Delaying Epic Rides Carson City Off Road pays off

When the decision was made to push back the Epic Rides Carson City Off Road mountain bike series event a couple of weeks, organizers knew they were taking somewhat of a risk.

With the winter’s heavy snow, organizers decided to provide for a couple of more weeks for the snow to melt in the hopes that when the riders come this week they would still be able to take part in the area’s beautiful backcountry. Mission accomplished as the event’s backcountry course has been cleared of snow for the most part.

“Oh for sure,” said event director Kurt Meyer when asked if pushing the event back to this weekend, Friday through Sunday, has worked out. “It was definitely the right decision to make to get people up to the backcountry to see all the beautiful country.”

The event will again provide options of 15-, 35- and 50-mile courses (the 50-mile course is actually 52 miles). The course will be used for the amateurs during the Capitol 50 back country ride on Saturday and then for the pro races on Sunday.

Epic Rides President Todd Sadow said the amateurs will have a chance to ride the same course as the pros so they can evaluate how they compare with the pros. The course will include The Flume Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail although it won’t go up to Marlette Peak as there’s still too much snow there.

But there’s still a chance the riders will have to get off their bikes to navigate the course where there is still snow, something that’s become part of the Carson City Off Road experience.

Meyer said it’s been a privilege working with the Nevada Department of Transportation and other official to get the course ready. Whether it was intentional or not as far as the weather it looks like organizers couldn’t have picked a better weekend.

Highs throughout the weekend in Carson City and the mountains are expected to range from the 60s to 80 with overnight lows in the high 40s, so riders should experience somewhat of a morning chill when they take off for the pro race on Sunday morning.

Conditions for Friday’s Yucateco Fat Tire Criteriums through downtown Carson City should be perfect, likely in the 60s.

It was hoped the event would have 1,200 riders this year but with the change in dates it will again have about 900 riders, the same amount as last year. Registration is still being taken for the event. Meyer admitted there was “a little bump” when it came to registration.

But the field of pro riders is as strong as ever, especially on the women’s side, including world champion Kate Courtney and Olympians Catherine Pendrel, who’s also a past world champion, and Chloe Woodruff. The 2017 Carson City Off Road champion, Rose Grant, is in the field as well.

“On the women’s side, it’s really intense,” Sadow said. “The women’s field is extremely loaded. There’s a lot of talent. It will be anybody’s going into the races on Friday and Saturday. It will be really exciting for fans watching the races.”

On the men’s side, top riders include Russell Finsterwald, Keegan Swenson, who won the Epic Rides Whiskey Off-Road in Prescott, Ariz., in April, Payson McElveen and 2018 Carson City Off Road champion Benjamin Sonntag.

Sadow said the event is beginning to attract top gravel and road racers as well, such as Alexei Vermeulen, who’s in the field. Another top gravel and road racer is Josh Berry.

“This is his kind of course,” said Sadow about Berry.

Total prize money for the event, which is split equally between the men and the women, is $32,000. Yucateco is partnering with such restaurants as The Martin Hotel, the Fox Brewpub and the Cracker Box featuring dishes that include its hot sauces and recipes.

Keller Williams will be the featured entertainment on Saturday night and will bring his Tom Petty-inspired project titled Keller Williams PettyGrass to perform.

Sadow also said the event will feature its largest bike and demo expo with more than 40 vendors. For information, including the schedule, visit


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