Telluride 100 Bike Race
Saturday July 19
6:00am Start Time
On Saturday, July 19th at 6 a.m., the inaugural field for the Telluride 100 Mountain Bike Race will ceremoniously roll through the picturesque box canyon before tackling the course’s most difficult ascent up Black Bear Pass – a climb that peaks out at 12,840 feet and lands riders on Red Mountain Pass on the other side between Ouray and Silverton.
Event organizers, Tobin and Jennifer Behling, have tagged the event as “the most beautiful race on earth.” The two own Bear Shark, an event company that has put on bike races in Texas, Louisiana and Canada since 1998. Inspired by their love for both Telluride and biking, the San Juan Mountains seemed a logical place to create a 100-mile race.
The course is designed as two loops, each starting and ending at Lift Seven near the entrance of town. The first loop takes riders over the two most challenging mountain passes. First, Black Bear (12,840 feet) then Ophir Pass (12,789 feet ). The second loop begins with another difficult climb, ascending from the Town of Telluride (8750 feet) via ski area maintenance roads to one of the area’s most popular single-track trails, Prospect Trail, which begins at 10,500 feet. The loop descends to CO 145, near Ophir, and overlaps with parts of the first loop. The course then continues on an old railroad grade on the west side of Illium Valley and connects with more single track, before taking riders up 58P Road, a steep dirt road, to Last Dollar Road. Racers will follow Last Dollar back to CO 145, three miles outside of Telluride, then end the race riding single track back to town and Lift Seven via the valley floor – three miles of open space that acts as the prologue upon entering the Town of Telluride.
In its first year, the Telluride 100 Mountain Bike race has a 75-person field limit.
Behling advises racers who do not make the second cutoff, to ride up the Galloping Goose single track and get a free beer at the Telluride Brewery in Lawson Hill before spinning back into Telluride to cheer on the other finishers.
For more information or to register for the Telluride 100 Mountain Bike Race go to: https://www.bikereg.com/23213. For more information and details about the course, go to http://telluride100.com/course/.