• REPORT: Durango Dirty Century & Firecracker 50

    Enjoy!! Cut-n-paste from the team post-race press release.......

    July 8, 2014
    Durango and Breckenridge, Colorado, USA

    Over the past two weekends, Topeak-Ergon USA rider Jeff Kerkove, has been putting in some lengthy efforts on the Canyon race bikes. The last weekend of June, Jeff competed in the Durango Dirty Century (DDC), a 100-mile self-supported and self-navigated backcountry mountain bike race. The following weekend he celebrated the USA Independence day by toeing the start line of the fastest mountain bike marathon race in the USA, the Firecracker 50. While looking for solid results, both events would serve as preparation for the new Colorado event in 2 weeks, the Telluride 100 which he and teammate Yuki Ikeda with both compete in.

    Roughly 70 riders lined up to complete the Durango Dirty Centruy in late June. As a self-supported and self-navigated event, all riders had to carry most supplies to finish the 100-miles....which could take 10-15 hours to complete. Perfect weather hovered over the riders all day, which was welcomed as a majority of the course traverses above 10,000 feet and treeline.

    Jeff Kerkove had a great start to his DDC. He hit the singletrack in 4th place as riders began to settle into their efforts for the day. "I felt great and was keeping the effort light. I knew I would be in the saddle for over 10+ hours and the course would only get tougher" said Jeff. With the course consisting of 95% pure singletrack, riders would need every ounce of energy they had.

    2014 Durango Dirty Century

    At about the 50-mile mark Jeff started to slow. "It was a lack of fueling on my part. I had all the proper nutrition, but I simply got so caught up in the course and riding I fell behind on taking on calories," stated Jeff. Still moving forward, Jeff would be caught by chasing riders dropping back to around 10th place. Hoping to finish around 11 hours, Jeff rolled to the finish line in Durango after 12.5 hours on the bike.

    "It was slow going, but I had no option but to keep pushing on. The amazing course and beauty of the high terrain makes for enjoyable suffering," said a smirking Jeff at the finish line.

    Below is a video from about mile 70-80 of the DDC, filmed by Jeff with his Epic Camera....

    The following weekend was the Firecracker 50, an iconic 50-mile mountain bike marathon event held in Breckenridge, CO. Finishing off a 2-week hard training and racing block, Jeff lined up with 55 other Pro Men to complete two 25-mile laps around Breckenridge, CO.

    Out of the gate, Jeff hung to back of the lead group on Lap 1 of 2. The group charged up Boreas Pass Rd towards the opening singletrack. "I had no pacing limits today. It was ride hard from start to finish," said Jeff. Looping around Breckenridge at an average elevation of 10,500 ft. Jeff would turn his fast lap ever on the Firecracker course. After Lap 1 he was 6 minutes down to the leader of the event.

    2014 Firecracker 50

    Loop 2 was a different story. Still riding at a good pace, Jeff did slow from his Lap 1 effort. "The gas ran out! I had a hard time getting up the steep climbs." Jeff would drop his position on the race, but still finish strong. "The last 2 weeks caught up with me. I knew I would fade, but just didn't know when. Overall I am happy, as I was only 5 minutes slower than my previous fastest race time here in Breckenridge. Super fast Pro field today!" said a dust covered Jeff.

    Jeff will now settle into a 2 week rest block in preparation for the Telluride 100, a new 100-mile event to hit Colorado.

    Jeff Kerkove, Durango Dirty Century, 8th place
    Jeff Kerkove, Firecracker 50, 25th place