Carson City Off-Road named nation’s best bike race in first year

The Pro Women's criterium podium.

The Pro Women's criterium podium.

The Carson City Off-Road was named the best mountain bike race in the nation during the Interbike International Bicycle Exposition on Thursday evening in Las Vegas.

“This is great news for us,” said Joel Dunn, executive director of the Carson City Visitors Bureau, from the event. “This award proves what we’ve already known — that we have world-class bike trails with stunning mountain and Lake Tahoe vistas. Now, we will have the chance to showcase them on an international level.”

The Carson City Off-Road, one of three in the Epic Rides mountain bike series, was hosted in the capital city June 17-19. It was named the Interbike Domestic Mountain Bike Race of the Year by editors of industry magazine Velo News.

“ …Mountain bike racers have always moved to the beat of their own tribe,” the website explains. “It’s not so much about points — it’s about getting dirty, having fun and regional bragging rights. This award recognizes mountain bike races across the country that take racing in the dirt to a new level.”

Todd Sadow, president of Epic Rides, said the Carson City Off-Road does just that.

“What really separates the Off-Road Series from other events is that it’s far more than just a mountain bike event,” Sadow said. “It’s a celebration of community, offering three days of free live music and beer gardens for everyone to enjoy regardless of whether one rides a mountain bike. And for those who do ride, each event Expo showcases the industry’s most innovative mountain bike gear while making it a terrific experiential marketing platform for event sponsors.”

Carson City Manager Nick Marano, who also attended the award ceremony, said the race highlighted a successful collaboration.

“The Carson City Off-Road is a great event that showcases the world-class recreation opportunities in our backyard,” Marano said. “The inaugural race was the success it was because of a great partnership between Epic Rides, the Carson City Visitors Bureau and the city. The mayor and board of supervisors were enthusiastic proponents of this race series, and I want to thank them and especially all the city employees who made this race such an outstanding event.”

Dunn said the award validates the bureau’s recent efforts to brand Carson City as a recreation destination.

“We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world, and the world is starting to notice,” Dunn said. “We have been fortunate to work with the likes of Todd Sadow, one of the leaders in this industry.”

He also pointed to trail builders and other volunteers who made the bike race possible.

“This isn’t our vision alone,” he said. “Volunteers put in thousands of hours to build the Ash to Kings Canyon Trail, advocate for a better-linked trail system and create the kind of community tourists want to visit each year.”

The Carson City Off-Road drew about 600 bikers, including 85 professionals. In all about 2,000 people attended, according to Dunn.

In a five-year partnership with Epic Rides, Dunn said, he expects about 2,000 riders by 2021.

“I can’t wait for next year’s race,” said Kurt Meyer, event leader for the Carson City Off-Road. “I am happy to be a part of the Epic Ride’s team. We will only get better every year.”


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