MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – This Saturday marks the Second Annual Fall Tilt mountain bike race, where downhill mountain bikers will tackle the Mountain Village Bike Park trails not once, not twice, but as many times as they can in a 12-hour period.
For the winners, that could mean 60-70 laps, giving the Fall Tilt the designation as a true “endurance” race.
“We expect to see some of the region’s best and toughest riders participate in Fall Tilt, and showcase their endurance and strength,” said Mountain Village Community Relations Manager Nichole Zangara, going on to note that “a 12-hour race is no walk in the park … it gets your adrenaline pumping and challenges your strength and endurance.”
Up to 75 riders will race down the Bike Park’s four adjacent downhill trails simultaneously from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The winners of each class and category will be determined by the total number of laps completed in that 12-hour period; CJ Sports Timing will be timing each lap, in case there is a tie in the number of laps at the end of the day.
Zangara said the concept of an endurance race came out of a desire for Mountain Village to make the most of its Bike Park after it opened last summer. “We wanted to celebrate the grand opening of the park with an event and we wanted to get as many riders on the courses as possible to test them out and provide feedback,” she said. Although it was too late to be part of the Mountain States Cup Series (the preeminent mountain bike race series in the region, which returned to Telluride this summer with the Full Tilt in August) Mountain Village partnered with Yeti Cycles/Bigfoot Productions (the organizers of the MSC Series) to organize last summer’s 12-hour race.
Mountain Village brought the event back again in 2010, to celebrate another successful biking season on the new Bike Park.
“Gravity riding has certainly evolved. It only makes sense for Mountain Village to exploit the Bike Park with some of the best riders in the industry and to introduce the sport to young and old alike,” Zangara said, noting that what makes the Mountain Village Bike Park so unique is its accessibility via a free gondola – something nowhere else in the country can boast. While last year’s race used Chair 4, competitors racing in the 2010 event will only use the gondola.
She added that the race is designed to give endurance race newcomers a smooth ingress into the sport. “The fact that you can utilize any of the trails in the park makes this event appealing to a larger audience,” she said. “If you aren’t comfortable on the expert terrain, that’s okay because you have other trail options.”
Furthermore, competitors don’t need to “nail” their first lap (or first dozen laps) to place well, since the endurance race concept is more about lasting consistency than one-time speed.
Currently, Fall Tilt registration is available online at BikeReg.com, but ends today at 6 p.m. After that, a $20 on-site registration fee will apply. Participation fees range from $75 to $175, and include event registration, race plate, on-site hospitality, and event after-party. Classes and categories include open and amateur solo and duo teams. Team class is based on best-rider-on-team skill level and only one rider per duo team is allowed on the course at any given time. Cash will be paid to top finishers – first, second and third – in the open class and for all categories. The top amateurs from each category will walk away with a new riding ensemble, courtesy of event sponsor DAKINE.
There will be mandatory practice Friday and race day is Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; riders will utilize the gondola both days. If a rider intends to run the last hours of the race and doesn’t have an adequate lighting system, they won’t be allowed on the course.
For more information regarding the race, registration and schedule, visit www.falltiltintelluride.com. To volunteer as a course marshal Friday or Saturday, call 970/369-8236.