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Fifth Firecracker 50 kicks of Fourth of July parade

ANDY FRAME
summit daily news
Great Divide/Brad Odekirk
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BRECKENRIDGE ” If there’s 50-mile bike race around the mountains that can be considered easy, it’s the Firecracker 50.

The fifth-annual mountain bike race that kicks off the Breckenridge Fourth of July parade is run by Maverick Sports in such a way that even the most inexperienced riders get star treatment.

With four loaded aid stations planted around the 25-mile course and about $6,000 of swag divied out to the 600-plus competitors, the theme of the day is obvious ” the biker comes first.



“You say, great, a lot of people have aid stations,” Maverick Sports co-owner Mike McCormack said. “But we make it a very pro experience for all of the riders. It’s sort of like having a pit crew for everyone.”

“It’s amazing, you don’t have to carry a Camelback,” Breckenridge resident Jeff Cospolich said. “I’m not sure how many stations there are, but they have everything you could possible want.”



The amenities may be kush, but the burn is still there while out on the course. Riders can either do the whole race by themselves, or team up with one other person to split the ride in half. Either way, the race is a long one.

“It’s certainly hard,” said Cospolich, who will be racing in his fourth straight Firecracker 50. “If you came here from out of town and didn’t know the trails, you could get in over your head pretty quickly. It’s probably more mentally hard than anything.”

The thousands of spectators who will be lining Main Street in Breckenridge on Monday will see the mass of riders head into the mountains at the start of the annual parade. What they won’t see is hundreds of personal battles waged in the woods surrounding the festive atmosphere.

“You really don’t have any perspective unless you are out there,” Cospolich said. “Knowing how far that loop is, and that you have to do it twice.”

McCormack said he expects a large professional turnout, including Travis Brown, a former national champion and last year’s winner, and Alison Dunlap, a former world champion rider.

“A lot of the Specialized and Trek guys will sign up the day of,” McCormack said.

The pro divisions will be vying for $2,000 in cash prizes.

The race starts in front of A Racer’s Edge on Main Street at 11 a.m. on Monday. Parking for competitors is available at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.

Registration is available at Great Adventure Sports up until Sunday night, while day-of registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at Carter Park in Breckenridge.

Visit http://www.mavsports.com for information on the race.

Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at aframe@summitdaily.com.


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