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Summit Mountain Challenge to crown champions

Richard Chittick

BRECKENRIDGE – Promoters Mike McCormack and Jeff Westcott of Maverick Sports have put together a grand course for crowning the 28 different age and gender division champions of the Summit Mountain Challenge.

While some races are decided on the climb and some races are decided on the downhills, at the Breckenridge Brawl, the final race of the season, it won’t be either.

Few of the climbs are long enough for a racer to gain an advantage, and the only sustained downhill, the Swinger Switchback Trail, is named after a continuous barrage of tight turns on loose, open ski runs.

In the end, racers will only find their way onto podiums by using tactical skill to handle the rolling terrain and unexpected turns. Riders earn points each race as they vie for the series championship.

Tonight, the race is worth double points, which will produce fireworks in the men’s expert 19-34 division, where Tim Graczyk holds a very tenuous lead over Tim Faia. According to Westcott, each racer can drop the results of a single race from the series, which allows Faia to claim the lead.

The course begins at the top of the Quicksilver Super Six chair on Peak 9 near Ten Mile Station and crosses over to the Swinger switchbacks on Peak 8 – almost entirely on singletrack. At the Peak 8 base area, riders will traverse back to Peak 9 on Breckenridge town trails, again spending more time on tight, twisting trails than service roads.

And though the course finishes with a climb back to Ten Mile Station on the Lehman Trail, the narrow, rocky nature of Lehman will continue to stifle passing opportunities.

Registration for the race begins at 4:30 p.m. at Ten Mile Station. On-site registration is $20.

Limited parking is available at the base of the Falcon Superchair and at the Breckenridge Stables, but expert and sport racers are encouraged to ride from Beaver Run Resort on Red Rover Road.

Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at rchittick@summitdaily.com


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