Town Challenge returns with Marabou race
Steamboat Springs — The first Town Challenge Mountain Bike race of the season will give rank-and-file riders an opportunity they haven’t enjoyed since 2012.
The annual Steamboat Springs series of summer mountain bike races will kick off at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Marabou Ranch. The series has had a somewhat regular stop at the expansive ranch at the base of Sleeping Giant but didn’t include a race there last season.
Riders are returning to Marabou, however, and it’s a rare chance for area mountain bikers to get out on the private trails.
“It’s a great kick off to the season,” said Susan Petersen, Parks, the Open Space and Recreation Department’s recreation director. “Last year, we asked, and they said no. It wasn’t anything significant. The homeowners association was busy with a lot of other events. I got in touch with them this spring and asked what do I need to do to try to get back out there, and they said it was pretty easy, no problem.”
The race is good for Marabou as it wears in its dirt trail system, and it’s good for riders because they typically aren’t allowed there.
The event begins with children’s racers at 5:30 p.m. The men’s pro division starts at 5:50 p.m.
This year’s series features a number of changes from past years.
For one, children’s races are free for riders 6 and younger, however, they still have to register.
This year’s calendar also has a major change, with only six events, down from seven in recent seasons.
“It’s just more trail-related,” Petersen said. “It’s not because of budget cuts. Every year we struggle pulling off that first race because of wet conditions. We’re trying six races this year, and we haven’t heard a lot of flak.”
Registration for a season pass is still available online at http://www.townchallenge.com for $130. Online registration for Wednesday’s ride closed Tuesday night, however, it will be available on site at Marabou. The race cost is $35 for adults and $10 for children between ages 7 and 18.
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