Town Challenge returns Wednesday |

Town Challenge returns Wednesday

Riders tear away from the starting line at the base of Howelsen Hill during a Town Challenge Mountain Bike race.
Joel Reichenberger

— The Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series returns Wednesday with a race on Emerald Mountain in Steamboat Springs.

For a series scheduled to go every other week all summer long, that simple fact took some work from race organizers, and Wednesday’s race will actually mark the first in the past month, even though riders did suit up and pedal out two weeks ago.

The last race, the Churn and Burn Circuit race at Steamboat Ski Area, was postponed midway through. Results were filed for all the completed races, but organizers had hoped to reschedule to last week.

That didn’t work out, and the Churn and Burn event was eventually cancelled, and all the results dumped.

This week’s race, the Emerald Envy XC, which starts with children’s races at 5:25 p.m., wasn’t a lot easier to get into action.

Organizers had a course set out but had to alter it at the last minute as a hazardous tree mitigation project on Emerald Mountain closed several trails intended to be used in the course.

“Just based on all the different things going on at Emerald and at the ski area, a lot of rolling trail closures, we’ve had to put something together then wait until it’s a couple days out and make sure nothing has changed,” said Emily Hines, marketing and special events coordinator for the city of Steamboat Springs.

This time that meant some scrambling, but the end result is a course that stretches to 13 miles for the top divisions.

“We were able to pull together a pretty good course based on more lower mountain trails,” Hines said. “Some of the upper mountain stuff is not open and probably won’t be for the rest of the summer.”

The course now includes stretches heading up Blackmere Drive, Orton Trail and Eye to Eye, down Larry’s, up Lupine and Quarry Mountain, down Morning Gloria, down Lupine and finally around on Bluff’s Loop and toward the start/finish line in front of Olympian Hall at the base of Howelsen Hill.

Registration will be available on-site for $35 for adults until 5:15 p.m. The race will cost $15 for children and is free for those 6 and younger.

The race will be the third of the summer.

The fourth race will be the Storm Peak Hill Climb on July 27 that takes riders to the top of Steamboat Ski Area, roughly 3,600 feet of climbing. Then riders return to Emerald Mountain for the Howelsen Hammer XC on Aug. 17, race the Sunshine Loop XC at Steamboat Ski Area on Aug. 31 and wrap up with the Coda Classic XC on Sept. 10.

Riders who registered for the cancelled Churn and Burn Circuit race will be able to register for another event for free.

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

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