Neil Ganz leads a pack of riders last year during the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series event at Marabou Ranch.  This year’s race is at 5:30 p.m. today with day-of registration starting at 4:30 p.m.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Neil Ganz leads a pack of riders last year during the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series event at Marabou Ranch. This year’s race is at 5:30 p.m. today with day-of registration starting at 4:30 p.m.

Steamboat riders get set for Marabou race

2nd event of Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series is Wednesday

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— The second race in Steamboat’s Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series also might be its most unique.

The Marabou Cross Country features no long climbs, instead giving way to a fun and fast trek along a rolling course.

“We are very grateful Marabou lets us come out and host this race,” series Director Kate Warnke said. “It’s a beautiful venue with a great cross-country course you never get to ride unless it’s part of this event.”

Day-of registration for the race Wednesday begins at 4:30 p.m. For those who haven’t registered early, the cost is $30 for adults and $15 for children. Children’s races will begin at 5:30 p.m. with adult races to follow at 6 p.m. There will be parking and registration at the barn with the start of the race at the Outfitters Lodge.

The pro/open, expert and singlespeed divisions will follow the same 12.28-mile course. All competitors in sport and men’s novice divisions as well as youths ages 16 to 18 will ride a 9.4-mile course. The courses are the same as last year except for the women’s novice and youth courses. Those have changed to become longer and slightly more challenging.

The women’s novice division starts things off at 5:30 p.m. Youth divisions will follow with the pro/open division beginning at 5:50 p.m.

Brad Bingham won the men’s race last year in 50 minutes, 20 seconds. Kelly Boniface was the top finisher among women in 56:51.

This year’s race should be interesting with the dry conditions. In addition to the unique course, dust is likely to play a role.

“It’s just the handling when it’s really loose and sandy like that,” said Peter Kalmes, who finished second in the men’s pro/expert division last year and won the first event this year. “When you get in a big group and can’t see the trail, that can cause some problems, as well.”

There is also a party immediately after the race with a catered meal from The Drunken Onion Get & Go Kitchen. The cost for the meal is $10.

People are encouraged to leave early for the race because Marabou is off Routt County Road 42 west of Steamboat Springs.

Anyone is welcome to attend, but no dogs are allowed. Find more information, complete course descriptions and a menu from The Drunken Onion at www.townchallenge.com.

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

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