Power of Four: Big test for mountain bikers | AspenTimes.com

Power of Four: Big test for mountain bikers

Lance Armstrong negotiates the route on the way to his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from professional cycling. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Who has the power to prevail in the 2013 Power of Four Mountain Bike Race?

Will the first-place finisher next weekend come from the ranks of Aspen’s local endurance athletes?

Perhaps defending champion Keegan Swirbul, of Aspen, a nationally ranked junior cross country ski racer? Or last year’s runner-up, Lance Armstrong, a part-time Aspenite?

And will mountain biking stalwarts Tammy Jacques-Grewal and Rachel Hadley chase each other once again in the pro women’s division?

The third edition of the Power of Four Mountain Bike Race will take off from Snowmass Village next Saturday morning, Aug. 3.

Four ski areas later, the race will finish at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Four mountains. Four climbs. Four descents.

The Power of Four, sponsored by the Aspen Skiing Co., will include solo riders and relay teams of two or four.

According to the website course description, the race will start at 8 a.m. at the base of the Village Express lift in Snowmass Village.

Cyclists will ride up Snowmass to the base of the Big Burn to connect to the Cross Mountain Trail. From there, they ride over to the Elk Camp Summer Road and up to the top of the Vapor Trail. That connects to the Government Trail and the familiar route back to Buttermilk.

Stage 2 is a climb of Tiehack before crossing Maroon Creek to Aspen Highlands and Stage 3.

Access will be via the Teral Wade Bridge to the Aspen Recreation Center and then up the bike path to Aspen Highlands.

The climb there will be up Summer Road to the Congo Trail, down to Castle Creek and across to the start of the fourth stage, the climb up the backside of Aspen Mountain via Midnight Mine Road.

From there, it’s all the way up to the Sundeck. Then, to the East Rim Trail. On to Scott’s Trail.

And a finish at the gondola building.

According to race organizers, the course will cover 36 miles with 9,000 feet up and 9,000 feet back down.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winner.

The top three men and women will be cashing checks with $750 for first place, $350 for second and $150 for third.

Registered racers also will receive a Helly Hansen Cool T-shirt and a custom gift.

At the conclusion of the race, Shock Top Belgian White will raffle off a 2013 Yeti mountain bike to one of the registered mountain bikers.

Race volunteers are needed. They also will receive Helly Hansen shirts.

Volunteers should contact Maria Hidalgo at mhidalgo@aspen snowmass.com.

Additional information is available at the Skico website at http://www.aspensnowmass.com.

In connection with the mountain bike race and the Power of Four 50K trail race on Sunday, Aug. 4, the Aspen Skiing Co. is offering 50 percent off vouchers for family members of racers who wish to watch/cheer from the top of Aspen Mountain or the top of Elk Camp.

The post-race party for the Power of Four Mountain Bike Race will be hosted at Ajax Tavern at the base of Aspen Mountain.

The Power of Four 50K trail race after party Aug. 4 will take place at base camp in Snowmass Base Village.

Award ceremonies will be at 3:30 p.m. in the finish locations — Aspen on Aug. 3 and Snowmass Village on Aug 4.

Online registration is available at http://www.aspensnowmass.com/poweroffour. Early registration pricing ends Sunday.

Online registration will close Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. with registration available at the Aspen Mountain ticket office on Aug. 2 (noon to 7 p.m.). and Aug. 3 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

No race day registration is available for either event.

Solo entry fee is $85 through Sunday, $100 after Sunday.

Relay team of two entry is $150 early and $175 after Sunday.

Relay team of four entry is $225 early and $265 after Sunday.

Bike categories for the solo riders include male, female, male singlespeed and female singlespeed.

Swirbul won last year’s race, the only cyclist to finish in under four hours. He rode the course in 3:56.

Armstrong finished second in 4:01 with ski mountaineer Max Taam, of Aspen, third in 4:14. Taam won the inaugural edition of the Power of Four Mountain Bike Race in 2011 (3:57).

Jacques-Grewal won the women’s race in 4:40 with Hadley a close second (4:47). Hadley, of Aspen, won the 2011 women’s race.

Taam is planning a Power of Four double. He’s scheduled to run in the 50K trail race a day after riding in the 36-mile mountain bike race.


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