Gearing up for one last grind |

Gearing up for one last grind

BRECKENRIDGE – Summit Mountain Challenge competitors can look forward to one last Wednesday night cross-country race for the 2002 season with the Pennsylvania Gulch Grind.

“I’d say it’s the most classic of the courses,” said SMC organizer Jeff Westcott. “This year, we really tried to accommodate the riding ability of each category. The only people climbing to Mount Argentine are the pro-expert men.”

The “grind” portion of the course refers to the steep and loose jeep road that climbs about a mile up from the Pennsylvania Gulch drainage area. If riders lose their bearings, they probably will end up pushing their bikes for the duration, but not all race categories will have to contend with this part of the course.

“I wouldn’t really call it the culmination of the series, because all of our races are classic cross-country races,” Westcott said. “What’s different is that this is a point-to-point race, and you don’t see many of those anymore. Most cross-country courses have gone to a circuit-style race. They’re spectator-friendly, easy for the organizers, and from an athlete’s standpoint they’re good because they like to have a second or third go at the next loop because they know what they’re expecting. With point-to-point courses, people preriding the course are doing themselves a huge favor.”

With the exception of the youngest junior racers, all categories will begin their respective courses from the start line at the Boreas Pass Road trailhead. No parking is allowed at the trailhead, and the designated race parking lot is the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.

Women beginners, junior boys ages 10 to 15, and junior girls 13 to 15 will ride a 9-mile course. Sport and vet sport women, men beginners and masters and junior boys 16 to 18 will ride a 10.2-mile course. Pro-expert women, sport and vet sport men and clydesdales will ride a 12-mile course, pro-expert men will ride a 14-mile course and the youngest juniors will do a criterium-type course around the ice arena. Course descriptions and maps are available at Registration is available at or at A Racer’s Edge all day today for $15 per racer and $10 for juniors. Race-day registration is $18 at the start line. The post-race awards party will take place at Downstairs at Eric’s.

The final SMC race will be a series of timed-format dirt and pavement criteriums at Peak 8 in Breckenridge on Sunday, Sept. 8. Details will be available in the next few days at

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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