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Local skicross champ an emerging Enduro threat

Fourth place is everyone’s least favorite position, but when it comes to Enduro racing, Chris Del Bosco probably won’t be there for long. Among the star-studded talent on two wheels, the Vail Valley native was the only athlete competing in the inaugural GoPro Mountain Games Enduro bike race who doubles as a world champion skier by winter. Del Bosco is a star skicross racer for Team Canada. Following his world championship gold medal in 2011, he had one of the best World Cup seasons of his life last winter, with two victories and three podiums, and he attributes much of his on-snow success to biking.

In spite of being new to the Enduro scene, the 34-year-old was on track for a podium in Friday’s race in Eagle, but missed it by a mere two seconds, finishing behind winner Alex Mcguinness, Adam Craig and Brian Lopes, who finished second and third, respectively. Del Bosco’s prep season was considerably shorter than most of the pro field, having raced on skis through April and not kicking off his dirt hammering until May.

“I’m a bit behind at the start of the summer. I’m kind of playing catch up, but I’m starting to feel pretty good,” Del Bosco said after Friday’s race, which he described as “a little pedal-y” for his liking, understandable since his background in two wheel competition is downhilling and Friday’s race involved about 3,600 vertical feet of climbing and a lot of resistance to push through during the descents.

He has discovered, however, that Enduro racing is hugely beneficial to his skicross career. After taking a couple years off of the saddle and getting rid of his downhill bike completely, Del Bosco got back into biking last summer, trying Enduro for the first time.

 “The fitness side of it is huge, but the reason I do it is for the mental side,” he said. “You’re just adapting and reacting … the same things we do in skicross. I took a couple years off – I didn’t ride much at all – then last summer I got on the bike a ton and had a really good year on the skis. Hopefully this translates to another good year on the skis.”

5:24 p.m: Complete GoPro MTN Enduro results are not yet ready at this time.