Participants in the Revolution Fat Duro prepared for an informal start. Twelve-year-old Ryder Eagleton (second from left) was the youngest fat biker in the event.

Tough conditions for Fat Duro riders

The Revolution Fat Duro took place on Saturday, with tough conditions for racers.

An American claimed the top spot at this year’s fat bike enduro race.

The Revolution Fat Duro was held at Red on Saturday as part of Fat Bike Fest and Winter Carnival, and Mike Gaertner from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho took first place in the Expert Men’s category.

First place in the Expert Women’s category went to Steph Verot.

Conditions on race day were pretty challenging. With plenty of fresh precipitation, the snow was soft.

“It was a little soft,” said Tyler Merringer, owner of Revolution Cycle and organizer for the race. “The bikes are best when the snow is hard and firm, so with the amount of snow we received this week it was a bit of a challenge, and thanks again to the volunteers who were out there…. We were out there until midnight some evenings packing trail.”

There were more than a few wipeouts on the course due to the powder.

“It was challenging, but really fun,” said Gaertner. “I came off the bike a couple of times.”

Gaertner started fat biking in 2002 or 2003, but this was his first time in the Fat Duro. Verot has only been fat biking for one year, but had participated in last year’s event.

“It was tough, but I liked it,” said Verot. “It was more challenging than last year.”

For Linda Venema of Rossland, the Fat Duro was her first real fat biking experience.

“We did some test runs yesterday, and today was my first time,” she said.

Venema is a regular mountain biker, and like other participants, she found the course fun, but challenging. She said she would probably participate in a fat biking event again, given the opportunity.

A total of 37 riders participated in the two-stage enduro race.

Local sponsors included Rossland Beer Co., Mountain Nugget Chocolate, and the Alpine Grind.


Expert Men

First: Mike Gaertner, 21:46:32

Second: Dave Sutton, 22:54:36

Third: Gerry Heacock, 22:59:16

Expert Women

First: Steph Verot, 31:31:34

Second: Tara Carr, 36:44:55

Third: Isabella Desmarais, 37: 09: 42

Non-expert Men

First: Guillaume Landix, 30:06:12

Second: Leslie van Oosternrijk, 30:57:45

Non-expert Women

First: Linda Venema, 44:32:29


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