WILMINGTON, New York ??вЂќ Skiing and boarding the network of runs atop Little Whiteface is one thing. But now, many top mountain bike professionals will have to amp up their intensity as they attempt to handle ski and bike trails beginning with Approach and covering 2,500 vertical feet over more than three miles down the Olympic Mountain.
It’s all part of the Whiteface 5 Kilometer Downhill Race, presented by High Peaks Cyclery, on Sunday, Sept. 3 beginning at 11 am.
This event, sanctioned by NORBA (National Off-Road Bicycle Association), will feature a pro cash purse of $5,000. Prizes will also be offered to the top three finishers in other categories and age groups.
Interested bikers can register online through Sept. 2 at www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1343648. Registration fee is $25 plus lift tickets ($30 per day or $55 for two days). The field will be limited to 200. All bikers will receive a gift bag of mountain biking accessories.
Professional and expert racers will board the Cloudsplitter gondola and tackle the expert bike course. The demanding run starts at the summit of Little Whiteface, meanders in and out of many popular Whiteface ski trails, and concludes outside the Cloudspin Lounge. Pending weather and trail conditions, the approximate winning time should be under eight minutes. Riders will encounter fast, open sections where speeds can exceed 40 miles per hour, as well as technical, single-track trails in the woods. This combination will lead to an exhilaratingly sick race.
“The competitors may not be accustomed to West Coast, Rocky Mountain distance like this on the East Coast,” said event promoter Downhill Mike Scheur. “These people will be surprised by the biking we have here. Unlike other areas, we’re open seven days a week and we expect many riders to train on Whiteface in the days leading up to the race.”
The sport class and beginner course gets underway atop the Face Lift quad chair on Upper Valley. After intersecting with the lower section of the expert course, the beginners and sport class athletes will cover over a mile and 1,500 vertical feet to the base of the mountain.
The competition concludes with an awards ceremony at 3:30 pm. Prior to the awards, local pro rider Sam Perkins of Lake Placid will put on a trials demonstration.
Whiteface concessionaire, Centerplate, will offer food and drink the entire day, including a barbecue.
For more information on activities and events in the Whiteface and Lake Placid regions, and for webcams from five locations, please log on to www.whitefacelakeplacid.com.