Downhill Racing Returns To Crested Butte


One of the birthplaces of mountain biking is set to hold a top tier downhill race in mid September — and it will coincide with the area’s annual Chili and Beer Festival.

Colorado’s Crested Butte Mountain Resort has teamed up with Monster Energy and Budweiser to put on the annual Gravity Slave Downhill Mountain Bike Race. This year’s event, slated for September 7-8, will take place on the expert black diamond rated Avery trail and have a $2,000 cash purse for the winners of the men’s and women’s open pro classes.

The race is in part a showcase of Crested Butte’s Evolution Bike Park, which is one of the best in the state, with 18 trails covering 25 miles. Here’s a look at what racer’s can expect:

“Racing has been an important part of the history of riding in Crested Butte and has helped guide the development of the Evolution Bike Park over the past 5 years,” explained Christian Robertson, who runs the Evolution Bike Park. “Avery is a really fun track that has proven to be a test for racers of all abilities. With some new features at the bottom it will again showcase the best riders on race day. Plus September is such a great time of year to be riding in Crested Butte.”

Race Registration is now available online at The $50 registration fee includes a race day lift ticket for Sunday, September 8 and a chance to win a raffle prize at the awards party following the race.

Racers interested in getting in some pre-riding can head to the Evolution Bike Park on Friday, September 6 for the weekly Free Twilight Ride from 4-7 p.m. and/or buy a $15 racer lift ticket for Saturday.

Qualifying for the pro category is set for Saturday afternoon, followed the next day by course training from 8:30-10 a.m., and then the finals on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Categories include open pro men and women, plus amateur age groups for 12 and under, 13-18, 19-29, 30-49, and 50+. Prizes will be given to the top three in each amateur category.

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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