Town Challenge starts season at Marabou | SteamboatToday.com

Town Challenge starts season at Marabou

Riders wait at the starting line of the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series race at Marabou a year ago. The series returns to Marabou Wednesday for the first race of the season.

Local riders will be back on the bike Wednesday for one of the rarest of local mountain biking treats: a race on the Marabou Ranch trail system west of Steamboat Springs.

The gated private community has been the site of the season-opening Town Challenge event in recent years, and local racers will again have the chance to kick their tires on the trails that are only open to the public during the lead-up to the early-summer race.

Racing will start with the youth classifications at 5:25 p.m. Novice racers and the youth 13-15 division will take off at 5:40 p.m. before the pro/open riders start their season at 5:50 p.m. The last classification, women's sport, starts at 6:26 p.m.

A twisting course on Marabou's single-track trails awaits. The pro/open and expert riders will go 12.64 miles. The sport classes will ride 9.82 miles while the novice riders will cover 4.72 miles.

Following Wednesday's race, Town Challenge events will be held roughly every two weeks through the summer.

The event returns to Steamboat proper for the Emerald Envy XC in downtown Steamboat Springs on June 21. Next up is the July 12 Bike Town Challenge — a ride up to the top of Mount Werner and Steamboat Ski Area.

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In all, four races will take place on Emerald Mountain, two at Steamboat Ski Area and Wednesday's at Marabou.

Season passes are still available through Wednesday at a cost of $155 for adults and $55 for children. Individual races are $25 and $10 for pre-race registration, available at http://www.TownChallenge.com, and $35 and $15 for day-of registration at the event.

Children, 6 and younger, race free throughout the season.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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Town Challenge 2017
 schedule

June 7:  Marabou XC (Marabou Ranch)

June 21:  Emerald Envy XC (Emerald Mountain)

July 12:  Storm Peak Hill Climb (Mount Werner)

July 26:  Howelsen Howler (Emerald Mountain)

Aug. 16:  Sunshine Loop XC (Mount Werner)

Aug. 30: Quarry Mountain XC (Emerald Mountain)

Sept. 16:  Coda Classic XC (Emerald Mountain)

Mount Werner races are based out of Gondola Square. Emerald Mountain races are based out of Howelsen Hill.