Eagle Outside Festival brings bikers, runners to town | VailDaily.com

Eagle Outside Festival brings bikers, runners to town

Weekly staff report

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EAGLE — The Greenspeed Project Inc., organizers of the popular Breck Epic MTB Stage Race, are offering a new downvalley signature event — the Eagle Outside Festival.

Scheduled for May 11-12 in Eagle, the event will showcase the community’s extensive trail network and as a centerpiece for the town’s destination tourism marketing effort.

“We’ve made a commitment to increase the quality and quantity of our already substantial trail network,” said Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick. “We believe that Eagle offers some of the best riding in the Rockies, all within an easy drive of the Front Range. The Eagle Outside Festival shines a spotlight on what we consider to be a perfect early season riding option for the Colorado mountain biking community.”

Accurately described as a “re-envisioning” of Eagle’s former Get Out Expo, the new event incorporates many new elements for riders, runners and outdoor enthusiasts. First among them is the inaugural Firebird MTB Race and its counterpart, the women’s only Firebird la Femme. Non-USAC sanctioned, the mountain bike events take place on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and collectively boast a $10,000 cash purse with equal payouts for men’s and women’s fields.

The festival also features the first Rocky Mountain Bike and Outdoor Expo, a consumer demo boasting some of the bike industry’s leading brands. Santa Cruz, Pivot, Ibis, Felt, Niner, Specialized, Yeti, Ellsworth, Twenty Two Cycles, Orbea, Wilier, Ridley, BMC and many more will all be on hand with their latest models. The free demo invites consumers to test ride their dream rigs all day long on Eagle’s signature climbs and descents.

“With three great coffee shops, a very good brewery, some killer Mex, dining options galore and a full grip of trails leading riders from town into the back of beyond, Eagle is sort of an undiscovered secret,” said event producer Mike McCormack. “The racing part is obvious, and we’re thrilled to have the town’s support in offering a sizable purse. The current dynamic as dictated by USA Cycling is universally unpopular — hopefully another great race without their sanction will prompt them to invest additional thought into their recent decision. Then again, maybe it won’t.”

“The demo is a direct extension of the success we’ve seen at events like Sea Otter, Interbike and Outerbike,” continued McCormack, “People love to try the bikes they’ve only seen reviewed online or in a magazine. Events like these are packed with smiling people. With the industry placing more and more resources into dealer relationship and support demo-type programs, we think we’ve come pretty close to the mark in terms of offering a great venue along with tremendous energy and critical mass, all during the important early season purchasing period. And besides — what better way to introduce riders to Eagle?”

The event will also offer a no-cost set of Strava Challenges. Riders can test themselves on some of Eagle’s signature climbs and descents, trying to best the local hammers and rippers for digital bragging rights.

There’s more than just biking, though. New for this year is the Mother of a Half-Marathon, a downhill road marathon that sees competitors finish in the heart of Eagle Ranch. In addition, there will be a 10K longboard push race, a “Chro-Moly Chef” competition, and a wide variety of Mother’s Day activities, including yoga, spa treatments, flower delivery, special meal offers from local dining spots and more.

For more information on the Eagle Outside Festival, the Rocky Mountain Bike and Outdoor Expo or any of the events held throughout the weekend, please visit http://www.eagleoutside festival.com site or check out the event’s Facebook page.

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