Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MOUNTAIN BIKE NATIONALS at SUN VALLEY

Bikers set sights on Galena Grinder


     Interested in competing at the USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Championships July 4-7 in Sun Valley? Another qualifying race is coming up.

     The Galena Grinder/Whit Henry Memorial is Saturday, June 30 at Galena Lodge north of Ketchum. The Grinder is part of the 2012 Knobby Tire Series of Idaho.

     Pre-registration closes the Thursday, June 28 at 10 p.m. Visit knobbytireseries.com.

     The Grinder is the Knobby Tire Series finale and is also one of a few select events on the 2012 USA Cycling Professional Mountain Bike Ultra Endurance Tour (Pro UET).

     Riders finishing in the top 15 in their XC categories and age groups qualify for nationals, to be held in Ketchum and Sun Valley. You must have an annual USA Cycling mountain bike license to compete as an amateur at nationals.

     Here are a few details:

     · Grinder/Whit Henry: The 45-mile marathon (2 laps on a 22.5-mile course) begins at 9 a.m. for the Pro/Open/Singlespeed riders, $65 pre-registration, and no day-of-race entry. You must enter the Pro/Open category to be eligible for the cash purse that starts at $500 for first place, men and women, and ranges to $125 for fifth place, men and women.

     Other marathoners will start at 9 a.m. in the 19-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50-plus classes, $55 pre-registration fee.

     Pro/Open/Cat. 1 and Cat. 1 age groupings will compete on a 22.5-mile course starting at 10:30 a.m. ($40 and $30 pre-registration, $55 and $45 day-of-race), with Cat. 2 going 17.5 miles, Cat. 3 and Juniors 10 miles.

     Last year the Grinder was staged over the July 23-24 weekend for 160 racers led by 45-mile marathon winner Monique Pua Mata and men’s marathon winner Manuel Prado—both riding for Team Sho-Air of California.

     The event is held in memory of Whit Henry, a 2001 Wood River High graduate who died July 2, 2003 in an accident on U.S. 20 west of Timmerman Hill. He became a passionate cyclist before his untimely death at 20. It is the 11th anniversary renewal of the current incarnation of the Galena Grinder, a mountain bike race held here for two decades.

     Call 720-9205 for details, or brokenspokecycling.org.




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