Town Challenge race at Steamboat Ski Area is today |

Town Challenge race at Steamboat Ski Area is today

Luke Graham

— The second of seven Steam­boat Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series events leaves little mystery.

Today's Thunderhead Hill Climb is just what is in its name.

"There's no secret at all to this one," said Gretchen Sehler, the series director. "It's a hill climb. There are some sliders and steeper sections. Some guys love to race it, and some guys don't like it at all."

Children's ra­­ces begin at 5:30 p.m. today with adult heats set to go off at 6 p.m. Event regis­tration opens at 4:30 p.m. and ends at 5:45 p.m. Day-of registration is $26 for adults and $16 for children.

The race ori­­ginally was scheduled for June 16, but trails at Steamboat Ski Area were not ready to ride.

The race traditionally begins at the base of Thunderhead and climbs from there. But with work still being done and logs all around Thunderhead, this year's race will begin at the Old Fetcher Base at the bottom of the Christie III chairlift. From there, all riders will climb up toward the gondola.

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For the adult divisions, the race winds up Zig Zag for 4.5 miles until it reaches the top of the gondola.

"Zig Zag is in great shape," Sehler said. "It's riding really nicely."

Children's races will cover shorter distances.

Last year, Barkley Robinson won the men's race in a course record time of 33 minutes, 52 seconds. Karen Tremaine won the women's in 42:28.

Sehler reminded riders to bring warm clothes for the ride down. A truck will take riders' packs and clothes to the top. Parking for riders will be available in Ski Time Square and the Knoll Parking Lot. Sehler encouraged riders to park legally.

"There's a great chance it could be patrolled," she said.

For more information and a complete course map and elevation profile, go to

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail

If you go

What: Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series Thunderhead Hill Climb

When: Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Children’s race begins at 5:30 p.m. with adult race heats beginning at 6 p.m.

Where: Race begins at Christie III chairlift and goes to the top of the gondola

Cost: Day-of registration is $26 for adults and $16 for children