Kirkwood to host King of Mountain bike race |

Kirkwood to host King of Mountain bike race

The Jeep King of the Mountain Series brings its unique Jeep “Y” racing event and interactive expo Saturday to Kirkwood Mountian Resort.

Eight teams of professional mountain biking racers from around the world will race against each other down the one-of-a-kind Jeep “Y” course in hopes of winning a share of the more than $100,000 purse and a two-year lease on a Jeep Wrangler X.

In the “Y competitors go head to head on separate slalom courses before merging onto a shared course. At speeds up to 40 miles per hour and sometimes less than four feet apart, racers tackle a series of four-foot high single and double rollers, ending in a 50-foot long tabletop jump before the finish line.

“The series and its athletes fit the Jeep brand; they have a go-anywhere, do-anything attitude,” said Jeff Bell, vice president of Jeep. “The King of the Mountain is a competitive event in which racers must often challenge convention.”

The athletes are not the only ones who have the chance of walking away with something. While the race begins at 1 p.m., the public is invited to come to the event at 11 a.m. to check out the interactive expo area at the Timber Creek Base Area. It features prizes, food, music and demonstrations of the latest gear in mountain bike technology.

Teaming together to lead the U.S. defense at Kirkwood will be National Off Road Biking Association and Mountain Biking World Cup competitors Mike King and Tara Llanes on Team One USA and Kirt Voreis and Melissa Buhl of Team Two USA. They will face a stiff test against an all-star cast of six other top international teams.

At the inaugural race in Virginia’s Wintergreen Resort, as well as last week’s race at Telluride Mountain Village of Colorado, Team France’s Sabrina Jonnier captured the women’s individual gold and maintained the Paul Mitchell leaders’ jerseys for her and teammate Cedric Gracia. Australian Nathan Rennie earned the men’s individual gold, while teammate Katrina Miller captured the women’s individual silver; their combined efforts earned them team gold at Telluride Mountain Village on July 19, along with over $8,500 in prize money.

Mick Hannah and Tai Lee Muxlow of Australia Team Two and Steve Peat and Tracy Moseley of United Kingdom’s Team One are each tied at second place with only 10 points behind Team France.

Competitors will compete in seeding runs today, setting up Saturday’s exciting finals.

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