Enduro MTB race Debuts at Park City

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      Dodging pesky rocks and weaving around leaning tree trunks is on the menu. Ditto for bolting down an elaborate series of mountain trails at 30 miles per hour with nothing but a firm grip on the brake lever.

      In recent years, Park City has morphed into a mountain-bike Mecca of sorts, and today joins the busy summer schedule as the inaugural Bell Wasatch Enduro race — a 17-mile, six-stage contest — makes its debut at Canyons Resort. The event is part of the North American Enduro Tour. Park City joins Santa Cruz, Calif., Winter Park, Colo., and Whistler, British Columbia, as sites hosting one of hottest new styles of mountain-bike racing in America.

      Birthed and developed in Europe, Enduro racing is a unique format for racing on dirt. The Enduro is a six-stage event that is expected to last from 9 a.m. — today’s starting time — until as late as 6 p.m.
      Ali Goulet, a former professional snowboarder who has transitioned to racing mountain bikes around the globe, is the race director for the Bell Wasatch Enduro. He said Enduro racing has caught fire due to its flexibility for competitors and style of race.

      Enduro racing is based on how fast riders can shoot down the single-track dirt trails. Goulet said hill climbs aren’t timed, which is inviting to any level of mountain biker.

      "The physical portion of this is going as hard as you can and it means you’re sprinting around corners and when you get to the bottom, you feel it. It’s as hard as anything anyone has ever done," he said. "But when you climb, you’re not penalized for being four pounds overweight or having a 12-pound race rig. The average guy, who likes to climb and who enjoys downhill riding, doesn’t need to have a specialized bike.

      "It’s either as physically demanding as you want it to be as an athlete, or just a great day to challenge your buddies to see who can have the fastest time. On the climb, you’re not gasping for air. It’s not a ‘heads-down-I’m-going-to-get-you’ race."

      Read more here: http://www.parkrecord.com/summit_county … city-debut

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