Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Time for some Whiskey

Yeah you know it. Whiskey always sounds good, right?  However, this time I am talking about the Whiskey Off-Road 50 race down in Prescott, AZ.  This race has been in existence for 8 years and has become (most recently) one of the most attractive races in the country.

The efforts of Todd Sadow (Epic Rides race promoter) has reached new heights as he has transformed this "local" AZ race into one of the most lucrative Pro mtb races in the USA.  By stepping up the prize winnings ($30,000 total - $15,000 for men and $15,000 for woman) he has lured in the best of the best in mountain bike racing.  Just look at the list of registered riders and you will see that it is just as impressive as the Sea Otter Classic (still the biggest event in the USA).  this year even 4-time XTERRA World Champion Conrad Stoltz will be participating.

This season will mark the 2nd time I am competing in this event, the last being in 2010.  I had a descent race then (10th) but am hoping to improve upon that result.  No doubt it will be very difficult to do with the added competition.  Chris Sheppard, local Bend resident, took home top honors (and a $5,000 check)  last season with the victory.

Not only does the city of Prescott embrace this event, but even the city police provide an escort.  Local and headline band perform throughout the weekend as well on the main stage that is right in the middle of downtown.  This years' headline band is once again "Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers".

In addition to the 50 mile race held on Sunday, there is now an added "Fat-Tire Crit" on Friday evening.  Crits are always a fan favorite because the race is held on downtown streets (making for easy visibility), and the speeds are high and action-packed.  Unlike most crits, this one requires racers to use their mountain bikes (knobby tires).  Speeds won't exceed that of a road crit, but there certainly won't be any shortage of excitement.  The race will be 20 minutes plus 3 additional laps; pure anaerobic bliss!!!

Looking forward to some hard racing, good entertainment, sunny skies and warm temps, and of course some whiskey!

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