Eagle Ranch Classic shifts into gear today
The Vail Recreation District’s Athletic Club at The Westin Mountain Bike Race Series continues today with the Eagle Ranch Classic.
This year’s Classic will unveil new courses for several race categories with riders enjoying a variety of double and singletrack throughout the race. Distances will range from 3.5 miles for younger riders to 12.6 miles for more experienced riders. This is the fifth race of the seven race series, which is presented by East West Resorts, Summit Ford, New Belgium Brewing Company, The Dusty Boot and Howard Head Sports Medicine.
Individual race costs are $35. Registration is available by going to http://www.vailrec.com/sports/mountain-bike-racing/mtb-race- series. Today’s registration will end at 6:30 p.m.
All races will start at the Arroyo Drive parking lot just off of Fourth of July Road in Eagle Ranch. The races will begin at 4:45 p.m. with the Larkburger Youth Series for riders ages 8 to 17. Youth racers will compete on the 3.5-mile traditional Eagle Ranch Classic short loop. The adult series will kickoff at 5:45 p.m. with details as follows:
• Men’s pro, expert and vet expert will begin at 5:45 p.m., followed by women’s pro and expert at 5:46 p.m., men’s singlespeed and master experts at 5:47 p.m. and women’s vet expert and singlespeed at 5:48 p.m. These categories will start with the short loop, followed by a Bailey Loop ridden clockwise and finally a Wall/Riddle loop which combines the short loop with the Wall and Riddle singletrack trails in a figure-eight formation for a 12.6-mile race.
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• Men’s sport will begin at 6:45 p.m., followed by men’s vet sport at 6:46 p.m., men’s master sport, clydesdale and grand masters at 6:47 p.m. and women’s sport and vet sport at 6:48 p.m. These categories will race the short loop and climb back up the Jeep Road/Hardscrabble Connector to the Wall/Riddle loop for a 10.7-mile course.
• Men’s beginners and juniors will take off at 6:49 p.m., followed by women beginners at 6:50 p.m. and race two laps on the traditional Eagle Ranch Classic short loop course for 7 miles.
• Men’s and women’s never ever categories will start at 6:51 p.m. and race one short loop for 3.5 miles.
The race will include an after party at The Dusty Boot in Eagle Ranch with a free keg of beer provided by New Belgium Brewery. Prizes also will be presented after the race to the top-three finishers of each category, as well as a raffle prize drawing featuring products from race sponsors, area merchants and national companies. Mountain Pedaler, the official bike shop of the Eagle Ranch Classic, will be onsite to provide neutral support for racers with last minute mechanical issues.
The race series continues Aug. 13 featuring the Davos Dash in West Vail. The final race of the series, the Beaver Creek Blast, is Aug. 27 in Beaver Creek.
Additional sponsors of the races include FirstBank of Vail, The Steadman Phillipon Research Institute, The Steadman Clinic, New York Life/Ryan Van Ness, Central Rockies Mortgage, Apex Dental, Vail, Beaver Creek, POC, Vail Honeywagon, Optic Nerve, Honey Stinger, Outdoor Tech, Avon Liquor, Yellowbelly Chicken, KZYR The Zephyr and KSKE Colorado’s Ski Country. The Youth Series is presented by Larkburger and KidSPORT.
Registration, course information and start times are available by visiting http://www.vail rec.com/sports/mountain-bike-racing/ mtb-race-series or calling 970-479-2280.