Thundering up Thunderhead

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— About 200 gearheads will zigzag up Mount Werner Wednesday as they set out for the Thunderhead Gondola building.

"This is our biggest race of the year because people in Steamboat seem to like to go uphill," said Gretchen Sehler, race organizer for the Thunderhead Hill Climb.

"It's a consistent climb with (only) a few rest places."

The course, which is 4.73 miles, goes through a zigzag trail, which starts at the bottom of the gondola and ends at the top, Sehler said.

The Thunderhead Hill Climb is the second race in the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series that kicked off May 30 with the Howelsen Hill Criterium.

About 200 cyclists will compete in 20 divisions, Sehler said.

Those in the kids' divisions will trek out at about 5:30 p.m. on a considerably shorter trail.

At 6:10 p.m., the last wave of adult cyclists the women's novice groups will set out.

Sehler said the course will be slightly longer this year because of construction near the base of the gondola.

The fastest biker in the hill climb will complete the course in about 36 to 37 minutes, she said.

Dan Chovan, a competitor in the master's expert 40-and-up division who was second place last year, is looking forward to biking the course again, he said.

"It's a fairly steep, consistent climb," Chovan said.

Anyone wishing to sign up can still register for $10 until

5 p.m. Tuesday, Sehler said.

There will be a $15 charge to register at the race, she said. To sign up for the series, the cost is $70.

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