• REPORT: Firebird XC

    A direct cut-n-paste from the team PR piece....

    May 17, 2014
    Eagle, Colorado, USA
    The weekend of May 17-18 officially kicked off the mountain bike racing season in the high country of Colorado. Taking place at 6600 ft in Eagle, CO, the Eagle Outside Festival brought in over 30 bike industry vendors.  In addition to the festival and demos, the event also offers the Firebird.  What traditionally is a big 40-mile backcountry loop, was shortened to a 25-mile XC race due to snow on the higher elevations of the course.  That did keep the field from swelling to over 90 riders in the Pro/Open field.

    Firebird XC

    Racing in his home town and on his home trails, Jeff Kerkove toed the start line for Team Topeak-Ergon USA aboard his Canyon Lux CF.  The start was violent, as over 90 men rolled out of the festival venue en route to the trails.  Jeff, known as an endurance specialist, rode in the top 20 as the field made their way to the singletrack.  "I knew the race would be hard with the rough trail late in the laps.  I cannot start fast, so I need to warm up to the pace," stated Jeff following the race.

    Jeff hit the trail in a good position and knowing the course very well began to pick off riders in front of him.  The course is known to be smooth and fast, but with recent wet weather and cattle ranching near by, parts of the course became very very rough. "I was able to catch and pull away from my competition on the rough trails.  No doubt, the Canyon Lux CF was an advantage on the course today."

    Firebird XC

    Jeff rode at his limit for nearly 2 hours to go onto finish in 18th place.  "This is the hardest I have ridden in this young season," said Jeff.  Watching from the sidelines was Ergon photographer, Angel King.  Angel following the race, "You could see Jeff getting faster as the race went on.  He just ran out of race course to better his position."
    Next up for Jeff is the Ergon and SRAM sponsored 64-mile Gunnison Growler on May 25 in Gunnison, Colorado.

    Jeff Kerkove, 18th, Pro/Open Men


    Photos © Angel King / Ergon Bike