MSO short track race ‘like a Grand Prix auto race in the dirt |

MSO short track race ‘like a Grand Prix auto race in the dirt

KEYSTONE – Cyclists and bikers who like sprinting and prefer short races will excel at the Mountain Sports Outlet (MSO) Accelerator Short Track at Keystone Saturday. The race is part of the MSO series and will fefeature a dirt loop measuring just less than a mile and consisting of service road, singletrack, doubletrack, grass, pavement, woop-dee-dos and specially designed terrain features.

“The short track is designed like a road-riding criterium, but of course, it’s on dirt, and you put more elements of mountain biking into it,” said Don Maneth, MSO series organizer. “It’s a good race because it can really cater to anyone. You get people who have never really raced before, or even road riders crossing over into mountain biking, and it’s a fun, fast race.”

The fastest riders will finish each loop in just over two minutes, but each race category will have a different number of loops to tackle.

Juniors under 12 race for free and ride just one loop. Juniors 13-18 ride three laps. Experts race for 15 minutes plus three loops, sport classes ride 10 minutes plus three loops and beginners ride for 10 minutes plus two loops.

“A lot of people don’t understand the short-track format,” Maneth said. “It’s really a racing race, different than a lot of these cross country mountain bike races where you’re more on your own. It’s like a Grand Prix auto race in dirt. You want to pace yourself and stay in the pack. Anyone who is a fast sprinter is going to excel.”

The short track begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with juniors. Registration is $20 from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Mountain Sports Outlet and from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday at the Mountain House in Keystone. The registration cost includes a water bottle, barbecue, beer and raffle. For more information, visit

Keystone mountain bike season up and running

Keystone opened most of its mountain bike singletrack system Thursday, as well as the Summit Express chairlift for summer passengers.

Keystone is home to more than 20 miles of singletrack, with new trails on the horizon.

“We’ve submitted new trail proposals to the Forest Service,” said Keystone patrol supervisor and bike event manager Sy Meheen. “The first one on line to review would be a continuation of the downhill trail, Cowboy. Our crew does a good job of putting the trails to bed in the fall and did a great job moving snow off of them this spring.”

The Keystone bike trail crew began clearing the trails in May and now have all trails clear with the exception of those at the top of the mountain – TNT (formerly Upper Logger’s Way), Suzi’s Cruise and Girl Scout. Jackstraw Road is open from top to bottom and is the best way for riders coming from the top of the mountain to access mid-mountain singletrack.

“It’s been a lot of snowcat work and a little shoveling here and there,” said Keystone bike crew foreman Greg Rood. “We fixed most of the areas (that) took hits last season. I’ve had a lot of people say they couldn’t wait until we open.”

All of Keystone’s trails are ranked by color – green for beginner, blue for intermediate and black for advanced.

Chairlift costs for bikers are $10 for the first ride, $6 for rides thereafter, or $26 for a day pass.

For more information about mountain biking at Keystone, visit

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