Waterville Valley Resort set to offer ‘Most Spectacular Bike Race’ in September
JOHN KOZIOL Union Leader Correspondent
WATERVILLE VALLEY — Waterville Valley Resort next month will host what is being billed as “The World’s Most Spectacular Bike Race,” the inaugural Pinnacle Bike Championship.
The brainchild of HQ Entities’ founder Mark Rodgers, a South Californian with lots of experience in professional mountain biking, the Pinnacle will feature a decidedly unusual format: rather than each racer coming down individually, the racers will come down in groups of ten.
Hurtling downward at speeds of up to 60 mph, the racers will tackle a course that comes down the Upper Bobby’s Run slope, then traverses White Cap, Upper Sel’s Choice, Utter Abandon to Exhibition, from which it’s a straight shot down into the courtyard.
During the expected three-minute run, the racers will drop 1,500 feet in height, navigate a passing-friendly track, rough and steep terrain, 40-foot drops and gap jumps of up to 70 feet.
One hundred of the world’s top riders have been invited to participate in the Pinnacle, which will be held rain or shine at Waterville Valley Resort on Sept. 19 and 20, and which will be webcast live by Pinkbike, which is a leader in sports-action webcasting. The race will also be filmed for broadcast on television sometime in October.
“We wanted to create a spectacular race here in the USA that would entertain bike fans like nothing out there and showcase the talents of the riders in a head-to-head format,” said Rodgers. “These world-class athletes are skilled bike handlers who, with the advanced technology of their equipment, have the ability to blow people away. With the world’s best riders set to race, Pinnacle is an event no one will want to miss.”
Chris Sununu, CEO of Waterville Valley Resort, said the resort, set in White Mountain National Forest, worked closely with the U.S. Forest Service and Rodgers to plan the race.
“Waterville Valley Resort is very excited to be hosting the Pinnacle Bike Championship, one of the most elite downhill mountain bike races in North America,” said Sununu. “This event will be unlike anything many people in New England have ever seen. It will be an incredible weekend of outdoor entertainment.”
Peter Sununu, Waterville Valley Resort’s marketing communications coordinator, on Thursday said Rodgers visited the resort earlier this year and was impressed by its wide slopes, topography, good dirt and location of natural obstacles, like trees and boulders, all of which lends itself to a made-for-TV spectacle and for some choice racing.
Sununu added that Rodgers also chose to come to Waterville Valley because it is, overall, centrally located, given how far-flung the racers are.
“That first time walking down the course, he (Rodgers) was just really impressed by the contours, rock and dirt. You could tell,” said Sununu, “that he had found the perfect spot.”
Tickets for the Pinnacle Bike Championship can be purchased at www.PinnacleChampionship.com. Information about the race can also be found www.facebook.com/PinnacleChampionship ; Twitter @PinnacleChamps ; and Instagram @PinnacleChamps.