Ileana Anderson races on the Magnificent 7 trail system in Moab on Saturday, May 3, in Enduro Cup's first race of the season. 135 athletes competed in the event, which challenged athletic fitness for long stretches of low-angle redrock terrain. The winner of the men's competition was professional mountain-biker Ross Schnell, who lives in Grand Junction, Colo., but owns the Whole Enchilada Shuttle Co. in Moab, and the winner on the women's competition was Moab resident and professional mountain-biker Heidi Rentz. [Photo courtesy of Mountain Sports International]

Red rock, sunshine, sweat, and mountain bikes; the Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro rounded out the first competition of the season on the Magnificent 7 trail system in Moab on Saturday, May 3. A field of 135 athletes competed in one of the first races of the season. The course challenged athletic fitness for long stretches of low-angle redrock terrain combined with impeccable skill on the technical descents. Professional mountain-biker Ross Schnell (24:11.781), who lives in Grand Junction, Colo., and owns Whole Enchilada Shuttle Co. in Moab, won the men’s competition. Moab resident and fellow professional mountain-biker Heidi Rentz (28:07.061) won the women’s competition

The Open category podium winners received $2,500 total in prize money divided evenly between men and women. The first place riders in the Amateur category received registration for the next two Enduro Cup stops at Sun Valley, Idaho, and Canyons Resort in Park City. Many participants also received prizes in the raffle, which raised over $800 for the Grand County Trail Mix committee. Raffle prizes were provided by Scott Sports, GoPro, ENVE Composites, SRAM and Geax.

“Moab is an excellent location to begin the season with the relaxed atmosphere of southern Utah,” event director Ben Nelson said. “We focused on streamlining the system to create an enjoyable race. The entire format of Enduro is about community, fun and rowdy mountain biking.

The competition began with the Open Men’s division. Schnell sailed through the four timed stages only three-tenths of a second faster than second-place rider Mike West, of Boulder, Colo. The top five athletes dominated the field all within 50 seconds of each other.

“Moab is always a fun place to ride; there is just nothing like it in the world,” Schnell said. “It’s the perfect place to hold an event like Enduro Cup. For me it’s all about camaraderie.”

Next, in the Open Women’s category, Rentz led the way by executing the technical sections of the course with fluidity and skill to receive a remarkably fast time of 28:07.061. Boulder, Colo. native 2013 Enduro Cup overall champion Heather Irmiger took second place, less than one minute behind Rentz with a time of 28:51.424.

“Although I didn’t feel like I did as great this year, I genuinely love so many things about Enduro, especially that you can get down and dirty on one stage, but then switch it off and just ride with your friends on transfer sections,” Irmiger said.

The amateur division was composed of skilled up-and-coming riders, and the junior division was represented by an enthusiastic group of young Endurons. Podium finishers peddled full throttle through the course. Aaron Russell won the men’s19-29 division, Mike Hall won the men’s 30-39 division, Mark Legg won the 40-plus division and Josh Snow won the juniors division. Heather Thiry won the amateur women’s title.

Looking forward, the next stop is at the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival in Idaho on June 27-29. The final stop will take place at Canyons Resort in Park City on July 19. Enduro races challenge riders’ physical endurance and technical downhill skills, making it an excellent discipline for riders of all ability levels. Registration is open for the next events at To register, visit