Friday, June 20, 2014

Super Enduro bike races kick off a busy stretch

Ride Sun Valley Festival starts next week


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

     Mountain bike racers are looking forward to the 2014 Sun Valley Super Enduro and the Enduro Cup presented by GoPro. The event set for June 28-29 in Ketchum is part of Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival.

     Actually, the two-day Super Enduro is the showcase event of the fourth annual Smith Optics Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival. The festival calls itself a rowdy and homegrown celebration geared for anyone who enjoys life on two wheels.

     Besides the Super Enduro, other events folded into the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival over a 10-day period from June 26-July 5 include a three-day downtown Bike Expo June 27-29 and the following activities:

     Log-dragging races and the Independence Day criterium in Hailey; pump track races for kids, a biathlon with laser guns and “Local Stoker” group rides in Ketchum; and the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships on Baldy to wrap things up July 5.

     Hosting the national championships in 2014 gives the Sun Valley area the distinction of staging a USA Cycling national championship event for the fourth straight year—with no further hosting responsibilities set in the immediate future.

     The Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival wrapped itself around the nationals for the last three years and will continue in the future, according to festival director Greg Randolph.

     Randolph said, “The former Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce gave us a great opportunity by bringing the nationals here in the first place. Our whole strategy was to build our own festival in the years we hosted nationals.

     “And we’ve created a pretty tight, solid product. The festival is for enthusiasts.”

     He added, “We design our courses so beginners can race and have a good time. At the same time, the courses are really challenging for elite racers. It’s a good mix of downhill, technical skills and fitness.”

     The Sun Valley Super Enduro features over 24 miles and 9,000 feet of vertical feet of descending over four stages and a prologue time trial. Last year’s inaugural Enduro attracted 150 racers in 11 classes, with 112 completing four stages.

     It’s part of the three-event Enduro Cup in Utah and Idaho that includes races in Utah at Moab May 3 and in Utah at Canyons Resort July 19.

     The Sun Valley stop ($160 entry) is also part of the 10-race North American Enduro Tour.

     Registration for the Enduro Cup presented by GoPro is open to men and women, pros and amateur adults, and juniors ages 14-18. Fees include t-shirt, lunch and entry. Visit endurocupmtb.com/register-to-race/

     Sun Valley will host the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike Championships for a second straight year, on Saturday, July 5. Stars-and-stripes jerseys to winners will be awarded in 18 categories.

     Online registration is underway costing $100 per race. Visit usacycling.org. On-site registration will cost $120.

     Here is the 2014 Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival schedule:

     Thursday, June 26: Sheeptown Drag Races, head-to-head bicycle drag racing on bikes while towing flaming logs—single elimination bracket race format for men and women. Free, but slots are limited. Sign up at Hailey’s Powerhouse.

     Friday, June 27 through Sunday, June 29: Ride Sun Valley Bike Expo and Demo at Ketchum Town Square offering the latest bikes and gadgets from various suppliers, plus clinics hosted by knowledgeable riders. Live music on tap from 2-11 p.m. on Friday.

     Downtown racing on Friday night: The popular team relay doing laps around the downtown area, in costumes, and vying for cash prizes. Also, the Enduro Cup prologue obstacle race presented by GoPro to settle Enduro Cup seeding.

     Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29: Sun Valley Super Enduro. The start, finish and sponsor village will be Sun Valley’s River Run base area.

     Saturday’s racing will see racers take three separate downhill runs down Baldy.

     They are a descent of the Bald Mountain Trail to Roundhouse Lane; a downhill along  the new Bald Mountain flow trail named “Saddle Up” to Roundhouse Lodge; and finally a top-to-bottom descent from the Bald Mountain Trail to Warm Springs traverse road into the River Run Trail.

     Sunday’s racers will again head to Baldy’s summit for one last pinner from the summit down Broadway Trail to Warm Springs. A short, neutralized climb will summon the final stage from Little America Point down the rest of Warm Springs Trail into the finish at the Warm Springs base area.

     Following Saturday’s Enduro Cup will be the Kids’ Mountain Bike Race at River Run, along with a Mountain Bike Biathlon and the Ride Sun Valley “Movie Night.”

     “Local Stoker” rides: Leave Ketchum Town Square Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29 at 8 a.m. There are two levels—“starter” rides for less experienced bikers to Fox Creek and Corral Creek, and “epic” rides to places like Baker Creek/Warm Springs.

     Sunday, June 29: Idaho Pump Track State Championships, timed laps at Ketchum Bike Park. All ages welcome, male and female. Also, the Super Enduro awards party will take place at Ketchum Town Square after the final stage.

     Visit ridesunvalley.com for more details.

 

 




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