Hayden Cog, Steamboat Roubaix kick off summer race schedule in early May | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden Cog, Steamboat Roubaix kick off summer race schedule in early May

Steamboat Velo is hosting the first-ever Steamboat Roubaix — Hell of the High Rockies on May 8, kicking off the summer bike race schedule. (Photo courtesy of Steamboat Velo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — For more than 40 years, the grueling Hayden Cog Run has marked the start of summer racing. Among many others, the race didn’t take place in 2020 and is making a triumphant return in 2021.

On May 1, summer in the Yampa Valley will officially begin as the Steamboat Running Series and the town of Hayden host the annual run.

“It is a go,” Steamboat Running Series Director Cara Marrs said. “A lot of those races are pretty small, so they still fall within what’s allowed. The Hayden Cog Run will be our first in-person event.”

The Cog Run is the first of six planned in-person running races through the series. The series trimmed up the schedule this year, so there are fewer races, but Marrs said that will allow race directors to focus on nailing the mitigation plans.

“We feel pretty good about it,” Marrs said. “The good thing is our small, little committee of organizers are all health care providers, so we all have a good idea of what we need to do.”

Rachael Green, center, and Rodney Green, right, run with Lark Skov on Saturday during the Steamboat Springs Running Series's Mountain Madness event. The race, which drew nearly 300 runners, was a fundraiser for the Rebecca Green Foundation. Green drowned two years ago in Fish Creek. (File Photo/Joel Reichenberger)

A week later, on May 8, the bike race season commences with the first-ever Steamboat Roubaix — Hell of the High Rockies. Steamboat Velo tried to debut the mud season gravel race last year but could not.

So, the inaugural event will occur next month and is capped at 25 people per category, totaling about 400 riders.

“This year, the theme with bike racing and bike events is it’s all about dirt,” said Corey Piscopo, Steamboat Velo organizer and race director. “It’s all about dirt and backroads. Our race is cool, because it has dirt sectors scattered throughout the course. It adds a little element of difficulty. Given that it’s May, it could be wet, it could be cold.”

Steamboat Velo hosted a race for local youth mountain bikers at a private ranch in Stagecoach.

Last year, Steamboat Velo was able to hold a modified annual Steamboat Stage Race, which tons of locals took part in. That race is looking to take place during its usual Labor Day weekend time slot.

“Our events are really grassroots at the core. There’s strong local participation with racers and volunteers,” Piscopo said. “For me, it’s super important just as a community member to have these sorts of events to bring people together. Last year, that was definitely a big hole. It’s fun for us to be a part of that this year, bringing people back together around biking.”

Additionally, after the success of a fall youth mountain bike race, Steamboat Velo is hosting another junior mountain bike race at Glas Deffryn Ranch on June 5. Registration is already open for the junior race and is limited to riders ages 7 to 16.

Open to anyone and everyone is the Tour de Steamboat. The fundraising ride is returning to the valley for an in-person race on July 17.

“I don’t think our riders are going to notice a lot of differences in the event other than restrictions at aid stations,” co-race director Katie Lindquist said.

The biggest change will be a staggered start to prevent congestion at the start area. Additionally, race officials are asking people to enter their selected course from closer to home, rather than the start area.

Upon concluding their ride, participants will collect a grab-and-go lunch and a brewery voucher rather than gathering for a post-ride lunch and beer.

Cyclists ride by Stagecoach Reservoir during the Tour de Steamboat on Saturday, July 20. (Shelby Reardon)

“We’re really excited to have our event,” Lindquist said. “We’re excited for the community and for our riders and for our organization to be able to provide this to the town and our beneficiaries.”

Every race in town relies on volunteers to help everything run smoothly. If interested in volunteering for any event, contact the respective race director.

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