Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park Resort in Winter Park, Colorado will host a new event called the Colorado Freeride Festival. The event featuring enduro and cross-country racing, as well as a slopestyle is scheduled for 26-29 July 2012.
The event replaces the now defunct Crankworx Colorado and builds upon the success of the 2011 Trestle All-mountain Enduro. The sophomore edition of Winter Park’s 3-day, 5-stage enduro event is set to serve as the foundation of the new festival. “We will not be hosting Crankworx Colorado,” Bob Holme, park manager for Trestle Bike Park told BikeRadar. “We have a long history of hosting mountain bike festivals here at Winter Park, and with last year’s success of the enduro, I thought there was a great opportunity to bring the enduro into a larger festival and expose a lot of people to it through the draw of the slopestyle.
“The All-mountain Enduro that we had last year— [we’re] still working with Ross [Schnell] — will serve as the racing portion of the 2012 festival,” he said.
Schnell helped bring America's enduro stars to the event, including Matt Slaven (l) and Mark Weir
In addition to the enduro, the Colorado Freeride Festival will host a showcase Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA) slopestyle, Epic Singletrack Series cross-country race, and — the crowd favorite — Intergalactic Pond Crossing Championships.
Holme believes the FMBA partnership will bring the same level of competition to the new festival’s slopestyle as Crankworx brought to the previous competitions. “We’ve been FMBA gold level for the past 3 years,” said Holme. “Our investment into this event is going to be the same that we’ve made in years past.”
Specific event details —including courses and schedules — have yet to be set, however, the Colorado Freeride Festival, and the accompanying base area expo will be free to attend and spectate.
Looking forward to 2012 festival, Holme believes there is enough buzz to sell out the 250 enduro race entries, and says that lessons were learned during the inaugural enduro event; he vowed better integration of timing with email and twitter blasts each day with results, and live timing during the event.
Ross Schnell at the 2011 Trestle All-Mountain Enduro
He also said the enduro stages will be spread more evenly over the 3 days with two stages on Friday and two on Saturday before the grand finale on Sunday. “We learned that trying to do 3 enduro races in one day is insane,” he said.
Even more exciting, however, may be the addition of new trails to the Trestle Park that have yet been ridden by anyone outside of the park’s staff. “We have two new un-built trails that will be in the ‘Bear Arms’ area feeding down into a new Boulevard,” said Holme. “And then the biggest news that I think everybody will love is a trail that we spent the end of last summer and fall building, Cruel and Unusual, and it’s unlike any trail on our mountain.
“Elevated features, wood to dirt, tight, bottomless sea walls; it’ll be a long, even cooler, version of Beall Ucanb,” said Holme. “Right now, some of the feedback we get is that Trestle is difficult, but not that hard. This is a trail that you’ll go, ‘holy crap, I’ve got to step up for it.’ It’s rad. The guys did an absolutely amazing job with it. It’s the definition of a freeride trail and it’s going to be rad.”
Holme hard at work