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Bella Vista Enduro returns

by Keith Bryant | June 9, 2021 at 5:27 a.m.
Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista Brandt Oliver hustles through a berm after a massive tabletop on the Bella Vista Enduro's second stage.

BELLA VISTA -- The city saw its third enduro mountain bike race, with riders tearing through berms and sailing over jumps across half a dozen timed stages June 5.

Race director Dustin Slaughter said the course, which started on some of the westernmost trails before crossing the interstate and looping back to Blowing Springs Park, covered 19 miles and included 2,500 feet of climbing.

"Lots of scenery; you ride by lots of water," he said.

Enduro differs from a typical bike race in that riders are competing for the best total time across the various stages -- usually the faster, more flow-oriented sections of trail -- with the rest of the course being transit from stage to stage.

Riders stagger their stage starts to minimize the risk of on-course contact and must begin from a dead stop at the starting line on each stage -- and there are no re-runs.

"You get one shot, that's our format ... that's our game. You have to get back up and give it your best," Slaughter said.

While last year's race was canceled because of covid-19 concerns, Slaughter said he was glad to be back at it this year.

"We're stoked to be out here," he said. "It's an amazing venue; we have awesome weather; it couldn't be any better."

One rider, Rob Andrews, moved to Bentonville two months ago and came out racing backed by his employer, Phat Tire Bike Shop.

Halfway through the course, Andrews said he was happy with his performance thus far.

"Not as tired as I thought I'd be," he said.

Another rider, Jason Feist, said he loves to ride and race and he was having a great day on the trails.

He spends a lot of time on Bella Vista trails, he explained, so while there weren't any real surprises he was still having fun.

"It's a good time, good trails," he said.

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