Kelly Stamp, No. 422, reaches the end of the women's sport division of a previous Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race series. The mountain biking series returns today with the Emerald Cross Country at Howelsen Hill. Children's races start at 5:30 p.m. with adult races beginning at 6 p.m.

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Kelly Stamp, No. 422, reaches the end of the women's sport division of a previous Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race series. The mountain biking series returns today with the Emerald Cross Country at Howelsen Hill. Children's races start at 5:30 p.m. with adult races beginning at 6 p.m.

Familiar territory

Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series set to return to Howelsen Hill

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If you go

What: Emerald Cross Country

When: Children's race starts at 5:30 p.m., adults start at 6 p.m.

Where: Base of Howelsen Hill

Cost: Children, $11; adults, $16

— The Steamboat Springs Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series is returning to familiar territory.

After weather postponed the first two races at Howelsen Hill, the Town Challenge returns today with the Emerald Cross Country.

The race - which begins at 5:30 p.m. with a children's event before adult heats start at 6 p.m. - is broken into several divisions and starts behind the Howelsen Hill ski lodge. The race will then proceed up Robbie's Trail to MGM, where the pro, expert and single speed divisions will do a higher loop before proceeding down Larry's Trail.

This will be the first time a race has been run on Larry's Trail.

"It's good to be back there," Town Challenge race director Gretchen Sehler said. "I like Howelsen, but it's also been fun racing at different venues. Having the different venues has allowed us not to get old with Howelsen."

The cost for same-day registration is $11 for children and $16 for adults.

Sehler encouraged people to arrive early and register as soon as possible. She also said people should see what color arrows correspond to their division.

The course has been set since Sunday and is in fabulous shape, Sehler said.

"The course was set early," she said.

"Another thing about this race is it's not your typical Emerald race where it's climb, climb, climb and then descent, descent, descent. It's an up-and-down race. It's a cross-country race that's more of an uphill, downhill thing."

The Emerald Cross Country is the second race of the seven-race series. Other races include a hill climb at Howelsen, a loop at the Steamboat Ski Area and the Buffalo Pass Hill Climb.

Sehler encouraged everyone to come out to race and enjoy another beautiful Steamboat day.

"Pray for sunshine," Sehler said. "We want to get the rest of the races off without conflict."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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