Ride Sun Valley Festival celebrates full weekend of racing

The fifth annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival presented by Subaru of Twin Falls drew a large number of the biking community with an array of two-wheeled events June 25-28. From fierce competition in the SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria and the new Shimano Boulder Mountain Fox Trot 50k cross-country race to the comedic Downtown Criterium Team Relay, Bike Prom and SheepTown Drag Races, there were activities to suit every bike fanatic’s interest.


Scott Enduro Cup

The second stop of the SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria featured more than 200 competitors from across the country in the two-day competition, which was the first bike race to be held on Sun Valley’s backcountry trails. A North American Enduro Tour stop, this race is one of the longest enduros in North America covering 17.2 miles of downhill timed stages with 7,200 descending vertical feet across backcountry singletrack and the world-class trails of Bald Mountain in the heart of the Sawtooth National Forest. The fastest combined times for men were claimed by Curtis Keene (45:55) and and Teal Stetson-Lee (53:49) for the women.


New this year, day one of the Enduro Cup was the first bike race allowed on the area’s backcountry singletrack, and day two featured legendary trails of Bald Mountain. The course combined ridgelines, stream crossings and high-mountain alpine trails. The course demanded riders have both fitness and focus to rip full-throttle on the descents. A combined time of the five timed stages determined the overall champions.

Red Bull’s Curtis Keene executed the steep sections of the course with impeccable downhill technique to win the Open Men’s division with a combined time of 45:55. Craig Harvey earned second place (46:18) with Mitch Ropelato (46:27) and Kyle Warner (46:39) hot on his heels. Second through seventh place riders all finished within one minute of the other.

“Everything was well organized,” said Curtis Keene, “The backcountry trails were really raw with no berms, awesome rock and when you get to the top, you’ve got a 360 degree view of the mountains below.”


Next, in the Open Women’s category, SCOTT Sports athlete Teal Stetson-Lee (53:49), completely dominated the field. Stetson-Lee was excited to add this first place finish to her Enduro Cup season after placing second at the Moab stop in May. Alison Kinsler (58:03) maintained a consistently fast pace to step up into second place. Close behind was Ileana Anderson with a time of 58:50.

“I felt completely dialed in on my stages,” said Stetson-Lee, “I think adding the backcountry trails was an awesome call. It was good to have variety with the expansive trails out in the mountains and getting exposure to the resort’s singletrack that is really well built.”

Next, the action shifted to the expert, amateur and junior divisions. Winners of those categories were awarded SCOTT Handlebars and Toolkits, Vittoria Tires, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. beer and trophies made by Biondi Handcrafted in Idaho. Podium finishers ranged from first time racers to Enduro Cup veterans. Spectators and athletes viewed live timing results throughout the race on ItsYourRace.com and the ItsYourRace App. The real time results were made possible by the official media and timing sponsor, COX Communications. See the full race results here.

The Open category podium winners received $2,500 total in prize money divided evenly between men and women. The top placing riders in the Amateur categories received gear from sponsors. Riders and spectators also had the chance to enter daily raffles which raised over $1,000 for the Wood River Bike Coalition. Raffle prizes were provided by SCOTT Sports, Vittoria Tires, Subaru of Twin Falls, Niner Bikes, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, SRAM, Club Ride and Biondi.

The final race stop will take place at Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah, on August 15. Registration is still open for the next event. For more information, visit the series’ new website, EnduroCupMTB.com, or follow “EnduroCupMTB” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Enduro Cup is an MSI production.


Shimano Boulder Mountain Fox Trot 50k

Event organizers worked closely with U.S. Forest Service to host the 32-mile point-to-point cross-country mountain bike race on backcountry trails with 4,200 feet of total climbing including some of the area’s best trails in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

Robert Squire earned the fastest time of the day and overall men’s champion title by riding the course in 2:09:13. Three Idaho local riders, John Reuter, Eric Chizum, and Steve Price claimed second through fourth place.


Local Sun Valley athlete, Rebecca Rusch, dominated the women’s field with a time of 2:39:14. The next fastest women were Nina Otter (2:47:21) and Brett Stevenson (3:04:40). View the full results here.

“I think Ketchum is paradise,” said Rebecca Rusch. “This place is off the beaten path, which keeps the trails really pristine. Every day at the festival there is a little bit of something for everybody, it’s a party on bikes.”


Festival atmosphere

The unofficial kickoff party of Ride Sun Valley was the legendary SheepTown Drag Race in Hailey, ID, where racers charged head-to-head down Main Street with flaming logs chained behind their bikes. Another entertaining race was the Downtown Criterium Team Relay presented by Vittoria where costume clad riders sprint laps around the town square for cash and local bragging rights.

“My favorite part of the festival was the Enduro Prologue race I did on Friday,” said Teal Stetson-Lee. “I love it when events have added components other than just the racing. It’s spectator friendly and draws the crowds out.”


For festival-goers less inclined to compete there was daily live music in the Expo Area, an 80s theme Bike Prom, and local stoker rides where local bikers guided tours of their favorite trails. The final gathering of the festival was the Idaho Pump Track State Championship Races.


All festival participants had the chance to enter daily raffles which raised over $1,000 for the Wood River Bike Coalition. Raffle prizes were provided by SCOTT Sports, Vittoria Tires, Subaru of Twin Falls, Niner Bikes, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, SRAM, Club Ride and Biondi.


Participants are also  encouraged to post their #BestofRSV photos before Tuesday, July 12 on any social channel for a chance to win the Cox Communications #BestofRSV contest awarding Vittoria tires and swag from festival sponsors ($200 value). For more information visit ridesunvalley.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Enduro Cup is an MSI production.