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Popular race series kicks off with the Battle Born Enduro in the high desert
Words by Liam Ruff; Photos by Called To Creation
Another sold out Battle Born Enduro proved to be a fun and successful event for the 300 competitors who descended upon Peavine Mountain near Reno, Nevada. Despite rain and snow storms all through the previous week, the Battle Born trails were dry, dusty, and loose as ever, keeping racers on their toes the entire day and making cornering interesting.
After a short rider’s meeting, racers made their way up the first transfer stage, a gradual eight mile climb that put racers on the top of the fast and loose first stage.
Even with competitors separated into two groups there was a fairly long wait at the top of the first stage and racers stood shivering in the wind, some seeking shelter low to the ground or behind their bikes. The cold temperature at the first stage was a sharp contrast to last year’s race which saw temperatures in the 90s all day. For some racers, tightened and stiff muscles after waiting in the cold made it difficult to find the flow on Stage 1.
The second stage started with a series of sharp blown out corners and then opened up into one of the fastest sections of the course but still managed to throw in a handful of little climbs that could make you feel like you were bleeding from the eye balls if you wanted to carry speed. Warmer temperatures lower on the mountain made for happier racers and faster shredding.
To get to the third stage, racers had some climbing to do after picking up some great tasting nutrition from the Tahoe Trail Bar aid station. The beginning of Stage 3 included a challenging series of extremely tight switchbacks that could break even the most experienced racers. After that, it became one of the more wide open stages of the day and got really fast toward the bottom. The loose ball-bearing dirt of Peavine Mountain started to feel more like home for non-locals.
After a little more pedaling, it was time to shred the fastest, most physical, and longest stage of the day. Stage 4 started out with a fun, fast, and flowy downhill section with bermed corners and the occasional table top. However, the fourth stage wasn’t all fun and games as the course soon turned into a true test of a racer’s fitness with a bit of climbing and a flat path along a creek bed that left riders with no choice but to put the power down for a decent race time.
For Beginner/Sport racers, Stage 4 was the completion of their Battle Born adventure. For Expert/Pro riders, it was time to pedal up one more transfer stage to the most technical stage of the day.
Stage 5 was a welcome sight to more downhill oriented racers and featured several burly rock gardens as well as a steep chute section. Depending on how fatigued you were at this point Stage 5 could leave you grinning ear to ear or coming off the mountain with a broken bike or body. To be successful, racers had to keep their runs as smooth and consistent as possible to make it to the bottom in one piece. For many participants this was their favorite stage of the day.
The fastest riders of the day included Lauren Gregg in Pro Women 5th Place, Amy Morrison in 4th, Monika Renk in 3rd, Brianne Spiersch in 2nd, and Katerina Nash taking the win. Cory Sullivan took Pro Men 5th Place, with Dillon Santos in 4th, Marco Osborne in 3rd, Kyle Warner in 2nd, and Doug Thayer taking the top spot for the day.
The Battle Born Enduro is a not-to-be-missed event, and was the perfect way to kick off another exciting California Enduro Series season. This race is truly an all around test of the technical skill and pure fitness that make up the best mountain bikers.
View full race results here.