WILMINGTON Whiteface Mountain, among the most challenging ski and ride mountains in the nation, will host its second annual downhill mountain bike race a five kilometer competition on Sunday, Sept. 2.
This NORBA-sanctioned event (National Off-Road Bicycle Association), part of the Gravity East series, will carry a $5,000 pro purse. There will be several thousand dollars additionally in bike-related merchandise for the top three finishers in each amateur class. Category 1 points on the USA Cycling calendar will be awarded.
The Whiteface Downhill 5 Kilometer Mountain Bike Race will present the longest downhill race in the east, with 2,476 vertical feet from the top of Little Whiteface. Last years pro winner, James Ford of Chappaqua, N.Y., needed over six and a half minutes to conquer Whiteface. Most downhill events require less than three minutes.
Whiteface hosted the alpine skiing events during the 1980 Winter Olympics as well as the ski and ride competitions in the 2000 Winter Goodwill Games. The site remains a yearly stop for World Cup freestyle skiing and World Cup snowboarding.
This race course starts off at over 40 miles per hour and then disappears into some of the best, naturally challenging downhill single-track anywhere, said race director Downhill Mike Scheur. This course rocks.
The race course will be marked one week prior to the event, and available for training leading up to Sept. 2.
Participants can register at www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1400467 until midnight Sept. 1 for just $28. Thereafter, registration will take place on Sept. 1 at Whiteface from 8 am 4:30 p.m., and Sept. 2 from 8 9:45 a.m. for $35.
Interested participants can check out bike and stay packages, beginning at $59 per person including lift ticket, at www.downhillmike.com. The Web site also offers specific race info, videos and photos.
Cross country and advanced downhill mountain biking will be available to the general public on Sept. 2 as some trails will be closed for the race. Normal operating hours from 10 a.m. 4 p.m. will be in effect.
An awards ceremony will be held after 3 p.m., preceded by a professional trials show by Giant Bicycles andLake Placids Sam Perkins.
Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) concessionaire, Centerplate, will serve food and beverages throughout the day.