written by: Shannon Boffeli
If Wyoming makes you think of dusty dry plains, cowboys, and
jackalopes, you obviously haven’t raced the Laramie Enduro. While Laramie may
not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of great mountain bike racing the Enduro
is one of the most challenging all-around mountain bike events in the country.
It’s popularity with dirt enthusiasts is unmistakeable. This year’s Enduro sold
out in a jaw-dropping 8 minutes.
The Laramie race offers a mix of riding that will hurt even
the best riders. Over 68 miles the Wyoming course offers up high-octane dirt
roads, primitive prairie singletrack, long grueling climbs, and tight,
technical trail sections.
To win the Laramie Enduro a rider has to be the best in all
facets of riding. The field of 400 included many riders capable of doing just
After the mass start at 7AM a fast group of men
established themselves at the front. This group included former Enduro
champions Jay Henry (Tokyo Joe’s), Kelly Magelky (Trek), and Barkley Robinson
(Orange Peels). The leaders stayed close on the early road
sections and quickly put time on the field.
As the trio of former champions slowly spit riders out of
their group Henry picked up a screw in his front tire that forced him to stop.
"We kept the pace high after Jay flatted but we both knew he would be coming
back’” commented Magelky after the
Indeed Henry did recover all his lost time and after
rejoining he and Robinson cut the lead group to just two. Magelky started to
feel his long season of endurance racing just as a flat tire compounded his troubles.
With most the road behind them, the gaps started to open up
even in the lead group. Even after his impressive comeback, Henry had plenty of
gas in the tank and dispatched Robsinson who was now comfortably in second
After the final climb and a scorching descent back to the
finish Jay Henry crossed with over 5 minutes on second placed Barkley Robinson.
Magelky held on for third place. Joseph Saperstien crossed the line comfortably
in fourth followed by Utah rider Nate Miller.
The women had an equally strong field with endurance big
guns Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt), Kelli Boniface (Moots), and former XC champion
Tammy Jacques (Eriksen), all challenging for the win.
Carey took the early lead until a crash stole some of her
steam. "I was drafting behind some guys and I followed them right into a big
rut. I couldn’t do anything once I got in there and I went down,” said the
Soon after, Boniface and Jacques bridged the gap to the
leader. Once together the trio pushed a furious pace riding some the top male
riders off their wheels. After the race many of the men commented on how hard
those "girls were drilling it!”
Carey was the first to find the pace too much as she let a
gap open. Boniface and Jacques kept the heat on and challenged each other throughout
the event. The high pace was taking it’s toll on Jacques and between the fourth
and fifth feedzones the Eriksen rider finally cracked.
Boniface carried on while Carey retook the runner-up spot
from a fast fading Jacques.
By the finish Kelli Boniface would take the win by just 4
minutes over Amanda Carey. Jacques, who wasn’t sure she could finish just 5
miles out, persevered to take the third spot followed by Melissa Marts (Tough
Girls) and Jill Damman (Fitzgerald’s).
1, Jay Henry 4:49:05
2, Barkley Robinson 4:55:45
3, Kelly Magelky 5:00:28
4, Joseph Saperstein 5:05:25
5, Nathan Miller 5:10:25
6, Peter Kalmes 5:11:46
8, Shannon Boffeli 5:16:34
9, Troy Barry 5:18:23
10, Brad Pilling 5:22:22
1, Kelly Boniface 5:33:26
2, Amanda Carey 5:37:05
3, Tammy Jacques 5:49:52
4, Melissa Marts 6:11:10
5, Jill Damman 6:18:06