Alex Petitdemange Crested Butte BME Report

Alex and Gina Crested Butte

The following is an inside view of Niner Bikes pro Alex Petitdemange experience during the Big Mountain Enduro’s Final race of 2016 in Crested Butte, CO.

Crested Butte is right around 10h from home in Sedona. It’s a long, but pretty drive and we split it with a stop overnight in Cortez.  Arriving mid morning on Wednesday, the courses were released, and practicing everything in one and half day is impossible if you want to keep energy for a 3 day race!

We decided to make a loop out of 2 stages from day 2. About 20 miles, 2 climbs and 2 descents, which were going to be 2 of the 9 stages of that race. It was a beautiful day, and riding that loop didn’t feel like practice. The rides in CB are always a pleasure.

I was riding the new Jet 9 RDO since after the last race in Aspen, thinking it would be the perfect bike for CB. I think it could have been if the weather stayed dry, but after all the rain they got there, and with a non favorable forecast for the race, I decided to ride the RIP instead. I felt more comfortable to attack the slick trails with more grip and more travel.

We met with a few friends late afternoon, and shuttled 403, which is one of the most fun descents in CB and also a race stage for Sunday.  I rode the RIP for that run, and immediately felt good about my decision to race it.

On Thursday, we decided to do some runs in the bike park, since 2 of the stages on Sunday were there, and the last one starting from the top, back to town.  We were able to practice in perfect tacky conditions without rain. Great day of riding and practicing.Rainbow in Crested Butte
When we woke up on Friday, the rain was pretty brutal. I could hear it hitting the roof of the house, and was not excited to get ready to race. While we were cooking breakfast, we got the word that the day was canceled. The forecast was not favorable at high altitude, and the trails would have been a mess after 200 people raced them. Disappointed, but also relieved!

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Alex Petitdemange Hartman Rocks
We ended up driving down to Gunnison, while lot of people decided to take the day off waiting for the rain to pass.

Alex Petitdemange Hartman Rocks Gunnison was sunny and tacky. Our friend Ben showed us around, and it was a fun ride. We finished the day with a nice dinner with friends back in CB, happy with our win over the rain of the day!

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Alex Petitdemange Pre-race Food
Alex’s secret to success pre-race meal.

Saturday, Race day 1. It was gonna be a long one, with 30 miles, 3 stages, over 6000ft of vertical.
The weather was holding for a bit, but finally started to rain before getting to the top of the first climb. It didn’t last very long, and the rest of the day stayed overcast. The trails were wet and slippery, but very fun to ride. After the Trans BC race earlier this summer, were it was wet every day, I felt really comfortable racing in those conditions, and my bike and tire choice were ideal. I had a good stage finish with a 7th, and was sitting 11th of the day, 26 seconds from 5th . Gina was in 6th overall, with a bad stage 1, but 4th and 5th on the others.

Sunday, Race day 2 started with 403. Again, we got rained on during the first climb to it, but the rain stopped after an hour or so. 403 was on the edge to be too sticky, and it felt pretty slow compared to when we rode it few days earlier. Arriving in the bike park, we knew it was going to be wet and slick, especially the famous Captain jack, with the steep rock garden, and off camber roots. It was a slide festival! Only 4 pro men made it down without a crash, and staying up was important to keep your race going. I had an ok run, with only a minor slide, and managed to stay in the top 10. Gina was a victim of sliding, but managed to be in the top 5 in the park.

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Alex Petitdemange BME Finals
Stage 1 The Waterfall Trail lived up to its name. Photo:Leigh Bowe

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Gina Jane BME Finals
Alex’s wife Gina Jane ripping down the Waterfall trail on Stage 1.  Photo:Leigh Bowe

The last stage of the day, was a fresh cut trail, from the top of the resort, going all the way down to town. Fun to ride, but hard to race! More pedaly, but still technical. I was happy to have balance with the Park stages that day. I had a good run, and kept Mike West behind me! (I was worried that he would catch me with only 30s interval!) It was a good end of the race, and despite the first day canceled, I was happy with it.
My approach for that race was really relaxed. I rode without pressure, trying to really have fun and forget about timing. Enjoying where I was, and riding in the mountains. I could tell I was back into my “normal” condition after hitting my head in BC. A month ago in Aspen, I felt like I was ready to race at the time, but with only 2 weeks after the hit, I can tell now that I wasn’t at my best potential.  All my mechanical problems there must have been a sign from the universe that I shouldn’t have been racing!  Next up will be monarch Crest Enduro, my last year’s favorite race, and a place where my all time favorite trail is!


Alex Petitdemange is an enduro racer from Annecy, France now living and training in Sedona, AZ. He raced as a XC JR and U25 pro for 5 seasons while mixing it up with some moto. After 9 years with no racing he jumped back into the sport while living in Moab, Utah and finished well enough for a podium position and was hooked back into racing as a pro in enduro.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Share:

Leave a comment.

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.
On Key

Related Posts

Review: Endura MT500 Burner Clipless Shoe

Endura may not be a name you think of when shoe shopping — yet. This Scottish based company with a strong sustainability plan is best known for its mountain bike apparel right now.