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Mountain Biking, Racing

Stone Temple 8 XC endurance mountain bike race rolls at Gowdy this fall

Laramie local Gwynn Barrows on the Stone Temple Circuit at Curt Gowdy State Park, some of the terrain that will be used for the 2012 Stone Temple 8

(May 31, 2012) LARAMIE, Wyo.—Wyoming riders will once again saddle up for the eight-hour Stone Temple 8 (ST8) endurance mountain bike race on September 29 at Curt Gowdy State Park.

Race logistics are being hammered out by the Laramie Enduro and Overland Mountain Bike Club. The two groups have combined forces to co-sponsor the grassroots ST8, which was on hiatus in 2011.

“We’re trying to re-create the kind of race atmosphere riders experienced 20-25 years ago when mountain bike racing was young,” says Laramie Enduro President Rich Vincent. “We want riders to have fun and get a good bang for their buck.”

The Curt Gowdy trail system was designed and rated “Epic” by the International Mountain Biking Association. The trails are well suited for high caliber cross country racing with a mix of climbs, fast and fluid singletrack, and plenty of demanding granite features including slabs of granite slickrock.

“ST8 is technical for a cross country type of affair,” says Dave Chase, owner of Redstone Cyclery in Lyons, Colo. “It’s a kick-ass course – not the usual climb up some fire roads then a loop back around on some singletrack. Good people, no egos whatsoever, and we’re all stoked to be racing there at the end of the season.”

ST8 will not be invite-only as it has been in previous years, though volunteers in the Wyoming and Colorado race-communities will likely get first shot at registering.

“Volunteering throughout the year will give you a leg up on getting into the race, especially if you have helped either Overland Mountain Bike Club or cycling/trail related efforts in southeast Wyoming, you stand a much better chance to get into the race,” says Vincent. “This has always been our way of thanking those people who volunteer for other races, trail days, and others that have always been the ‘go-to’ people you can count on.”

Concurrent with 2012 ST8, high school mountain bikers will conclude the first ever Wyoming High School Mountain Bike Race Series, also Vincent’s brainchild, at Curt Gowdy. Racers in grades 11 and 12 will ride one lap of the full ST8 race course while those in grades 7-10 will ride laps on the Stone Temple Circuit trail. All kids in grades 7-12, whether from Wyoming or not, are welcome to race. The entry fee for the high school races will be $5-$10.

“It’ll be fall in the Rockies and this is a great way to say goodbye to summer,” says Vincent. “Bring your teenagers to race in the high school race and when they’re done they can make it a family affair and support their parents.”

Stone Temple 8 race details (subject to change)

  • Registration: early August
  • Race loop: 13-16 miles in length
  • Entry fee: $50 per rider; less for teams; a possible discount for high school and college students
  • Field size: 150-200 riders
  • Classes: solo men and women; men and women teams; mixed gender teams; singlespeed class for each gender (if there is enough demand)
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