If iron horses of the human-powered variety are more your speed, head up to Purgatory this weekend for two days of collegiate mountain bike racing. That’s right – after a seven-year hiatus – FLC Cyling’s Squawker MTB Classic is returning to the roost Sat. and Sun., Sept. 1-2.
Over the weekend, the reigning 2017 National MTB Champion Skyhawks will be doing battle with their Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference adversaries from the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado Mesa University and Adams State, just to name a few. On Sunday, there will also be USA Cycling-sanctioned cross country and downhill races for the community and junior riders as well.
The action gets rolling Saturday morning with the short track races at Purg’s base area starting at 8:30 a.m., with the fastest women and men racing at 10:05 a.m. and 10:40 a.m., respectively. According to FLC Cycling Coach Dave Hagen, the short two- to three-minute course is prime for spectating as riders push themselves to the limit on each lap.
Then comes the dual slalom, with practice from 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. and racing to follow. Starting with a BMX style two-person gate, the course is action-packed with berms, rhythm sections and flat turns, also making it great for spectators.
“The crew at Purgatory has been working on it all summer, so it is in great shape,” said Hagen.
The action picks up bright and early again Sunday morning, with the cross country race taking off at 8 a.m. The course starts at the top of Chair 4 and uses most of the resort’s back-side trails, with plenty of room for passing and other jockeying tactics. Racing starts with the A men and women, with another wave starting at 10 a.m.
And last but not least, the final event of the weekend is the downhill, which will take place on Purg staples, the Divinity and Diggler trails. Racers will take one run on each course, and the fastest combined time on both courses will be crowned the winner. Practice is from 10-11:30 a.m. with racing to follow.
“Your cycling Skyhawks would be excited for the Fort Lewis and Durango communities to come up and cheer them on as they prepare to defend their 2017 Collegiate MTB Team National Championship,” said Hagen.
For more information or an full schedule, go to cycling.fortlewis.edu/squawkermtb. You can keep up with the action at the Squawker and the rest of FLC Cycling’s fall season on the team’s Facebook page.