The GoPro Dual Slalom bike race makes its debut at GoPro Mountain Games
The Minturn Bike Park will host inaugural event that features head-to-head style bike racing
In addition to the whitewater, fly fishing, running, climbing and canine-friendly events at the GoPro Mountain Games, dual slalom bike racing has been added. Although most of the events happen in and around Vail, the Minturn Bike Park will play host to this head-to-head format that will be equally as exciting to watch as it is to ride.
The Minturn Bike Park opened last year and set the stage for this style of bike racing to be a part of the GoPro Mountain Games. The Vail Valley Foundation and GoPro have partnered with the town of Minturn, the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance and Strait Acres to create this exciting new event.
Strait Acres is owned by pro rider couple, Kyle and Rachel Strait. Kyle was out putting the finishing touches on the course while Rachel was taking care of their 15-month-old daughter.
“The bike park crew has really done a great job of building the footprint and then Kyle is just putting his little touches on it,” Rachel Strait said.
Based out of Alpine, California, a small town east of San Diego, both Rachel and Kyle grew up in Southern California and have been pro riders for most of their lives.
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“Kyle went pro when he was 16, and I went pro when I was a little older. He does the Red Bull Rampage event every year and was the first guy to win that event twice, and he is the only athlete that has participated in every single one of them. He’s crazy!” Strait said. “I keep waiting for the day when he says, ‘Yeah, babe, I think I’m done,’ but he’s not slowing down.”
This will be the Straits’ first trip to the GoPro Mountain Games. The Straits will be joined by other top talents on the dual slalom circuit.
“We’ll have Austin ”Bubba“ Warren here, Tommy Zula, who is the pump track world champion, will be here. And Collin Hudson is a very fast racer from Colorado,” Strait said.
Top female racers will be here as well.
“Jordy Scott is a really fast racer out of Utah, so it will be a good competition,” Strait said.
Top prize money will be handed out, which is important to the Straits.
“Our whole goal is to make sure we give back to the racers because without racers, you wouldn’t have anything, so it was really cool that the Vail Valley Foundation understood our vision and were able to come up with really good prize money for this event,” Strait said.
The pro/open men’s and women’s divisions boasts a prize purse of $12,000. Professional racers will be here as well as amateurs, so expect to find a few locals in the mix, too.
The qualifying rounds happen on Tuesday and then qualifying rounds and finals wrap up on Wednesday. Racers will be out there all day and there will be plenty of places to spectate. After the awards at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, stick around for a free concert at the Little Beach Amphitheater, which is near the Minturn Bike Park at 7 p.m.
For more information on the 20th GoPro Mountain Games and the GoPro Dual Slalom, go to MountainGames.com.