New Mexico’s Chris Boice, 31, has proven nothing can hold him down in the second round of the North American Enduro Tour, the SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria’s race at Angel Fire.
Taking the Pro Men’s win with in a time of 37:02, the former World Cup racer from Albuquerque, New Mexico consistently topped the field, scoring podium placements on all seven stages over the rugged, old-school backcountry trails of the Carson National Forest on Day 1 and staying in the top three once again on Day 2 over a combination of sleek, machine-cut flow and tough desert rock in the Angel Fire Bike Park.
New to the enduro race scene, the veteran athlete acknowledged the win was a full-circle moment, which left him feeling privileged to be making podiums alongside friends he’s made over years of racing, after hitting a series of major setbacks.
“I raced on a factory team for eight years in downhill and went through a couple injuries and some sweet cancer stuff and then found myself broke. I didn’t know what I was going to do for work and, luckily, I had a great friend get me going on a great job and EVIL bikes kept me going on a sweet ride,” he said, noting how thankful he was that they took a chance on him.
Separated from second place racer, Shawn Neer, 24, of Colorado, and third-place finisher Jubal Davis, 25, of Waverly, Ohio, who finished in 37:03 and 37:10, Boice said the course proved a battle start to finish. And it was equally close in the women’s field where experience proved a turnkey for World Cup Cross-Country veteran Kelli Emmett.
Emmett, 39, of Colorado Springs, consistently bested second and third place finishers Porscha Murdock, 24, of Bend, Oregon, and Alexandra Pavon, 22, of Flagstaff, Arizona, to take the win in 42:19.
“I was most excited about the amount of talented women that were here at this race in the U.S., just to see there is this really big interest for women in enduro and now competition is getting pretty serious. It’s cool to watch the progression,” she said.
Emmett and Boice pointed to the rocky terrain, both park and backcountry, as the big separator, with Boice noting the time he’s spent training the area, consistently challenging its solidly technical trails, has consistently upped his game. Emmett is an experienced EWS racer and said the effort she poured into the event met, if not exceeded, her output at higher-level competitions, leaving her spent by the end.
Some 180 athletes came out to race in what turned out to be perfect, sunny conditions. With descents reaching up to six miles in length and 1900 feet of altitude, the course is one of the tougher courses on the SCOTT Enduro Cup scene this year and, likely, NAET as well.
The race is one of five Enduro World Series qualifiers included in NAET's season. As an EWS member, Emmett will now automatically qualify in 2017. The next North American Enduro Tour event in two weeks is the SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria’s race in Sun Valley, Idaho. It is also an Enduro World Series qualifier and will give racers another chance to qualify for the most elite level of enduro racing.
The 2016 North American Enduro Tour race schedule now includes:
- May 29 – Whistler, British Columbia, the Whistler Spring Classic
- June 11, 12 – Angel Fire, New Mexico, a SCOTT Enduro Cup (2 day race) *
- June 25, 26 – Sun Valley, Idaho, a SCOTT Enduro Cup (2 day race) *
- August 6, 2016 – Squamish, British Columbia, The Gryphon presented by Giro Sport Design
- August 27, 2016 – Bellingham, Washington, The Chuckanut Enduro, an EVIL Cascadia Dirt Cup presented by SHIMANO race
- September 10-11 – Whistler, British Columbia, the Whistler Fall Classic (2 day race)*
- September 17, 18 – Mammoth, California, part of the Kamikaze Bike Games and California Enduro Series (2 day race)*
- November 12, 13– Mascota, Mexico,run by the Big Mountain Enduro Series – NAET Finals (2 day race)*
Events marked with an asterisk* are Enduro World Series qualifier events
SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria Angel Fire results:
- Chris Boice 37:02.304
- Shawn Neer 37:03.947
- Jubal Davis 37:10.478
- Macky Franklin 37:18.825
- David Camp 37:36.814
- Kelli Emmett 42:19.762
- Porsha Murdock 42:45.812
- Alexandra Pavon 43:24.744
- Krista Rust 44:11.027
- Lia Westermann 44:30.440