The second annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival has cooked up a tasty appetizer for next week's main meal—the 2012 USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Cross-Country Championships on Baldy.
It is called the Sun Valley All-Mountain.
The three-race competition is designed to offer a variety of challenges. When it's all done next Tuesday night, it will bestow All-Mountain status on the top three Pros and Amateurs, men and women.
( First race is the Galena Grinder/Whit Henry Memorial on Saturday, June 30 at Galena Lodge north of Ketchum.
( The second race is the Shimano Baldy Super Duper Downhill Sunday, July 1 descending Baldy from its summit down Warm Springs.
( Final stage of the three-race series is the Fat Tire Criterium on Tuesday evening, July 3 in downtown Ketchum.
There is no separate entry fee to enter the All-Mountain. Just finish all three events and you are automatically entered in the calculations.
All-Mountain titles will be awarded in these categories: Pro Men and Women; Junior Girls and Boys (18-and-under); Amateur Men and Women in Category 1, 2 and 3. If you are entered in the Galena Grinder 45-mile marathon, your All-Mountain Time is based on your fastest 22.5-mile lap.
One other thing: You will be awarded a five-minute time bonus for racing and finishing the Fat Tire Criterium—and you will have five minutes deducted from your time if you skip the Fat Tire Criterium.
Here are race descriptions:
Galena Grinder/Whit Henry Memorial
Interested in competing at the USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Championships July 4-7 in Sun Valley?
Final qualifying race is the Galena Grinder/Whit Henry Memorial Saturday at Galena Lodge north of Ketchum. The Grinder is part of the 2012 Knobby Tire Series of Idaho.
Pre-registration closes 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 July 4-7 in Ketchum.
Saturday, the 45-mile marathon (2 laps on a 22.5-mile course) begins at 9 a.m. for the Pro/Open/Singlespeed riders. 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 start at 9 a.m. in 19-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50-plus classes. Pro/Open/Cat. 1 age groupings compete on a 22.5-mile course at 10:30 a.m. Cat. 2 bikers go 17.5 miles. Cat. 3 riders/juniors go 10 miles.
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. 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.
Scott Sports presents the Shimano Baldy Super Duper Downhill race Sunday at 3 p.m. down Warm Springs. Practice occurs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Staging area will be the Warm Springs side of Baldy, finishing in Picabo Street in front of Apple's Bar & Grill.
Riders will start from the top of Baldy and drop more than 3,000 vertical feet on a flowy and loopy downhill journey. For the first-time race, you will need a bike that can descend as well as climb, organizers said. The post-race party with music will occur at Apple's. Visit ridesunvalley.com for details.
Fat Tire Criterium
Hundreds of bike fans will line the twisty course through downtown Ketchum for Tuesday's BNSF/Avex Fat Tire Criterium starting at 6 p.m. by the Sun Valley Visitor Center at Ketchum Town Square.
Culminating in the Ride Sun Valley "Standoff" four-person team relay over 16 grueling and spectator-friendly circuits, the multi-lap race will also feature amateur and pro categories and kids' races.