Utah State Championship Series Opens Season Pass Sales
Written by: Shannon Boffeli
After a successful first season, the Utah State Championship
Series (USCS) is preparing to amp it up in 2012. They recently unveiled their
2012 schedule including more 50-milers and a new venue around Heber City, Utah.
In its second year, the Utah State Championship Series is
offering up 4 races including itís wildly successful Alpine circuit race,
a cross country event
in Park City, and two 50-milers in Draper and Heber City.
Both 50-milers will be utilizing killer new singletrack and courses that are
well over 80% one track.
Presented by Ford, the USCS paid out over $17,000 in cash
and prizes to all riders beginner to pro in 2011 and more is in store this
season. Proving to be more than just race promoters, the series brain trust of
Ty Hansen, Drew Free, Bob Saffell, and Shannon Boffeli donated $5,000 of entry
fees to the Huntsman Cancer Institute, money that will go directly to cancer
The first season of the Utah State Championship Series saw
900 participants in the 4-race series, a number guaranteed to increase in 2012.
The fun kicks off on April 28th with the Alpine
circuit race located in Lambert Park. The race features a short-course cross
country track with high-speed technical descending and fun for any level of
Next the series heads to Park City, Utah, on June 23rd,
for a more traditional length cross country event on the winding, wildflower
and sage-lined trails of Round Valley.
The Wasatch Back 50 is the third race and newest event in
the series. The WB 50 will feature a 50-mile point-to-point race traversing the
Wasatch Mountains around Heber City and Midway, Utah. Riders will be treated to
miles and miles of new singletrack intermixed with sections of old favorites
like the Barrel trail in Wasatch State Park. The race will finish at the
world-renowned Homestead Resort in Midway. Race starts the morning of July 21st.
When asked why they decided to move the 50-miler from Park
City to nearby Heber City Ty Hansen had this to say, "The PC50 was a fun event that received great reviews from
racers but we wanted to create an event that was unique to Utah. The Wasatch
Back 50 (WB50) utilizes trails that most local riders haven't ridden or raced
on so it seemed like the perfect venue for a new race.Ē
The season finale will once again be held at Draperís Corner
Canyon trail system on September 15th. Version 2.0 will feature a 50-mile race
replacing last yearís distance of 36 miles and a later date, which should keep
the temperature lower on race day. The course will include many of the same
popular trails featured in 2011 with the addition of new flowing sections of
dirt on the Anneís trail loop.
Utah State Championship Series season passes are currently
on sale. Riders can enjoy all 4 races for the affordable price of just $170.
Thatís two 50-milers and two cross country events for less than the price of some one-day races. Click Here to visit the
USCS website and purchase a season pass or individual race entries.
Read our entire interview with co-series directors Ty Hansen
and Drew Free below:
MTB Race News: Why did you decide to start
another series in Utah?
Ty Hansen: We (Bob Saffell, Drew Free,
Shannon Boffelli, and Ty Hansen) love riding and racing bikes so what better
way to enjoy that than create a series of races? The discussion started at the
Intermountain Cup Stan Crane race two years ago about changing the way we race
mountain bikes in Utah. All four of us have raced cross country, circuit races
, and endurance events for a long time and felt that we had the ability to
create a series that challenged riders in a new way. We wanted to see a series
that used all three cross county formats to determine who the best overall
riders are in the state and eventually the Inter-mountain region.
MTB Race News: What makes your series
Using all three cross country formats to determine best overall rider.
Cheaper entry fees and no online registration fees...it's only $170 for all
four races which includes two 50 milers!
Payout: $10,000 pro racers baseline payout for the series plus all pro
registration fee goes back into the purse. Equal pro payout for men and women.
MTB Race News- Which course is your
Drew Free - We have a new venue this
year that I am very excited about. The WB50 (Wasatch Back 50) will
take place in the Heber Valley. Heber and Midway have gone to great
lengths the last few years to establish some phenomenal trails that
we are very excited to showcase. The community has been fantastic and
really supported this race.
venue that I love will host our Fall Classic 50. Draper City
has dedicated a ton of resources to building quality
trails. Our Fall Classic 50 will provide an amazing course with
plenty of room for passing, plenty of climbing and some
ripping descents. That along with the combination of the fall
weather, and buff, fast single track this should make this an event to get
really excited about for years to come.
MTB Race News: What are your goals for the
series this season?
Ty Hansen: To keep things fresh. 2011
was a great success but we want to change things up and keep racers guessing.
We are really challenging ourselves to make the series unique from the way it
is run to the courses we use.
MTB Race News: What about the series
surprised you most in 2011?
Drew Free: Support from our local
community. We were very fortunate to have Ford step up and become our
title sponsor in our inaugural year. Their sponsorship along with that of
Academy Mortgage allowed us to create a first class series in
2011. With a pro purse of $8,000 plus 100% of the pro entry going toward
pro payout we are creating a top level series that in our first year drew
riders from CA, ID, WY, CO, UT, NV and other surrounding states. Word is
spreading in the biking community and sure to bring many great riders to
the races in 2012.
MTB Race News: what was your favorite
surprise of the 2011 season?
Drew Free: Support from our local
riders. They were excited about the series and the opportunity it brought
to race some new venues and a little different format than they were used to.
With 4 very distinct races we had different riders shine at each of the
races. The PC50 sold out in its first year and I am sure that the same
excitement that surrounded it will surround the WB50. Support also came
in way of our kids series. Our first race in 2011 had over 40
kids in the under 12 category. Who says mountain biking is dead.
MTB Race News: What would you most like to
see happen in the 2012 season?
Drew Free: Growth and respect in
the sport. Mountain Biking is a great sport and the community that
surrounds it is as diverse as the bikes we ride. Our goal with MTB Race
Productions is to create an environment that promotes and grows the sport but
also gives back. Whether that is through trail building, supporting local
business, or simply being respectful to other trail users. If we
want this sport to continue to grow like we all believe it can and will we have
to do things outside of just riding.
MTB Race News: what will people be talking
about after they finish the Wasatch Back 50?
Drew Free: People will be surprised by
the quality of riding. We have been out on numerous occasions with the
Wasatch Trails Alliance and have had an opportunity to ride the current trail
system as well as see the plans for the future. Wasatch Trails has
been working hard to build some quality trails and have big
plans for the future development of the trail system in the Heber Valley.
As far as the course itself, the big climb up lime canyon towards the end of
the race is going to hurt. It is a climb that will definitely surprise
some people and as a result I think a lot of buzz will be how they felt up that
last big climb.