• REPORT: GoPro Mountain Games XC

    Yes, XC racing still hard as hell.  Still blows my mind how deep the talent pool is in this sport! Always a painful reminder that we all have to keep pushing and working hard.

    Here is the team PR piece.....

    Jeff Kerkove tunes his engine with one of the most competitive XC races in the USA, the Mountain Games in Vail, CO.

    The XC race every June at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, CO brings out the best XC racers in the USA; Olympians, National Champions, and World Cup winners. Without question, the event could double as the USA National XC Championships, as the $8,000 prize list has racer foaming at the mouth to hit the podium.

    2014 GoPro Mountain Games XC | Vail, CO

    Starting at 8,100 ft, the course covers 4.5 miles and climbs 1,100 ft up the side of Vail Ski Resort. The racers would complete 3 laps on this difficult course at altitude.

    In the middle of a big 2 week training block, Jeff Kerkove who lives near Vail mountain made the 30-mile commute by bike to toe the start line and push his limits of personal effort and anaerobic speed.

    Over 60 Pro Men lined up to race the 3-laps of the GoPro Mountain Games XC course. Out of the gate, a crash mid-pack split the field. Jeff was caught behind the crash, and forced to chase right from the start. "I didn't hit the deck like the 5 other guys did, but like most of the field I had to wait for them to move out of the way," stated a dust covered Jeff after finishing. With the crash, 1/2 the field got a head start on the later half of the field. Jeff was able to get into a small group of riders and started to chase the very fast front of the field. "We knew we would never see the front of the field, so we just pinned it as hard as we could possibly go to get what we came here for....suffering!"

    2014 GoPro Mountain Games XC | Vail, CO

    Jeff pulled off 3 consistent laps to move further up the field and finish in 35th place. Jeff after finishing, "I can't complain. I felt strong and my equipment worked great! Plus, the race was so much fun as there was no shortage of competition around me. Everyone gets pushed to their limit here."

    Photos © Linda Guerrette