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Big Sky Biggie brings athletes on local trails

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Bikers set off on the 8 a.m. start. PHOTO BY JEN CLANCEY

In its fifth year, mountain bike race attracts over 700 bikers from across the U.S.


The start of the Big Sky Biggie mountain bike race is gradual. On Saturday, Aug. 26, as over 700 bikers pedaled under a cloudy sky at the 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. starts, a man in the middle of the crowd announced, “Look at me! I’m a biker now!”

Momentum soon changed as bike racers in the 15-, 30- and 60-mile courses turned on Ousel Falls Road, where the ascent up toward Big Sky Resort—the pinnacle of the high-altitude race, begins. Big Sky Biggie’s fifth year entailed stiff competition, including a close fight for first in the 30-mile race, and an overall record number of bikers on all courses.

Big Sky Biggie Top Finishers

View overall results for the 60 Mile, 30 Mile and 15 Mile races as well as specific age brackets.

Many teenagers raced their way to a podium position in overall results. Seventeen-year-old Cole Bothner from Bozeman MT finished second in the 30-mile and 19-year-old Kjetil Hassman finished less than ten seconds behind him for third. Samuel Madsen, a 15-year-old from Bozeman placed first in the male 15-mile race while Neva Halverson, 14, finished first in the female 15-miler.

Weather poses challenges, even for seasoned riders

Baker crosses the finish line, completing the 15-mile race. PHOTO BY JEN CLANCEY

Christine Baker, a Big Sky local, rode into a fourth place finish for the 15-mile race in the 40-49 age bracket at 10:47 a.m.

“I just love seeing other people come into the community and get to experience the amazing trail system that we have here,” Baker said shortly after crossing the finish line. The start of the race is just a few minutes from her home; the course follows the local trails she knows well.

“As I was riding today, it was just fun to think that I was chatting with people and most of them hadn’t been here before,” she said.

Most Biggie riders passed through the finish line with a signature dotting of mud on their bodies due to wet and foggy conditions on trails.

Fricke, left, and Hassman, right, smile at the race finish. PHOTO BY JEN CLANCEY

“It didn’t seem like it rained that much,” Hassman, a Big Sky local, said after his win. “But as soon as you got out there, it was like a complete mud fest.”

Regardless of the challenging conditions, Hassman and a fellow rider Drake Fricke described the race as fun.

“I would say I would consider [the race] to be successful but challenging,” Hassman said.

Drake Fricke finished fifth in the 18 and under 30-mile race. From Bozeman, it was exciting for him to see so many people across Montana and the U.S. compete on Big Sky trails.

“It’s fun to race people from all around,” Fricke said. “It’s a great event.”

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