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Spots still open in Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

IHBC encourages riders to register before it's too late
Cyclists compete in the women’s Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Coca-Cola Road Race to Silverton last year. Online registration for this year’s events closes on Wednesday. (Durango Herald file)

Race organizers for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic are encouraging riders to register for the event sooner rather than later. Taking place May 26-28, spots are still available in all of the IHBC’s races, but registration numbers are approaching the event’s 50th anniversary edition last year, which saw the McDonald’s and Coca-Cola Road Race events sell out.

In addition to the classic Durango-Silverton events, the Iron Horse also offers road riders the 25-mile Quarter Horse to Purgatory Resort as well as the E-bike Citizen’s Tour.

Out on the trails, mountain bikers can take on the Subaru Mountain Bike Race or the Alpine Bank La Strada La Plata Gravel Race.

Online registration closes on Wednesday, but people will be able to register in-person at the packet pickup from 1-7 p.m. on Friday at Chapman Hill.

Short-track mountain bike races at Chapman, similar to last year’s Roostmaster, will kick off the action this year at 5 p.m. on Friday. The event will feature Durango’s top elite women and men racers competing for a first-place prize of $1,000.

“We can’t wait to host this amazing weekend of bike racing in Durango on Memorial Day weekend again this year,” race director Ian Burnett said. “We are going back to some of our roots by hosting (mountain biking) at Chapman Hill with an in town venue again.”

The mountain bike course will begin and end at Chapman Hill this year, challenging riders on Lion’s Den and Rim trails, which were part of the 2001 UCI World Cup event, while spectators can enjoy music and a beer garden at the base of Chapman Hill. The gravel race will also start and end at Chapman Hill. The gravel race will start at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday and the first wave of mountain bikers will start shortly after at 9 a.m.

The backbone of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is the Durango-Silverton route, where riders “race the train” over two mountain passes for a total of 50 miles and 5,700 feet of elevation gain. The road race will start at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday (Mat 27).

Durango Hot Springs will also have four mobile cold plunge tubs for the bikers at the finish line in Silverton, encouraging the athletes to begin their post-race recovery with a two to four-minute cold-plunge.

“Recovery begins as soon as you cross the finish line, so what better way to support Iron Horse Bicycle Classic racers than with a post-race cold plunge?” said Mason Quick, operations manager for Durango Hot Springs.