Downieville Classic nearly doubles in size

All-Mountain category expanding from 200 to 350 entries

News Race Coverage
The Waterfall section on Butcher Ranch is notorious for over-the-bars experiences.

The Waterfall section on Butcher Ranch is notorious for over-the-bars experiences (click to enlarge).

Never resting on their laurels of delivering a killer mountain bike festival, the fun-loving folks at the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship 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. Registration opens March 13 at 8 p.m. PST.

For those who have long desired to race the All-Mountain but have never been successful at winning a registration spot, your chances have improved. The All-Mountain will be available to 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 a 29-mile point-to-point cross country race on Saturday, August 6, and the Downieville Downhill 15-mile race August 7th. Good bike selection, dedicated training, and mental preparation are all key.

The cross-country starts with a scenic and what some call ‘a delightfully challenging climb’ as riders ascend 3000 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, followed by flying through creek crossings, dodging rocks and fellow riders, and traveling at warp speeds down Third Divide.

One of the many highlights of the Downieville Classic are the unofficial River Jump World Championships.

One of the many highlights of the Downieville Classic are the unofficial River Jump World Championships (click to enlarge).

Sunday morning, racers awaken – hopefully refreshed after a night of ragingly good times and live music – ready to take on the 15-mile Downieville Downhill, which drops more than 5000 vertical feet. This stage showcases what makes this area great, including the Waterfall on Butcher Ranch that tests a rider’s skill, bravery and creative line selection.

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 three SBTS races – the Lost and Found gravel grinder, the Downieville Classic cross country race, and the Grinduro, mashing up a gravel grinder and an enduro.

The Lost and Found starts the series on June 4, in Lake Davis, California, with a 100-mile race that’s a blend of pavement, dirt road, gravel road, and railroad grade with 7000 feet of elevation gain and 80 percent dirt.

Next is the Downieville Classic cross country race (note that only the cross country finish counts toward the Triple Crown. You do not need to race the All-Mountain to compete in the series.)

The Downieville Classic is an achievable goal even for beginner racers.

The Downieville Classic is an achievable goal even for beginner racers (click to enlarge).

Finally, Grinduro on October 8, completes the Lost Sierra Triple Crown series on pavement and dirt in the scenic hills of Quincy, California. With 8000 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,” said Greg Williams, Executive Director of SBTS. “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. Points will be applied to placing based on the three aforementioned events across 13 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 For the Lost and Found visit And for Grinduro check out

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Mtbr is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.

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