro women and wildflowers in stage 6 of the EWS stop at Winter Park, Colorado.

Winter Park Bike Park - Colorado

I had a chance to explore the bike park at Winter Park a bit and what I saw was excellent. I hope to visit again so I can just ride.

Please share this article if you like it – especially if you know the racers, team managers, or bike company marketing managers that might be interested in photos. If you like what you see and want me to cover an event, please contact me and let’s talk!

Colorado Enduro World Series Photos:

One Response to Colorado Enduro World Series Photos

  1. Photo Dad August 21, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    A good article, John. I can tell you put some effort into it. Great pictures, too.

    Reply

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