Cody Van cruises downhill along the Valley View mountain bike trail at the Steamboat Ski Area last summer, during the 2007 Rio Stampede.  Van competed in the solo, 12-hour male division of the race.

File Photo

Cody Van cruises downhill along the Valley View mountain bike trail at the Steamboat Ski Area last summer, during the 2007 Rio Stampede. Van competed in the solo, 12-hour male division of the race.

Rio Stampede moves to 6- and 12-hour race, allows corporate teams

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If you go

What: Rio Stampede 6- and 12-hour bike race

Where: Steamboat Ski Area

When: 8 a.m. Saturday

To help:

The race still is looking for volunteers. Those interested should call Abi Slingsby at 819-0781 or e-mail abislingsby@hotmail.com.

On the 'Net

For more information on the Rio Stampede, visit: www.rockypeakprod...>

— The Rio Stampede bike race returns to the Steamboat Ski Area on Saturday, this time with a little twist.

After four years as a 12- and 24-hour race, this year's rendition will be moved to a six- and 12-hour event.

Co-race director Katie Lindquist said the race format was changed after the biggest growth took place in the 12-hour divisions.

The race - which originally was scheduled for June - was moved to Saturday to allow the course to dry out.

Under the new format, competitors will be able to compete solo or on two- and three-person teams in the 12-hour race. Corporate teams of four or more riders also will be able to compete. There will be solo and two-person teams in the six-hour race.

Riders begin with a Le Mans start, in which they run a short distance to their bikes, then try to complete as many 11-mile laps as possible in the allotted time.

Each lap has an elevation gain of more than 2,000 feet on the singletrack trails that wind up Mount Werner.

Riders primarily take the Zig Zag ski trail to ascend to the top of Thunderhead. Once there, riders descend on Huffman's, Spur Run, Valley View, Jess's Cut Off, Sitz and Yoo Hoo.

Lindquist said online registration is open through today at www.active.com. Riders also may register at Ski Haus, where packet pickup will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday. There is no Saturday registration.

The race begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, with the six-hour race finishing at 2 p.m. and the 12-hour finishing at 8 p.m.

The course will be open to ride Friday. The Why Not Road usually is closed for riding, but will it be open for the pre-ride Friday. Lindquist emphasized ski area officials will be monitoring the road today and will revoke riding privileges for any person found riding on it.

Lindquist encouraged people to park in the Knoll Parking Lot or at the Gondola Transit Center because of the construction going on at the base of the ski area.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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