Downhill bike race series begins Wednesday |

Downhill bike race series begins Wednesday

— There already are bi-weekly summer races for cross-country mountain bikers and road cyclists in Steamboat Springs, and now a third discipline of pedal pumpers will have a regular racing outlet in town.

The Captain of the Boat downhill mountain bike race series begins Wednesday at Steamboat Ski Area, the first of five dates this summer on alternating Wednesdays.

The first event starts at 6 p.m. at Steamboat Ski Area.

“There are definitely competitive people who don’t want to pedal up a hill but still want to display their skills,” said Trevyn Newpher, Steamboat Bike Park manager.

The race isn’t for the ultra-competitive, however. The idea is to help introduce downhill mountain bike racing to riders already familiar to the trail, but new to competition.

The courses will rotate and be between three to six minutes in length and on intermediate and expert trails.

It’s not for beginners, exactly, just those looking to compare their skills against the best of the rest in town.

“We were seeing how popular the Town Challenge series is and thought we could fill a void,” ski area public relations manager Loryn Kasten said. “The bike park has been popular and we are hoping to translate that into a popular series.”

The races essentially will be time trials, and the first will take place on lower Rustlers Ridge. There will be four classes for competitors, men’s and women’s open divisions, a 17-and-younger youth division and a men’s masters 40-and-older division.

Keeping with the theme that the goal is to introduce racing to Steamboat’s growing downhill community, the cost will be minimal, $40 for the five-race season, or $10 per race.

“It’s a low-key, casual way for people to try their hand at competitive mountain biking,” Newpher said. “There are getting to be a lot of local kids who are starting to race, going to regional and national competitions and this is a great way for them to keep up their training and skills as well as to get new people involved with the competitive side of riding.”

Future dates for the series are July 16, July 30, Aug. 13 and Aug. 27. For more information, check out Registration will be available on-site from 3 to 5 p.m.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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