It’s a busy weekend at an upstate resort. Windham Mountain is playing host to the Mountain Bike World Cup.
Windham in Greene County’s Catskills is part of an international elite mountain bike race series called "The World Cup," one of nine stops worldwide and the only U.S. venue. Windham Mountain Resort President and General Manager Chip Seamans: "This is our biggest event of the summer. It truly takes a community to put this on. We partner with Windham Area Recreation Foundation who organized this the last three times it was here - it takes hundreds of volunteers in all aspects of putting on the event."
UCI Windham World Cup Race Director Lori Torgersen says Saturday and Sunday are chock full of action events. "We have the elite athletes on Saturday racing what's called 'downhill' - those are the races where they ride the lifts to the top of the mountain and they have some pretty serious machinery in terms of their bicycles and big heavy duty helmets and they race the clock to the bottom of the mountain in speeds in excess of 40 and 50 mph over treacherous terrain. Sunday the big event is the cross-country Olympic race, that's the endurance race. These guys are the super super fit athletes who ride from the bottom of the mountain to the top and back down again on about a three-mile course, seven laps each."
Organizers say there’s a festival atmosphere on site. "We have a kid's race on Saturday, 2-year-olds to 12 years old, racing here under the big start/finish structure where the elite athletes race, then we have something called the red bull berm burner's pump[ track challenge. It's a dirt pump track and these guys are racing over bumps and berms and its a really spectator-friendly event."
Torgersen adds there will be a dee-jay, laser light show and fireworks all at Windham's back-patio area.
Seamans says it's a great advantage to being a World Cup sport, which has helped Windham move forward with development of a lift-serviced mountain bike park for riders of a wide variety of skills, ages, and interests.
"Next summer we'll open two brand new trails in addition tot he world cup trails that already exist. So part of the attraction is people who wanna come and ride the World Cup trails, that's the higher level folks, and then we're building the lower level terrain for folks who aren't quite as skilled as the best athletes in the world. We will have rental bikes available, we will lessons available for people who are just starting."
Seamans says Bike Park is an important component of the resort’s ongoing commitment to transition to a year-round destination. The hope is to attract downhill mountain biking enthusiasts from across the country, and around the world. Lori Torgeson adds tonight there's a block party and parade in downtown Windham. "We close off the main street and we have all sorts of performers: fire jugglers, a bike stunt performer, a band, a unicyclist - all sorts of things going on..."
Click to view the WORLD CUP TRIPLE SCHEDULE (XCE/XCO/DHI) [PDF format]
FRIDAY, AUGUST 8 - WINDHAM BLOCK PARTY DETOUR : This detour will be in effect on Friday, August 8 from 6 pm until midnight.
Access from the West - at the intersection of State Route 23 and South Street, commercial vehicles and larger vehicles will be directed onto South Street, to State Route 296 and back onto Route 23 East. State Route 23 will be open for local traffic to Church Street, where it is closed. There will be limited local traffic on Church Street.
Access from the East - commercial vehicles and larger vehicles will be routed onto State Route 296, then onto South Street to State Route 23 Westbound. Local traffic will have access to Mitchell Hollow Road and there will be limited local access on Mill Street.
Broadcast Schedule Universal Sports (USN)
8/8 - 9–10 PM ET: XCE Women and Men Elite
8/9 - 8-10 PM ET: DHI Women and Men Elite
8/10 - 8–10 PM ET: XCO Women and Men Elite