Competition is close in Town Challenge

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— Intensity is expected to be running high tonight as local riders battle to take control of their division in fifth race of the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series.

But local rider Brad Cusenbary isn't worried about where he is in the standings in fact, he didn't even know where he was standing before the phone rang on Tuesday afternoon.

"I really haven't given it a lot of thought," Cusenbary said of the overall point standings. "I go out to win every race, but I'm not really sure how this whole point thing works."

However, race director Gretchen Sehler said tonight's race, which will be held at Mount Werner, will be key in the season-long standings for several divisions including the men's novice 30-39, which Cusenbary is leading.

In his first year of racing in the series, Cusenbary (57 points) holds a one-point advantage over second-place racer Robin Cragen (56 points).

"I've only been mountain biking for the last two years," Cusenbary said. "So this is all new to me."

Several other classes are also close including the men's pro open class where Ben Zambrana (60 points) holds a one point advantage over Jon Cariveau. A single point also separates the women's expert riders as Liz Rostermundt (63 points) holds a slight advantage over Erin Light.

Two points separate the leaders in the men's expert class where Paolo Guidi (49 points) leads, and the women's novice 30-39, where Cindi Hill (54 points) has the top spot.

The Sunshine loop cross- country race has been a part of the race series for the past seven years. The race course varies greatly depending on the division.

The pro open class, men's expert, men's sport 19-29 and the men's sport 30-39 will race the entire Sunshine loop.

The riders will make tracks on the 14.47-mile course, which gains more than 3,000 feet in elevation with hopes of setting a new course record.

The men's sport 40-49, men's sport 50 plus, , women's expert, and women's sport and the men's novice classes will race on the Gondola loop. This course is a little more than 10 miles long and gains 2,200 feet in elevation during he loop.

Women's novice and juniors 16-18 will do the Sitz-Yoohoo loop. Juniors 13-15 will do the Short Cut loop and kids 10-12 will do the Headwall loop. Juniors nine-and-under will do the Preview loop.

The junior races will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by the adult races at 6 p.m.

"This race seems to be one of the favorite races of the year," Sehler said. "With all the recent rain the course is in great shape and some fast times are expected."

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