NEW EVENT BOASTS $20,000 CASH PURSE
TUCSON, Ariz. - Western Colorado, already a popular destination for mountain bikers, is about to become a lot more fun. The inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road endurance mountain bike event and free community concert, presented by U.S. Bank, and produced by Epic Rides will take place in Grand Junction on Labor Day weekend, Friday, Aug. 30 through Sunday, Sept. 1.
Modeled after Epic Rides’ popular Whiskey Off-Road event in Prescott AZ, the 3-day Grand Junction event will offer participants three distances to choose from including 15 Grand, 30 Grand and 40 Grand courses (each grand = 1 mile). Designed to appeal to all levels of mountain biker, each course will present an authentic cross country mountain bike experience, allowing each finisher to feel pride in a meaningful mountain bike accomplishment, commemorated by a custom wine glass that pays homage to the area’s unique wine country.
Pro racers will vie for a slightly juicier award; a $20,000 cash purse. Much like the Whiskey, the Grand’s cash purse will be shared evenly between the male and female categories.
“With $55,000 of prize money between the Prescott, AZ and Grand Junction, CO events, the quality of racing will be second to none in the world”, said Todd Sadow, President of Epic Rides.
Through great cooperation with the Grand Junction Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, “The Grand” routes will feature world class riding located in the Lunch Loops, Magellan loop and Bangs Canyon area trail systems.
Limited to a first-year field of 600 riders (500 amateurs/100 professionals), attendees will enjoy three solid days of racing, riding and celebrating the mountain bike in Grand Junction. The weekend will kick off with a pro level fat tire Criterium downtown, a well appointed industry vendor and tech expo, and beginner level “15 Grand” fun ride on Friday. Saturday will offer a complete day of amateur riding in the 30- and 40-Grand distances. Competitors, their family and friends will bask in free live music in the shaded streets flanking Grand Junction’s unique meandering Main Street, which is lined with original bike art and a localized retail mix. The showdown for the cash purse will begin Sunday morning, after a spirited Saturday evening of gratified amateurs imbibing the area’s finest fruits, hops & barleys and exploring the community’s culinary exploits. Pro and amateur “40-Granders” will ride the same course.
"U.S. Bank is excited to sponsor the Inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road Endurance mountain bike event and community concert", said Steve Gunderson, U.S. Bank Western Colorado Regional President. "U.S. Bank actively supports the community, and we are excited to partner with Epic Rides in bringing a new economic driver to the City of Grand Junction that also highlights the natural resources in Mesa County".
Hosting all event activities in a centralized downtown location only four hours from both Denver and Salt Lake City, the event’s accessibility and surrounding attractions are sure to entertain the first year’s anticipated 1,800-plus mountain bike event attendees and Western Colorado residents enjoying the free community concert.
Registration for the event will open Saturday, March 16 at 10 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. With the first year field limit of 600 total riders, Epic Rides anticipates the event reaching capacity very quickly. All registrants will receive an Official event T-shirt, water bottle, poster and goodie bag (estimated value of $75). And of course, the custom finisher’s stem-less wine glass for all finishers who successfully complete the distance they sign up for. All top five finishers in the 30- and 40-Grand categories will receive an additional custom finisher’s award.
The Grand Junction Off-Road Presented by U.S. Bank is an example of public and private cooperation, made possible from the City of Grand Junction, the Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office, Mesa County and Epic Rides. Major sponsors include Blackburn, Cirrus Visual Communication, GU Energy Labs, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Scott USA, Shimano, Stan’s No Tubes, Springhill Suites by Marriott and U.S. Bank.
- Epic Rides has enlisted the services of David Grossman to be “The Grand” Event Manager. Dave, also the Executive Director of the Grand Valley Trails Alliance, has played a pivotal role with event development and brings a deep quiver of work in and among the Grand Junction outdoor enthusiast community.
- Grand Junction, CO, a long time Western Colorado mountain bike destination, was first put on the map by its neighbor located just 6 miles west, Fruita. Between the trail offerings of Fruita, Grand Junction and Palisade, all attending will have an endless assortment of world class riding to pick from.
- Mesa County is aptly named for being home to the largest mesa in the world; 500 sq miles and reaching 11,000 in elevation.
- An important region for fruit, it is primarily known for its wine. Grand Junction and the surrounding areas are home to nearly twenty wineries and thousands of acres of vineyards featuring Syrah, Viognier and other Rhone varietals.
- The exact courses will be announced late Spring ‘13, in the meantime, some of the trails in the course include popular portions of the Lunch Loops, Magellan Loop and the Bangs Canyon area.
- Grand Junction’s pedestrian-friendly, tree and bike sculpture lined Main Street was created in the early ‘60s, updated in 2012 and is now a model for inviting community centers world-wide.
- Downtown Grand Junction boasts more than 70 retail stores, 25 restaurants and 13 bars.
- Kid friendly, Main Street offers free to the public soft play areas and a sidewalk water park.
- Expected event growth capacity is 600 in year one, 2,000 in year five with incremental steps each year in-between.
- With success through the inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road Presented by U.S. Bank, it will act as a bookend with the Whiskey Off-Road to a season of Epic Rides Off-Road endurance mountain bike events located throughout the USA. Each event will host the world’s largest one day cash purses, industry expos, free concerts and other localized event activities.