Friday, July 24, 2009

Mountain bike race set for Dollar

Short-track events scheduled for Aug. 12, 19

Express Staff Writer

Dollar Mountain Manager John Madison points out the recently installed short-track course that will soon play host to two days of mountain bike racing. In collaboration with Sun Valley Resort, the nonprofit cycling club Sun Valley Road & Dirt will produce the races on Aug. 12 and 19. Photo by David N. Seelig

After a long hiatus, Sun Valley's Dollar Mountain will once again play host to mountain bike races.

On Aug. 12 and 19, Sun Valley Road & Dirt, a local nonprofit cycling club, will present the short-track races, which will have a similar format to the Wood River Cup Series that takes place near Hailey's Rotarun in May and June.

Road & Dirt Director Billy Olson said that both nights of racing will include men's and women's races, as well as children's competitions. Although the schedule has yet to be finalized, Olson said the adult level would likely consist of 35-minute races on a track that is approximately three-quarters of a mile.

Registration will take place only on the day of the race at the Dollar Mountain Lodge.

"It's exciting that Sun Valley is getting involved with mountain bike racing in the valley," Olson said. "Other than the Galena Grinder, we haven't had any racing in about 17 years."

Olson said that professional mountain biker Greg Martin, reigning 24-hour world champion, was a driving force in bringing these races to fruition, as was Sun Valley Resort.

Dollar Mountain Manager John Madison said that Olson and Martin helped lay out a course, which was then established by Sun Valley Mountain Operations staff riding on motorcycles. Other Sun Valley Co. trail crews are in the process of adding dirt to create berms in the corners.

Tracks of differing distances have been built, all starting in the grass to the left of the Quarter Dollar chairlift, then climbing up the mountain a short distance.

Madison said care was taken not to venture too high up the hillside in order not to interfere with the horse riders that frequent Dollar.

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