Politicians in Colorado know a good thing when they see it. Now that the Leadville 100 is a nationally recognized event that routinely sells out, state Senators are looking to add another large-scale 100-mile MTB race to help boost local economies.
While it sounds like the discussions are very early stage at best, the idea is to create a race that starts in Bailey, CO and winds through much of the singletrack network known as the Buffalo Creek area. Right now the Senators are looking for local businesses to help raise money for the race which they predict could bring 3-5,000 racers and spectators to the area each June.
Of course racing at Leadville and Buffalo Creek are two entirely different things. For starters, Buffalo Creek sits at an average elevation of about 8,000 feet – not 10,000+ like Leadville. The climbs around Buffalo Creek are mild in comparison which could help draw more “recreational riders” than Leadville. Bailey is only about 30 minutes outside Denver which is another advantage, though without Lance Armstrong or a movie about the race, it may be hard to attract large crowds initially.
I personally love the trails in and around Bailey and for strictly cross-country stuff it’s hard to find a better singletrack network in Colorado (or the US for that matter). Sign me up for 2011!