Downhill mountain biking athletes will be pushing themselves to the limit on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Red Bull Final Descent competition at Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park Resort.
The competition, which is in its third year at Winter Park, is one of endurance in which both individuals and teams race around the course, completing as many laps as they can within a 12 hour period (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Participation has topped that of last year, with more than 100 athletes registered to compete, including many local and regional riders, and riders from across the nation as well.
Red Bull sponsors the race and offers cash prizes totaling $5,000 to the top finishers at each event in all categories. Other finishers receive smaller cash prizes and various prizes from other industry sponsors.
Red Bull is also donating unlimited free Red Bull drinks to both participants and spectators.
"There's definitely a plethora of Red Bull around," said Rachel Anderson, communications coordinator at Winter Park Resort.
Unlike in past years, this year the competition will have two courses.
"We're going to be switching courses at noon," said Bike Park Manager Bill Holme. "There will be a more technical course in the morning, and a faster flow-y course in the afternoon."
The upper sections of the first course are physically rugged and rocky, whereas the second course has sections that will require speed and pedaling if the competitor needs to make up time.
"One beats you up a little bit, and the other's about speed and how much effort you want to put into it," said Holme.
Last year's winner clocked in at 36 laps, which calculates into an astonishing 65,000 vertical feet (roughly 11 miles straight up and down), and between 75 and 100 miles total of downhill riding.
Spectators hoping to see this feat topped can watch the race from the base of the course.
For more information, visit trestlebikepark.com/finaldescent.html