Over the long history of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, mountain biking has been in the mix while Durango, Colorado shaped the sport’s early days.
For the event’s 40th anniversary this coming Memorial Day weekend, mountain biking is back in the line up. The race will start May 29 in downtown Durango with a lap length of approximately seven miles that includes flowing singletrack, steep climbs and fast downhills.
What makes mountain biking in Durango even more special is its place in history. Durango was home to the first internationally sanctioned UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in 1990, which was won by homeboy Ned Overend. World Cup races were held there for both the cross-country and the downhill in 2001.
Overall, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic for 2011 is a weekend full of racing on and off the dirt. The event will once again showcase its premier ride to Silverton pitting cyclist against the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in a 50-mile ride climbing 6,700 feet over two 10,000-foot mountain passes.
In addition to the Classic and mountain bike race, the weekend has a host of other cycling events including the 25 mile Quarter Horse to Purgatory Tour, Downtown Criterium, Time Trial, Cruiser Crit, Kids Race and Bike Swap. The event will also celebrate 40 years with artwork, photos, video, and guests spanning four decades at the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Train Museum May 29 2011 at 7 pm.
For a great rundown on the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic’s history, check out this web site.