24-hour race up in air

Recent rain, snow could cancel event

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The organizers of the Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat bicycle marathon said they will wait until race time at noon today to make a determination about whether the race can be held.

The race is scheduled to run from noon today until noon Sunday at the Steamboat Ski Area.

Riley Polumbus of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association said Friday morning that the intent at that time was to go "full steam ahead."

Steady rain that fell Thursday night and into Friday soaked the course at the lower elevations of Steamboat Ski Area, and snow fell at upper elevations.

"Rocky Peak Productions will make a joint decision with the Steamboat Ski Area and the Routt National Forest about whether or not to cancel the Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat, at 'game time,' noon Saturday," Polumbus said. "Last year's racers endured rain, hail and lightning during part of the event, yet they grunted through it as part of the overall challenge."

The 24 Hours of Steamboat, in its second year, requires competitors to ride a demanding course for 24 hours to see which team of four alternating riders can complete the most laps. The start and finish line is at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

Some hardy individuals will tackle the course solo for 12 or 24 hours.

Veteran cycling competitor Brock Webster of Orange Peel bike shop in Steamboat Springs said a muddy course could favor heavier riders.

"More muscular guys could have an advantage over lowbodyweight, elegant cyclists," Webster said.

The heavy riders will be better equipped to power through the mud, he said.

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