Storm Peak climb looms large for Town Challenge racers

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2012 Town Challenge schedule

— The course is just a little longer than seven miles, but Wednesday’s Storm Peak Challenge Hill Climb might be the toughest of the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series events.

It’s a pure hill climb, asking the best riders to go from the base of the Christie Peak Express lift in Gondola Square to the top of Storm Peak Express lift at 10,372 feet.

Riders in the sport and novice race categories will climb to Thunderhead and the finish line there. Sport category racers will ride 5.6 miles. Novice racers will ride 4.6 miles.

The pro/open and singlespeed riders begin in front of the Christie Peak Express lift and take Zig Zag toward Thunderhead. The course then climbs Valley View and Spur Run and onto Elkhead. At the Rainbow Saddle, riders will climb the Chisholm and Sunshine trails. Racers then will climb Cathy’s Cutoff and Pete’s Wicked en route to the top of Storm Peak Express.

All told, the top riders will climb almost 3,000 feet in 7.5 miles.

Last year, Peter Kalmes used this hill climb event to pick up his first win of the season.

Kalmes hasn’t lost a Town Challenge race since, stringing together six consecutive wins in the pro/open category. Last year, he cruised across the finish line in 52 minutes, 54 seconds. Barkley Robinson was second in 54:14.

Tammy Jacques was the top women’s finisher last year in 1:01:52. Kate Rench was second in 1:11:14.

Wednesday's youth races begin at 5:25 p.m. The pro/open division begins at 5:45 p.m. All start times can be found here.

Racers still can register for the event online. The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children. Race-day registration begins at 4:30 p.m. and must be done in person. Day-of registration increases to $30 for adults and $15 for children.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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