Mountain Bike Series comes to Park City

By By James Francis, Staff Writer

By James Francis, Staff Writer

The boisterous Dew Tour might have come and gone, but in its wake comes yet another high-octane affair with the arrival of the Jeep 48STRAIGHT Mountain Bike Series.

The Canyons Resort in Park City will be holding a three-part Mountain Biking Series on Friday and Saturday. The series began in August in New Jersey and continues in Utah before finishing up in California in October. It is one of North America’s most prestigious and highest paying biking tours. There is a deal in the works to eventually broadcast the entire series on CBS.

Billed as an event that seeks “to empower Utahns to celebrate and connect with the outdoor lifestyle,” the two-day event will feature a range of competitions, including both dual slalom and cyclocross biking races, in addition to live music and environmental awareness activities.

The Dual Slalom race and its $100,000 grand prize will be a highlight of the series, as it features both World and National Champion riders. The Dual Slalom is a head-to-head race, in which two competitors race down parallel obstacle courses in an effort to establish the fastest time. The slowest racer in each matchup is eliminated until the final two racers are left and then pitted against each other to determine the champion.

The majority of the contenders are from California, but some hail from places as far away as Great Britain, Australia and South Africa. The series also features Chris Van Dine of Park City, who has taken home 20 titles in almost every style of mountain biking.

Any intrepid students looking for five minutes of fame should note there is an open qualifier for the Dual Slalom race Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., but you must be a professional or semi-professional rider to enter.

If the lure of fresh mountain air and intense, fast-paced mountain biking is not enough to entice people up to The Canyons for the weekend, there is also a performance by the indie band Rogue Wave at the end of the event Saturday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The series is free and open to the public.

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The Jeep48STRAIGHT Mountain Bike Series will be holding an event this Friday and Saturday in Park City.