Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, among the most challenging ski and ride mountains in the nation, will host the Third Annual 5 Kilometer Downhill Mountain Bike Race, presented by High Peaks Cyclery, on Sunday, August 31. Race time is 12 p.m.This NORBA-sanctioned event (National Off-Road Bicycle Association), part of the Gravity East series, will carry a $5,000 pro purse, with the top men and women receiving equal pay. There will be several thousand dollars additionally in bike-related merchandise for the top three finishers in each amateur class. Category 1 points on the USA Cycling calendar will be awarded.
The Whiteface Third Annual 5 Kilometer Downhill, presented by High Peaks Cyclery, offers the longest mountain bike competition in the east, with 2,476 vertical feet from the top of Little Whiteface.
James Ford of Chappaqua, N.Y., needed over six and a half minutes to conquer Whiteface in 2006. Most downhill events require less than three minutes.
Derrick Nobman of Oyster Bay, N.Y. required over seven and a half minutes to win the 2007 event on a longer course, while only seven racers broke eight minutes.
Whiteface hosted the alpine skiing events during the 1980 Winter Olympics as well as the ski and ride competitions in the 2000 Winter Goodwill Games. The site remains a yearly stop for World Cup freestyle skiing and World Cup snowboarding.
“This race course starts off at over 40 miles per hour and then disappears into some of the best, naturally challenging downhill single-track anywhere,” said race director “Downhill” Mike Scheur. “With no race conflicts in Quebec and Ontario, we are expecting a large contingent of Canadian riders which we haven’t had the previous two years. The size of this year’s field should be much bigger.”
The race course will be marked five days prior to the event, and available for training seven days a week including race day.
Participants can register at www.active.com until August 30 at 9 p.m. for just $28. Racers can also sign-in at Whiteface from August 29 until 11 a.m. on August 31 for $35.
The competition will be timed by All Sports Events.
Interested participants can check out bike and stay packages, beginning at $69 per person including lift ticket and hot breakfast, at www.downhillmike.com
. The website also offers specific race info, videos and photos.
Cross country and advanced downhill mountain biking will be available to the general public on August 31 as some trails will be closed for the race. Normal operating hours from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. will be in effect. The mountain shuttle bus will be running to transport beginner bikers to the trails.
An awards ceremony will be held after 3 p.m..
Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) concessionaire, Centerplate, will serve food and beverages throughout the day