From the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship:
Never resting on their laurels of delivering a killer mountain-bike festival for 20 straight years, the fun-loving folks at the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) are upping the ante this year by expanding the Downieville Classic All-Mountain category from 200 to 350 entries and adding a new three-race series, the Lost Sierra Triple Crown.
For those who have long desired to race the All-Mountain but have never been successful at winning a registration spot, now's the chance! The All-Mountain will be available to 350 riders who want to test their strength and mettle on some of the most demanding trails in North America. Participants use the same bike to ride both the 29-mile point-to-point cross country race on Saturday August 6th and the Downieville Downhill 15-mile race on Sunday August 7th. Good bike selection, dedicated training, and mental preparation are all key in enduring this life altering affair. The dirty faces and gritty teeth at the finish reveal the personal triumph this race inspires.
Saturday's cross country starts with a scenic and what some call 'a delightfully challenging climb' as riders ascend 3,000 feet in eight miles to the crest of the Sierra Nevada. From there, the ride glides along colorful trail sections, including the infamous Baby Heads, then flies through creek crossings, dodging rocks and fellow riders, and traveling at warp speeds down Third Divide.
On Sunday morning, racers will awaken–hopefully refreshed after a night of ragingly good times and live music–ready to take on the 15-mile Downieville Downhill, the longest and most demanding downhill mountain bike race in the nation, descending more than 5,000 vertical feet. This stage showcases what makes this area legendary, including the waterfall on Butcher Ranch that tests a rider's skill, bravery and creative line selection.
"We'd like to thank our US Forest Service partners for allowing us to expand the All-Mountain experience and respond to the growing demand," said Greg Williams, Executive Director of SBTS. "Without their support, the Classic and all events we host that bring people to this remarkable place would not be possible."
Registration for the Downieville Classic opens on Sunday, March 13 at 8:00pm Pacific.
If the Downieville All-Mountain is not enough of a challenge, take on the Lost Sierra Triple Crown race series. In this new addition, riders will compete in all three SBTS races–the Lost and Found gravel grinder, the Downieville Classic cross country race and the highly acclaimed Grinduro, which mashes up a gravel grinder and an enduro. The Lost and Found starts the series on June 4th in Lake Davis, Calif. with a 100 mile gravel grinder. It's the perfect blend of pavement, dirt road, gravel road, and historic railroad grade with 7,000 feet of elevation gain and 80 percent dirt.
Next is the Downieville Classic cross country race on August 6th (note that only the cross country finish counts toward the Triple Crown). Triple Crown riders do not need to race the All-Mountain, but some will take on the superhero challenge of doing both races that weekend. Finally, Grinduro on October 8th completes the Lost Sierra Triple Crown series on pavement and dirt in the scenic hills of Quincy, Calif. With 8,000 feet of climbing in 65 miles, the course is a serious affair but not meant to be a sufferfest. Timed segments are only 5-7 minutes in length over pavement, gravel roads and a twisty singletrack descent back into town. When riders arrive in town, they will be greeted with a celebration of live music, artwork, handcrafted bike displays and delicious gourmet food.
"It's going to be an exciting year watching these incredible athletes compete for the Crown," Williams said. "I'm not joking–winners are literally getting metal crowns–that's how worthy their commitment and accomplishment is to racing these three events."
The Lost Sierra Triple Crown will be based on the same points system used in the Downieville Classic All-Mountain World Championships. Points will be applied to placing based on the three aforementioned events across 13 racer categories. A different bike can be used for each of the Lost Sierra Triple Crown races, but remember, riders who race the All-Mountain at Downieville must use the same bike for the cross country and downhill race.
For more information about these festivals and to register for the Downieville Classic visit downievilleclassic.com, for the Lost and Found visit lostandfoundbikeride.com, and for Grinduro visit grinduro.com.
About the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship
The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) was formed in 2003 as a volunteer-driven, 501c3 non-profit organization whose primary goal is the maintenance and enhancement of trail systems. With support of a strong volunteer base, we have contributed thousands of hours and extensive fundraising efforts towards trail maintenance, restoration and new construction in Downieville, Graeagle, Quincy, and the rest of the Lost Sierra. Our bike shop, Yuba Expeditions, has been welcoming mountain bikers to the region for 24 years. All proceeds from SBTS races and the bike shop go directly toward trails in the Lost Sierra. Visit sierratrails.org to learn more about volunteering for trail work, becoming a member, and supporting our events.