Town Challenge comes to a close

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— The trails around the base of Mount Werner will provide the setting for the final act of the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series this year.

Local bikers will get their final shot of the season today at the competitive eight-race series. Most of the year-end winners have already been decided, but race director Gretchen Sehler said women's novice 30-plus, youth 10-12 and Youth 13-15 are still undecided.

And while this will be one of the less demanding races in the series (or at least less demanding than the Buffalo Pass Hill Climb, which normally closes the series) Sehler said it would still challenge the riders with steep climbs and fast descents.

"We have 558 feet of climbing each lap," Sehler said. "So this isn't easy."

The professional riders will have to complete four laps, while experts will go three. Other classes' laps will be determined based on the rider's ability.

"This should be a fun race," Sehler said. "The course will not go all that high on the mountain but will wind through Gondola Square."

Each lap of the race will take riders up the Zigzag trail to Short Cut. From there, the racers will traverse the mountain to the bottom of Bashor then back down the mountain.

The idea is by moving the shorter circuit race to the final event of the year, the rider would have a better chance to get to the post-race party, which will be at Howelsen Hill.

It will be a potluck dinner with plenty of prizes.

Volunteers and riders will both be eligible to win a mountain bike frame donated by Moots. Riders will have from one to eight chances to win the frame depending on how many of the races they took part in this year. One name is entered in the hat for each ride. Volunteers will also be eligible based on how much they worked. The winner must be present to win. Other top prizes will include two 20-day passes to the Steamboat Ski Area.

"It's been a very successful season for the Town Challenge series," Sehler said. "This party will bring it to a close."

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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