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Echo Red to Red Champions Q&A

Echo Red to Red Mountain Bike Race

Q&A with Jamey and Erica

Last years  Women's overall Champion Erica Krumpleman and Men's Overall Champion Jamey Yanik talk about mountain biking, how they prepare for racing and how have they fun at Echo Red to Red 

Jamey on mountain bike

Jamey Yanik

Men's Elite Overall Champion Echo Red to Red 2019,2018,2017,2016

Q:  Last year you again dominated the Elite/Cat 1 field with your fourth consecutive win making you the all-time winningest rider in the history of Echo Red to Red.  How do you focus on Echo Red to Red, what is your training and how do fit our race into your racing season?

 A: Echo Red to Red comes early in the season. Usually the first race for most of us living in the NW, which keeps me accountable during the winter.

Training for Echo Red to Red consist of mostly road bike and indoor training miles as Boise's trail system is usually limited access in the months leading into Echo. Fitting Echo into the Schedule is Easy, as it is fairly close to Boise and such a fun and inviting way to kick off the cycling season.

Q: Just checking results and statistics it shows you have been racing at the Elite Level since the late Nineties. Somehow you keep a low profile just riding fast and competing at nearly a world class level day in day out.   How do you stay ahead of the pack for so long?

A: I have been racing on and off since the late 90's. For me it's the lifestyle that comes with it that I enjoy. Of course some years are tougher than others and ageing tones things down a bit, but at the end of the day it's the consistancy and truely enjoying the sport aside from the results that keep us going at good level.

Q:  You once resided in Sandpoint Idaho an excellent playground for mountain biking and outdoor activities.  Now you reside in Bosie how does the cycling culture and outdoor opportunities compare and how has it changed or expanded your training?

A: When I was living in Sandpoint there were not that many MTB trails. So I was helping build trails as much as Riding. Boise has unlimited miles of trails to offer.  The biggest difference Was the weather Sandpoint has a very short cycling season in comparison to Boise.  Boise also has more cycling enthusiast giving way for more club/team opportunities.

Q:  You race bicycles both road and mountain and are involved in the local racing scene what motivates you for 2020?  Do you plan to do more road or mountain bike racing in 2020?

A: I enjoy most cycling disciplines. I feel this caters to the longevity in the sport. Some of my motivators for 2020 are...start working with some of the local high schools MTBers, Doing some events I have never done, and having my children (4) and (6) at the races in hopes that they will want to take part in lifestyle of cycling someday.

Thanks Jamey see you at the race!

Wild at heart

Erica Krumpleman

Women's Elite Champion Echo Red to Red 2019

Q:  Last year you ruled the Elite/Cat 1 Women’s field with a dominant win.  You crossed the line with an in incredible time of 2:30:58 giving you an almost two minute advantage on second place rider Darrah Hildreth out of Bend Oregon.  You reside in Winthrop Washington known for great mountain biking but also for long winters how did you keep your training and fitness to come out so strong at Echo Red to Red.

A: Thank you! I was really happy with my race. Darrah had a really strong race last year, too, and was actually ahead until we hit the dirt road to come back to town. I thankfully had enough gas left in the tank to pass her and ride hard to the finish to maintain the lead. Echo Red 2 Red was the first time I had been on my mountain bike last year. I was really nervous going into it and unsure of how I would perform. Our winters are indeed long! Fortunately, the Methow Valley has incredible cross country skiing and fat biking. The cross training seems to work pretty well for off-season fitness and, most importantly, I feel really hungry for mountain biking once the snow melts.

Q:  Echo Red to Red is considered an early season race.  A lot of riders see it as a way to get out and test training, get the legs moving and mainly get out and ride with other fun-loving mountain bikers from around the Northwest.  After such a great ride in last years race how do you focus on riding and doing other competitive events across the NW?

A: Echo Red to Red is an incredibly fun course and well-planned event. Anyone who is planning to race their bike this spring in the Northwest should attend! I've found that the best way to get faster is by racing and riding with people who push me to ride a bit outside of my comfort zone. When you race your bike or ride in a spirited group ride, you will push yourself much harder than you would in a solo training ride. After about twenty years' experience in endurance racing,  my endurance is pretty solid, but I can easily lose strength and intensity if I'm not intentional in my training.  I've found it's important to sprinkle in those big efforts in group rides or races in order to perform well. This year I have a little extra challenge. I severely injured my ankle trail running at the end of September and spent almost two months in an immobilizing boot. It's feeling pretty good now and I'm enjoying being back on skis and the fat bike. The race is going to be a true test of my recovery this year.  

Q:  You are a Mom and Wife to another accomplished local rider Doug Krumpelman who also likes to mix it up with the fastest riders in the NW cross country MTB scene.  How do find time to balance family and racing?

A: Well, now that I'm a grandma and my kids are 30 and 27, it is definitely easier! When they were younger, my husband and I sometimes took turns riding, my parents helped out, we traded childcare with friends, I got up early to ride before the kids got up, or I rode late evenings on the trainer. Fortunately, I wasn't bitten by the racing bug until my mid 30s when my kids were about 9 and 13, so I didn't have the challenges that parents with really young kids face. I'm in awe of the athletes who are able to balance racing with young families. My challenges now are balancing work and training while caring for aging and ailing parents and finding time to see my grandson! Exercise, whether it's riding my bike, skiing, running, or hiking,  is my tool for sanity and really helps me to stay centered when life gets crazy. 

Q:  You are a member of the Walla Walla-Tri Cities-Pendleton-Hermiston area based Wild at Heart Dirt Racing Team.   How important is being part of an inclusive group that supports Women’s Mountain Biking been in your riding?

A: Oh, it's everything! What Becky Wilson and the Wild at Heart Team has done for Women's Biking in that area is truly spectacular. I'm really proud to represent Wild at Heart! Women at all levels of riding can have fun while feeling supported and inspired. There is just something about riding your bike, getting outside with other women, and feeling the wind in your face that is incredibly liberating, motivating, and exhilarating!  I'm noticing a definite emphasis on women empowering women in athletics and it's tremendously important and essential! Let's play in the dirt, get stronger, build each other up, and have a good time doing it! 

Thanks Erica see you at the Race!