Cyclocross arrives in Steamboat |

Cyclocross arrives in Steamboat

Organizers of Saturday event hope to attract more than 100

— Football may be the way much of the United States defines the fall sports calendar, but the word is cyclocross to many dedicated bikers unwilling to start thinking snow.

That niche cycling community will get the chance to show off to Steamboat Springs for the first time in years Saturday as the sport of cyclocross returns to the Yampa Valley after a long competitive absence.

The Steamboat Velo Cross race presented by Moots and Wildhorse Meadows is set to

start at 11 a.m. Saturday at

Wildhorse Meadows in Steam­boat Springs.

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“There is a big demand statewide and a lot of interest,” event director Corey Piscopo said. “This will be small scale compared to the Steamboat Stage Race, but it’s a lot of fun and spectator friendly.”

Cyclocross is a hybrid event combining the speed of road riding with the ruggedness of mountain biking and the unpredictability of fall weather.

Saturday’s course is a 1.8-mile loop laid out across gravel, pavement and grass. It will include steep sections where riders must dismount and run with their bikes, as well as other obstacles designed to obliterate the concept of a nice weekend cruise.

“It’s really fun to watch,” Piscopo said. “The course doubles back on itself, and you can stand in the middle and see all of it and watch the people run around. People will have to run up hills and get over barriers. It’s great.”

Cyclocross events have taken hold in the state, and Piscopo said it was high time Steamboat played host to one. He said Saturday’s will be the season’s first in Colorado.

Registration costs $25 and is available the day of the race. There will be a number of categories broken down by gender, ability and age, all offering cash or merchandise prizes to winners.

Organizers hope to draw more than 100 racers, many of whom they suspect will be locals giving the sport a try, and some of whom will be cyclocross regulars from the Front Range.

Women’s races are scheduled to start at 11 a.m., followed by juniors. The top women are scheduled to race at 12:46 p.m., with the top classification men following at 1:45 p.m.

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