Welcome to the 1st Annual Carson City Off-Road event presented by Epic Rides. This is the final stop in a three-part race series that started back in April at the Whiskey event held in Prescott, Arizona. The second stop was the Grand Junction Off-Road in Colorado which took place last May. The event serves as a major boost for mountain biking in each community that takes part and gives back as much as it takes. Another goal of the series is to help professional racers to be able to make a better living in the sport through larger pay-outs. Pro riders must complete all three 50 mile backcountry rides in the series in order to qualify for prize money. This year, Epic Rides is offering a cash purse of $30,000, which will be equally divided between the pro men and women in the top five spots. As a bonus to the trail races, the event doubles as a bike festival with an assortment of vendors, food, beer and plenty of live music.
In an effort to bring mountain bike racing closer to the spectators, there are a number of neighborhood Criterium races that take place as well. The Klunker Crit race is open to all and promotes strictly good times. The Pro Crit gets a little more serious and definitely delivers high-paced action.
Carson City lies about 45 minutes from Reno in the state of Nevada and serves as the capital of the state. The event promoters have been working with the city for over 10 years to make this event come to fruition, and the bike festival is in perfect alignment with the long-term goals of the city to become an outdoor destination.
Not only are the people friendly here, but the local wildlife know how to greet strangers as well.
Rugged landscape framing the outskirts of town.
Howdy Partner! A vintage casino sign greets visitors coming into town.
Under Construction. The city is going through a major overhaul in order to make the downtown area more bike and pedestrian friendly.
The event area in full swing. Massive support from the bike industry confirms that this 5-year event plan is a gamble worth taking.
There's a lot of hours put in between these two guys. Event organizer Todd Sadow and Trail builder, Jeff Potter, who works full-time as a postal worker. A portion of the weekend's proceeds will go to Muscle Powered, a non-profit organization whose goal is to make Carson City a more walkable and bikeable city.
Another hard day at the office.
Joe Lawwill takes a minute to show off his Shimano equipped backcountry weapon that he will be racing on Sunday.
It's always nice when you can use the Governors Mansion for a meeting room - just don't lean your bikes up against the walls outside!
Start of the Klunker Crit race. Princess Leia was first out of the Hutt. Get it?
I'm not sure how long it took to complete a lap on this bike, but it sure looks fun. And his co-pilot seems to be enjoying himself also.
Rose Grant doing a little pre-ride meditation.
Although the race is held on cement, riders must use the same bike they plan on using for the 50-mile backcountry race. The only change allowed is to slim down to a 1.5" tire.
Rose Grant was leading the pack for the majority of the race. She is currently sitting in the top spot for the Off-Road series and hoping for the win on Sunday at the 50-mile backcountry race.
Getting a little to close for comfort. Katerina Nash almost delivered a right hook on this corner.
Sprinting for the win. Katerina Nash proves that she is a force to be reckoned with. Although there is no prize for the Crit races, the riders had a great time, and the event allows spectators front row seats. Win-Win.
The pro men head around a sharp neighborhood turn. The format for the Crit was 20 minutes of riding, then a final 3 laps to finish. Average lap times were around 2 minutes.
The men's race started out as a massive pack, but around the 4th lap the herd was thinned out quite a bit.
Geoff Kabush and Russell Finsterwald went for a head to head battle for the last few laps.
Geoff Kabush left just enough in the tank to pull ahead for the win.
Colorado's own, Russell Finsterwald coming in on the final lap.
Fast-Guys-R-Us. Men's Podium: 1st - Geoff Kabush, 2nd - Russell Finsterwald, 3rd - Jeremy Martin, 4th - Benjamin Sonntag and 5th - Kyle Trudeau.
El numero uno.
The one and only; Gary Fisher going for a refill on the good stuff. Each of the Epic Rides events pays tribute to one of the legends of our sport. Not only has Gary raced and built mountain bikes since the beginning, but he continues to be an ambassador for the sport.
San Fransisco based band, Afrolicious, came out to play some funky jams and spread the good word of peace, love and positive vibes. Dig it!
That's a wrap for today. Next up is the 50-mile backcountry race. To be continued...