STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs plays host to plenty of sports events, and plenty of those events are mountain bike races. Organizers for the Colorado High School Cycling League warn, however, the town doesn’t often see anything like what’s about to descend upon it this weekend.
The Colorado League has been putting on high school mountain bike races around the state since 2010, expanding by leaps and bounds along the way. It’ll make its first stop in Steamboat Springs on Sunday.
The race was originally scheduled for last week but was bumped to a fall-back date because of the smoke that filled the Yampa Valley from the Deep Creek Fire.
“What’s descending upon Steamboat is what I call a party on bikes with high school students,” said Kate Rau, the Boulder-based founder of the Colorado League. “It will be a blast.”
It will certainly be big. There were originally 549 high school riders registered for the event. They won’t all make the trip in light of the rescheduling, but organizers are still expecting a huge crowd.
They’ll race in four heats and in eight divisions, starting at 8:50 a.m. Sunday and wrapping up with awards at 4 p.m. It will all take place on Emerald Mountain with the finish line set in the flats below the ski jumps.
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A handful of things will distinguish the high school race from Steamboat’s many other mountain bike races.
For one, the high school races are designed to be run in laps. A 5.4-mile course will take riders from the base of the mountain, around the Bluffs loop on the east side of Emerald, then back and down through Orton Meadows, a trail partially rerouted with this event in mind, to…
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