Steamboat Town Challenge race to offer 'good climb, fast descent'

Biking race today starts at Christie III lift at ski area

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If you go

What: Sunshine Loop, a Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series event

When: Registra­tion begins at 4:30 p.m. today; children’s race begins at 5:25 p.m.; adult race heats begin at 6 p.m.

Where: Race starts at the Christie III chairlift

Cost: Day-of registration is $26 for adults and $16 for children

Online: www.townchallenge.com

— The Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series’ fourth event of the year also happens to be the longest.

Although the climb may not be as steep a grade or difficult as ones before, today’s Sunshine Loop should provide riders with a bit of everything.

Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Christie III chairlift.

Children’s ev­­ents begin at 5:25 p.m. with adult heats set to begin at 6 p.m.

Day-of registration is $26 for adults and $16 for children. All racers will begin at the Christie III chairlift and go up the mountain.

The pro/open, expert and single-speed divisions will ride 12.8 miles and begin by taking Right-O-Way to the bottom of Thunderhead Express before going up to the Rough Rider Basin. From there, riders hook up with the Valley View Trail and head up to Spur Run.

From Spur Run, it’s on to the Elkhead Trail before taking Duster Road to the Sunshine Trail.

Riders will descend on the Zig Zag Trail back down to the Christie III chairlift.

“Going up Valley View, the grades aren’t as steep as Zig Zag,” series director Gretchen Sehler said. “It’s a more pleasant climb than Zig Zag. Then coming down Zig Zag, the work they have done the previous year makes it more fun to come down than it has been. It’s a good climb up and a fast descent.”

A truck and crew workers will be at the top of the gondola in case of an emergency. Sehler also encouraged riders to bring warm clothes in case of bad weather. Riders are asked to park in Ski Time Square or the Knoll Parking Lot.

A post-race party is at the St. Cloud Mountain Club in Torian Plum Plaza.

For full race details, including specific routes, visit www.townchallenge.com.

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