Mountain bike race series continues Wednesday in Eagle
VAIL — The Vail Recreation District’s Mountain Bike Town Series will continue Wednesday featuring the Battle at Bellyache. This is the second summer racers will compete on the course, which will take adult racers, in the Beginner through Pro/Expert categories, up Bellyache Road from The Bluffs Neighborhood in Eagle, onto the Boneyard trail, descend down Pool and Ice trail and then, depending on race category, on to the Haymaker trail. Pro, Expert and Sport categories will race 11 miles while the Beginner and Junior categories will race six miles. Youth racers, ages 8 to 14, will race on the Haymaker trail and ride between 2.6 to 5.2 miles. This is third race of the seven-race series.
Individual race costs are $25 for preregistration or $35 on race-day. Preregistration for individual races ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday and day-of registration will end at 5:20 p.m. Youth Series participants can register for $10 ahead of time or $15 on race-day. Registration is available by going to http://www.vailrec.com/sports/mountain-bike-racing/mtb-race-series.
The races will begin at 4:45 p.m. with the Youth Series for riders ages 8 to 17, followed by the Men’s and Women’s Pro, Expert, Vet Expert, Single Speed and Men’s Master Expert beginning their races between 5:45 to 5:48 p.m. Men’s and Women’s Sport, Vet Sport, Masters Sport, Grand Masters and Clydesdales will start between 5:49 p.m. to 5:52 p.m. Men’s Beginner, Juniors and Women’s Beginner will start their races between 5:53 and 5:54 p.m. There are no Never Ever categories for this race. Mountain Pedaler, the official shop of the Battle at Bellyache, will be onsite to provide neutral support for racers with last minute mechanical issues.
According to race director Beth Pappas, in and effort to improve course flow, congestion and safety, race organizers have changed the Haymaker merge point for Pro, Expert and Sport riders to higher up on Pool and Ice from the 2014 course. Additionally, this year all Sport categories will ride a full long loop on Haymaker after the Pool and Ice descent compared to a short loop last year, resulting in an 11 mile race.
“With this change, all the sport categories will ride the exact same course as the pros and experts,” Pappas said. “Although the primary motivation for this was to improve traffic congestion and flow during the race, the secondary result is that sport riders will be able to compare their times, apples-to-apples, with the pros and experts and get a true sense of what level they are riding at. We are jokingly thinking about it as a ‘sand-bagger truth test.’”
This Wednesday’s race will include an after party at The Dusty Boot in Eagle Ranch with a free keg of beer provided by the race series’ beverage partner, New Belgium Brewing Co. 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. Participants are asked to park at the Eagle Pool and Ice Arena parking lots, at the after party location at The Dusty Boot and ride to the start. Parking is also available near the adult start at the Eagle Valley Middle or Elementary School parking lots. There is no parking allowed in the Bluffs neighborhood or on the streets near the pool.
The race series will continue throughout the summer with the next race on July 8 featuring the Vail Grind on Vail Mountain. The new Son of Middle Creek Circuit will take place on July 22, followed by the new kids’ only Boneyard Brawl in Eagle on July 29, the Davos Dash on Aug. 12 in West Vail and finish with the Beaver Creek Blast on Aug. 26 in Beaver Creek.
Registration, course information and start times are available http://www.vailrec.com/sports/mountain-bike-racing/mtb-race-series or calling 970-479-2280. For information on all other VRD programs and activities, visit http://www.vailrec.com or call 970-479-2279.