When I arrived in Vail for the Teva Mountain Games, the mountains were speckled white from a snowfall the previous week. Leftover snow caused officials to alter the course for the cross country mountain bike race that I had come to follow – to cheer on members of the Subaru Trek Mountain Bike Team that were entered.
With the new course map in hand, I picked out where I thought would be the best areas for viewing and photography. However, when I got to the base of that mountain and looked up, I wondered how I would get there. It was steeper than I had imagined!
Well, up I went -- I don’t usually back down from a challenge. What a trek up the mountain it was. I’m not used to the altitude. When I reached my photography points, the view was amazing.
As bikers took a warm-up lap, I was able to time my ability to change from one photo point to another to catch the riders in time. I thought I had it all planned perfectly. But I had no idea whether men or women were starting first.
Surprise – it was the men, with Subaru team member Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (JHK) at the front of the pack. As I went to change locations, surprise! Subaru rider Heather Irmiger passed by with the women, who had started closely behind. Timing proved to be a little more hectic than I had planned. These pro riders endured four laps of four-plus miles up and down grueling mountains paths, testing their early season strength and endurance.
Both of the competing Subaru Trek riders had successful races at the 2011 Teva Mountain Games. JHK dominated his race, finishing on top out of the 41 male riders, and Irmiger had a strong fourth-place finish for the women.
Find more images of the Subaru Trek Mountain Bike Team at Vail here.
Look for the Summer 2011 issue of Drive magazine that features Subaru Trek Mountain Bike Team rider Sam Schultz in the cover story.
Look for an upcoming journal featuring more events and images from the 2011 Teva Mountain Games.