The Grand Junction Off-Road Presented by U.S. Bank Attracting Riders and Racers of All Levels
(July 24, 2013) TUCSON, ARIZ. – The female mountain bike category is one of the fastest growing segments of mountain bike racing in the United States. Epic Rides’ Grand Junction Off-Road allows the first time event participant to feel connected to the mountain bike community and ease into the world of mountain bike events.
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.
The course is not just for the professional mountain biker, but rather accessible to everyone and a perfect venue for all levels of riding. The 15-Grand (1 Grand = 1 mile) welcomes participants into the event with a gentle climb to the entrance of the trail system, a way to warm up the legs and cycle off the butterflies. Aspects of the course will provide participants with a thrilling Star Wars-like experience while bobbing and weaving through the many beautiful and diverse sections of the course; from double-track to single-track their heart will pump, and faces will light up with pride that they completed the beginner friendly course.
Jocelyn Leidenfrost, an amateur rider is excited to make the Grand Junction Off-Road one of her first events, ”The Grand Junction Off-Road is a new race, which draws me to it, and the 15 mile course is a perfect way to get my feet wet and continue to grow my love of the sport.”
In addition, unique to Epic Rides’ Off-Road series events, the male and female pro categories have an equal payout reaffirming the growth in the female category and the importance of equality in the sport. The $20,000 cash purse for pro riders will be split in half between the top ten male and female competitors. The winner of both categories will receive $4,000 each.
Pro racer, Deidre York, from Boulder, CO started riding 14 years ago as an amateur and gradually started racing and moving up.
“I did the Whiskey Off-Road in April for the first time and was blown away by the quality of the race and how big it was. The interest, spectators, the pro category, was amazing. I was lucky enough to win some of the prize money at the Whiskey and it’s an incentive for women to race. 40-50 women racing is a record in the female category. Nationals only attracted 25 women and this race is almost double. The Grand will attract racers from all over for an equal payout, but also the quality of the race. This event is what mountain bike racing used to look like and the prize money draws more women to the sport. It’s the little extra’s that keep us interested and coming back.”
Whether riding for the custom wine
country inspired finishers stem-less wine glass, the custom etched bottles of wine (locally sourced) for the top five in both the 30 and 40 Grand
amateur events, or the $20,000 Pro Cash purse, each participant
is sure to find great achievement by finishing either the 15, 30 or 40 Grand course.
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 free all comers clunker crit and 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, kids play areas 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.
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 is open now and offers limited space. All registrants will receive an official event T-shirt, water bottle, poster and goodie bag (estimated value of $75). Register by July 31st to receive $10 off registration. And of course, the custom finisher’s stem-less wine glass for all finishers who successfully complete the distance they sign up for.
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 Cirrus Visual Communication, DT Swiss, Hi-Health, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Scott Sports, Shimano, Stan’s No Tubes, Springhill Suites by Marriott and U.S. Bank.