The 2019 Colorado Trail Race in Photos
In our 2019 Colorado Trail Race photo gallery, Eddie Clark brings us into this year’s race with another amazing set of images. Here’s the full gallery, Eddie’s commentary from the experience, and a brief recap of the race…
Starting in Durango, the 2019 Colorado Trial race drew 76 racers for the July, 28 grand depart. The race set out from Velorution Cycles at 4:00 in the morning. Within miles of rolling out of town, racers left the pavement for singletrack and started up the Colorado Trail towards Kennebec Pass and on to Indian Trail Ridge before I’d eventually catch up with racers near Bolum Pass that afternoon. The day before a big storm system rolled through much of this area and hampered the dust to provide some quality conditions that lasted for days. Luckily the storm cleared the way for a high pressure system to keep the San Juan weather in check too.
One of the first riders I encountered was Ben Hanus giving me the peace sign as he rolled by the small lake at the segment 26 trailhead. More riders roll through and this unidentified rider gives it a good wheelie across the creek crossing.
Bailey Newbry rolls up to say Hi. It was nice to get to talk to him as I never got the chance last year while photographing him during the Tour Divide when he took second overall on a singlespeed. He had a rough start on this year’s CTR. He hadn’t been able to keep down any food for the last eight hours, but he was still able to joke about it.
I continued down Bolum Pass to Purgatory Resort and hit the highway towards Silverton to try to catch up with then leaders Kurt Refsnider and Timon Fish before dark. Along the way, highway 550 crosses the CTR at Little Molas Lake where I barely caught Scot Sidener riding in the distance on the other side of the lake.
Got up to Stony Pass just at sunset. No shortage of lingering snow up there, and no photos of Kurt or Timon as they had both just beat me there despite the massively long and steep climb to get there.
Some of the snow field crossings could be quite tricky early in the morning when they were frozen solid. One slip would end with a quick long ride to hard ground.
Alexandera Houchin makes an appearance around the grassy field (far right).
Steve Denny starts into the long downhill dirt road section from Slumgullion Pass that bypasses wilderness to the south.
Nearing Marshall Pass. Directly above: Cookie Mike, Scot Sidener and Aaron Thrasher.
Kurt Refsnider at Twin Lakes on a cold and blustery evening.
John Price (right)? climbing from Clear Creek Res in the Arkansas River Valley.
Andrew Carney having one of his best rides on the CTR this year.
Above: Andrew Stempke on the CT trail coming in to Cottonwood Hot Springs; Joshua Peter; Maurizio Doro
For the CTR, Alexandera rode her same Stella Ti that she won the Tour Divide on, but with front suspension and 27.5+ tires.
Congratulations to all who finished this year’s race. Ultimately, Kurt Refsnider finished first with a time of 4 days, 12 hours, 28 minutes (4:12:28), becoming the first ultra racer to win each of the bikepacking Triple Crown races: Tour Divide (2011), Arizona Trail 750 (2018), and Colorado Trail Race (2019). Mike Neal (Cookie Mike) came in second with a finish time of 4 days, 20 hours, and 31 minutes. Alexandera Houchin was the first woman to finish with a time of 6 days, 1 hour, and 34 minues (6:01:34)… on a singlespeed, no less! Even more impressive, her win comes exactly a month after she set the new women’s singlespeed record on the Tour Divide route, finishing in 18 days, 20 hours, and 26 minutes (18:20:26).