Mountain bikers rolling into Power of Four
The Aspen Times
Three in a row?
Will the 2013 and 2014 winners of the Power of Four Mountain Bike Race repeat in 2015?
The sixth annual four-mountain backcountry challenge for mountain bikers, sponsored by the Aspen Skiing Co., will return Saturday.
The 33-mile, point-to-point mountain bike race will climb and descend all four ski mountains in the area, starting at Snowmass at 8 a.m. Saturday.
From the climb and descent of Snowmass, the cyclists will head to Buttermilk/Tiehack for a repeat up-and-down.
Then, the cyclists will cross to Aspen Highlands.
Once they climb and descend Highlands, the cyclists will head to the backside of Aspen Mountain for the final climb.
The final descent will take riders to the finish line at the base of Aspen Mountain.
This year, a Power of Two Mountain Bike Race has been added to the event. It will feature the first two mountains — Snowmass and Buttermilk and 17 miles of racing for the cyclists.
The longer Power of Four will feature 8,389 feet of vertical gain and 8,897 feet of descent across all four mountains.
“There’s a crazy amount of elevation gain and some incredible descents,” said Aspen-area cyclist Greg Stokes, who finished fourth in the 2012 race. “It features every kind of mountain biking in one race — technical singletrack, grueling dirt road climbs and even flowy bike-park descents like the Vapor Trail.”
Stokes said the final rip down Aspen Mountain is rarely ridden and is one of the longest descents in the region.
Last year, Ben Sonntag of Durango and Gretchen Reeves of Avon repeated as men’s and women’s winners in the Power of Four Mountain Bike Race.
They outdueled other top cyclists to win their second consecutive titles.
Reeves pulled away early last year and cruised to victory. Blair Vajda of Boulder was second.
Sonntag won the men’s race in 3 hours 33 minutes, just off his 2013 course record of 3:28.
Aspen mountain biking couple Rachel and Shawn Hadley won the relay event last year and finished first in the coed relay division.
They finished in 4:05.
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