• REPORT: Gunnison Growler

    Press release from the team....

    Kerkove deflated at the 64-mile Gunnison Growler

    May 26, 2013
    Gunnison, CO

    The Gunnison Growler is the brainchild of Topeak-Ergon team rider, Dave Wiens. Encompassing two 32-miles laps out at Hartman Rocks Recreation Area south of Gunnison, CO, the Growler is deceivingly difficult event which throws an unrelenting course filled with rocks, steep climbs, and altitude at all who dare to take on this beast. This year, Jeff Kerkove, represented the team at this event, which is becoming a Colorado classic.

    Beginning at 7 AM with temperatures hovering just above freezing, Jeff rolled out of town with the field at the front of the race. With over 350 riders on the start line, the race was a buzz rolling out of town. Jeff started strongly sitting in the top 10 as the race crested the infamous Kill Hill.

    Riding a conservative pace, Jeff raced along with a group of 5 riders, each taking turns leading the charge. At about mile 20 of lap 1, Jeff struck a rock on course, which led to a small leak in the rear tire. Over the next 30 minutes of racing, Jeff would be forced to stop and add air to the tire with his CO2 inflator. With 3 CO2 cartridges in his pockets, he used all 3 in 30 minutes. He rolled on a flat tire for a few miles before entering an aid station where he was fortunate enough to be able to put Stan’s sealant in the back wheel and continue on.

    2013 Gunnison Growler
    Photo by Kevin Krill, crestedbuttephotography.smugmug.com/

    Now sitting in about 50th place after all the stopping to inflate the tire and a lengthy pit stop at the aid station to put sealant in the wheel, Jeff began his charge to catch back up to the front of the race.

    The effort would prove to be not enough, as he would only work up to 26th place by the end of the 64 miles.

    Jeff following the event, “I felt really good going in and was where I wanted to be early in the race. Unfortunately racing is a game of risks and luck. Luck was not on my side and I did what I could with the remaining course I had left. However, I am happy with my fitness heading into early Summer.”

    Next for Jeff is the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, CO and the Bailey HUNDO in Bailey, CO.

    Jeff Kerkove, 26th, Open Men