The final installment of the bikepacking triple crown takes off this Sunday, August 10 at 6pm. The Waterton Canyon parking lot will be filled with mountain bikers from across the country ready to take on one of the more difficult bikepacking races around. The Colorado Trail Race (CTR) started in 2007 when Stefan Griebel had a vision. 10 Racers showed up including Jefe Branham, Matthew Lee, and Ethan Passant. Since then, more and more racers have been showing up to tackle the beast of the CTR. Last year a total of 51 racers finished the route from Durango To Denver. The odds of finishing last year were pretty good with 78 total starting, including ITT’s, either heading northbound or southbound. Stefan has decided to switch up the race direction each year. This year racers will start at Waterton Canyon, outside of Denver Colorado. The route detour of Tarryall Wilderness detour will remain the same as last year, year adding almost 50 miles of mostly dirt road through the Hayman fire burn area. The old route took Wellington Lake Road to Bailey, then up hwy 285 to Kenosha Pass. This detour will likely add 10-15 hours of riding to the racers total times. Bicycles are not allowed in Wilderness Areas – the Colorado Trail Race is no exception with 5 Wilderness Area detours. These detours are nice, however, as they give racers access to resupply points such as gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores. After the Tarryall detour, racers will then head up and over Georgia Pass, before making their way down to Hwy 9. Some will detour into Breckenridge for resupply, others will continue on to the difficult 10 mile range pass, where hiking your bike is mandatory. After a few more above tree line passes, racers will make their way into Leadville, Buena Vista, and Princeton Hot Springs. Riders will need to make sure to stock plenty of food as there is a 200 mile gap from there to Silverton, which is the next resupply spot. Those 200 miles may be the most difficult – riding up Fooses Trail, Sargents Mesa, and then the long section above treeline in the Coneys and Cataract sections before dropping down Stony Pass into Silverton. Once racers detour around the Weminuche Wilderness and into Silverton, they will be 80 miles until the finish. Climbing hwy 550 to Molas Pass, over other numerous passes and finally dropping down to Taylor Lake and Kennebec Pass. Riders will soon start to dream about pints of beer, slices of pizza, and a bed to sleep in. Those may be the most difficult 20 miles the participants will experience, but Junction Creek will come, and the Colorado Trail Race will come to an end. Route changes have made things unique over the past few years. This year will be another record setting year as this route and direction have never been raced before. Starting from Durango last year, Jefe Branham won a hard fought race at 4 days, 4 hours, and 17 minutes. Just under an hour before Jesse Jakomait at 4:05:13. This year should be interesting as the top 4 racers last year (Jefe, Jesse, Matt Schiff, and Jerry Oliver) will not be participating. That is the beauty of these races, it is a mystery and it will be until we get a better picture on Trackleaders.com. We hope and wish all racers have a fun time out there, stay as warm and dry as possible, and fight through any negative thoughts. For tracking check out Trackleaders.com/CTR14. Head over the Colorado Trail Race website for historical stats and more information on the route.