Counting down to 24 Hours | SteamboatToday.com

Counting down to 24 Hours

Mountain bike race on as planned

Melinda Mawdsley

Brad Cusenbary wants to end the rumors about this year’s Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat.

“The race is definitely on,” said Cusenbary, a race organizer with Rocky Peak Productions.

Cusenbary said he’s heard rumors that the June 10 mountain bike race was cancelled or that the course has changed because of lingering snow and persistent spring precipitation. Cusenbary wants to assure participants that neither is true.

“If you go look at the base, it has started melting off,” he said. “We chose this course design based upon the fact that a majority of the climb is on a road that is already plowed. The descent is 90 percent on south-facing slopes. Even last year, we had to shovel off a bit of snow.”

Cusenbary said U.S. Forest Service employees and the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. have cooperated with course preparation.

“Registration is open,” Cusen–bary said.

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Sponsored by the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, this year’s Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat begins at noon June 10 and ends at noon June 11. The race will be capped at 500 participants in divisions including solo riders and teams. A 12-hour division also is offered.

The cost to participate depends on the division a rider enters. Registration and information is available online at http://www.24hoursofsteamboat.org or at local bicycle shops.

In its third year, the Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat is one of the state’s most difficult mountain-bike races. The 11-mile loop at the Steamboat Ski Area begins at 6,900 feet and ascends to 9,000 feet.

“Most people can’t do it,” Cusenbary said. “The classes we have are more sport and expert rather than novice because the elevation gain and the elements you deal with is more than the weekend warrior, so to speak, can handle.”