Town series mountain bike racing kicks off on Wednesday in Eagle | VailDaily.com

Town series mountain bike racing kicks off on Wednesday in Eagle

Jake Wells chases behind Ciro Zarate at a short track race on April 26, 2016, at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. The Vail Rec District’s MTB Spring Short Track series takes place on short, dirt loops, with adult participants completing as many laps as possible in 20 minutes.
Jessie Klehfoth | Vail Rec District

With the local chairlifts closed for the season, getting on snow just got a lot more difficult, so many Eagle County residents will now turn their attention to the dirt.

In Eagle, the soft-surface trail season is already underway, and starting Wednesday, you can get competitive as the Vail Recreation District kicks off its 36th annual Mountain Bike Town Series with the first Spring MTB Short Track Series race.

Race day activities begin at 4 p.m. with day-of registration, which will last until 6:30 p.m. The first race of the evening starts at 5:15 p.m. for kids ages 6 to 9, followed by a race at 5:30 p.m. for kids ages 10 to 14.

‘SEE WHERE YOUR FITNESS IS’

Wednesday’s Eagle Fairgrounds event will be the first of three short track races scheduled to take place this spring.

The short track races circle a short, dirt loop, with adult participants completing as many laps as possible in 20 minutes. An average lap is expected to take approximately two minutes to finish. The length of time for the youth races is five minutes for ages 6 to 9 and 10 minutes for ages 10 to 14.

Local cyclocross racer Jake Wells from Form Attainment Studio in Edwards says he always likes to participate in the short track races when he can as it’s a great way to kick off the mountain biking season.

“It’s early in the season, but it’s only a 20-minute effort, so you can go hard and see where your fitness is currently, or just use it as a ramp into the season,” Wells said. “It’s also a good way to connect with everyone in the mountain bike community and get into the Wednesday night get together mentality.”

Adult races will begin at 5:45 p.m. with the beginner category and continue with the sport category at 6:15 p.m. The final race, for cyclists in the expert category, will begin at 6:45 p.m.

The cost to preregister for the races is $5 for kids and $15 for adults. Day-of registration rates are $7 for kids and $20 for adults. Registration for the entire Spring MTB Short Track Series is $15 for kids and $40 for adults.

AFTER-PARTY

An after-party will be held at The Dusty Boot in Eagle following the race for all participants and spectators. All racers will have the chance to win raffle prizes, and racers 21 and older will receive a free beer from the race series’ beverage partner, New Belgium Brewing Co.

Unlike the summer’s eight-race Mountain Bike Race Series, the Spring MTB Short Track Series will not award prizes or points for individual racers or teams.

Race organizers are watching the weather and will notify participants should the race be canceled due to inclement weather or unrideable conditions. Check the Vail Recreation District’s Facebook page at facebook.com/vailrecdistrict for updates closer to each event.

Registration for the first Spring MTB Short Track Series race, as well as registration for other spring and summer mountain bike activities, is available at vailrec.com/register or by calling 970-479-2280. Visit vailrec.com for details on races and all other VRD programs.

The VRD’s Mountain Bike Race Series is brought to you by title sponsor East West Hospitality and presenting sponsors Bloch & Chapleau Attorneys at Law, The Athletic Club at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Thanks to additional sponsors Yeti’s Grind, The Dusty Boot, Vail Health, New Belgium Brewing Co., Central Rockies Mortgage, Elevated Dental, The Steadman Clinic, The Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Avon Liquor, Yellowbelly, Outdoor Tech, Sweet Protection, 808 Distillery, Maxxis Tires, Altitude Bar & Grill, Vail Honeywagon, Alpine Wine & Spirits, the town of Minturn and the town of Eagle.

This story contains material from a Vail Recreation District press release