Mountain Biking Goes 'Full Tilt In Telluride' This Weekend

by D. Dion

_T9J9432 The first time Full Tilt came to Mountain Village, I went up to see my friend race on the downhill course. She is a pro downhill mountain biker, but I hadn’t ever watched a race, and even though I sat with her as she put on her padded suit of body armor I still was in disbelief as I hiked up the course. It looked impossible to ride, full of huge drops, severe turns and impenetrable trees and rocks. Could this be the actual course?

It was. This was probably ten years ago, and already mountain biking had progressed far beyond the old hard-tail bikes and slow, smooth rides I started on. Front shocks, rear shocks, beefy wheel hubs and a full-face helmet—and the body armor—pushed the sport to a whole new level. You could have fit a Subaru beneath some of the jumps my friend went off that day, and the wipeouts were so spectacular that I wished I’d brought a video camera. I was hooked.

_T9J9477-Edit The course made an impression on more than just me—Full Tilt has returned every year since then. The downhill bike crowd was enamored with the free gondola ride to the top of the mountain and the great riding, and soon the event was a regular stop in the Mountain States Cup series. In 2002, the race was a World Cup event, and the courses built that year have become a permanent part of the terrain in Mountain Village’s new Mountain Bike Park. This summer’s Aug. 20-22 Full Tilt Downhill and Cross-Country races will not just be a part of the Mountain States Cup, they will also be qualifiers for the national championship.

Saturday’s events include the Super-D and Cross-Country races, and on Sunday riders will compete in the Hill Climb and Downhill races. Mountain Village event organizers are excited to showcase the bike park, which has been constructed over the last two years and includes new cross-country courses. “We are looking forward to featuring the Mountain Village Bike Park to the dedicated athletes in this industry,” said Recreation Director Tony Forrest. “Without a doubt, every rider is in for a treat.”

Interested in racing? The best way to register for the event is online. The online registration deadline is Thursday, August 19 at 7 a.m. Printable forms are also available for download on the Mountain States Cup website; forms may be e-mailed to info@racemsc.com no later than Wednesday, August 18 at 5 p.m.—no faxes.. On-site registration will be available at the Hop Garden in Mountain Village beginning Friday, August 20.

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