MPHS mountain bike club race at Granby Ranch | SkyHiDailyNews.com

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MPHS mountain bike club race at Granby Ranch

The MPHS mountain bike club team getting ready for a training ride.

The MPHS mountain bike club team getting ready for a training ride.

Mark your calendars.

This weekend on Saturday, Sept. 24 the Middle Park High School Mountain Bike Club will be racing on its home turf at Granby Ranch.

This race is part of the Colorado High School Mountain Bike League. Over 800 riders will be racing over the weekend. Our Middle Park athletes race on Saturday as part of the North division (divisions are split based upon which side of I 70 they are on) the South Division races on Sunday.

This is the third race of the five-race series and promises to be the most challenging course of the year.

Granby Ranch has amazing mountain biking and this course will test the physical fitness and technical skills of all of the athletes. Racers will begin at the base lodge on Natures Way. A fast and furious start will lead to a serious of climbs will test their legs as the course climbs to the midpoint of Fraser Canyon. Fraser Canyon begins the first descent, swooping smooth singletrack overlooking the Fraser River (hence the trail name). Next you have a punchy climb accented with steep switchbacks that will surely make the legs hurt a bit. The next descent is fast tight singletrack through the open sage brush that overlooks the golf course. One more climb back onto the ski area and then down Strawberry Jam to the next lap or the final reward of the finish line.

Spectator Viewing spots

There are some great viewing spots on the course. Natures Way and the first series of climbs have plenty of places to cheer on the athletes. You can also watch both the starting climb and the back part of the lap by being near the Kicking Horse lift as this is where the course returns to the base area. The Fraser Canyon trail is a bit tricky to be able to watch from. I suggest that you ride to the midpoint entrance to Fraser Canyon at the fly over bridge and walk partway down the course to view. You can also have a great view of the start of each lap as well as the end from the base of Granby Ranch Ski Area. One nice thing about the course is that it is very spectator friendly.

The first races go off at 9 a.m. Races will be going all day with the final finishers ending their day around 3:30 p.m.

Come on out and enjoy the day. There are plenty of cross country trails at Granby Ranch that are not being used for the race. Cheer our Middle Park Athletes on and then go for a ride!

Every event needs volunteers. If you want to volunteer go to this site and sign up! http://www.coloradomtb.org/volunteer.

Keith Sanders is the President of the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, 3x US National Mountain Bike Champion and owner of Beavers Sports Shop. You can reach me at keith@winterparkskirental.com