The Summit Mountain Challenge bike racing series comes to a close this weekend with its seventh and final race, the Fall Classic.
Steeped in tradition, the race has been around since 1984, with a few year hiatus in the late ‘90s. It’s evolved substantially over the years, according to Mike Zobbe, Summit Fat Tire Society vice president and former race director.
He said the original race was a single 14- to 15-mile course mostly on jeep roads during the early days of mountain biking, and long before Breckenridge’s extensive trail network..
Under Zobbe’s direction, in the mid-‘80s it became a two-day, three-stage race and part of the Colorado Off Road Points Series. At one point, he said, it attracted over 500 competitors.
After a few years hiatus, Jeff Westcott and Maverick Sports Promotions brought the popular race back to life and into its modern form. It’s now part of the Summit Mountain Challenge and a fitting close to the mountain bike racing season.
Sunday’s race gets underway with a 10 a.m. start and includes a 16.6-mile short and 32-mile long course option. Both courses start on French Gulch Road at The Wellington Neighborhood and end in Carter Park in Breckenridge. There will also be a 12-mile junior boys and girls race.
With names like Heinous Hill and Nightmare on Baldy, the long course and its 4,600 feet of elevation gain will challenge even the fittest competitor as it wraps its way through the mountains East of Breckenridge. The course stretches from the Flume Trails northeast of town all the way down to Boroeas Pass and back to Carter Park. The smaller course cuts into the large course for the second half of it.
Registration is ongoing, $45 for early registration or $55 day-of. Registration includes a post race meal provided by Mi Casa restaurant and Ridge St. Kitchen, beer from the Backcountry Brewery, and a race t-shirt.
More information is available at www.mavsports.com