Vail Recreation District offers cyclocross clinics, first-ever cyclocross race

By Real Vail
September 6, 2012

The Vail Recreation District (VRD) will extend its cycling race season this fall with the addition of a youth and adult cyclocross clinic, as well as its first-ever Cyclocross Race for ages 10 and older.

The Jake Wells Cyclocross Clinics will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8 for adults and Sunday, Sept. 9 for youth, while the Cyclocross Race will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at Maloit Park in Minturn.

The Jake Wells Cyclocross Clinic will be taught at Maloit Park in Minturn by American professional racer Jake Wells who is a national champion mountain bike racer and consistently one of the top cyclocross and mountain bike racers in Colorado. He has finished in the top 15 at both the U.S. Cyclocross and Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships.

Wells' clinic is geared to give participants all the tools needed to enjoy a successful cyclocross race season and are targeted toward beginner, intermediate and advanced cross racers. Adult clinic participants will enjoy four hours of training from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, while youth participants will learn and grow as cyclocross racers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Costs are $100 for adults and $60 for youth, with each clinic participant receiving instruction on equipment, technique and tactics, plus a free entry for the Sept. 12 race. Cyclocross bikes are not required for the clinics.

According to clinic instructor and the VRD's cyclocross race course designer, Jake Wells, he's extremely excited to team up with the Vail Rec District again this cross season.

"With the addition of the kid's clinic and the CX race we are offering something for all levels of riders," said Wells. "This speaks volumes to the growing presence of Cyclocross here in the Vail Valley. We hope to continue to grow this niche of the sport and extend the cycling season in the high country."

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, racers will have one last opportunity to compete in a VRD cycling event during the VRD Cyclocross Race at Maloit Park in Minturn. According to Wells, cyclocross races consists of many laps, approximately 1.5 to 2 miles each, on a course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstructions and remount.

Similar to short track races, each category will race for 15 to 40 minutes, completing as many laps as possible. Youth racers, ages 10 to 15, will kick off the race at 5 p.m. and race for 15 minutes, while the "never evers" and beginner racers will take off at 5:20 p.m.

Then sport racers will take off at 5:45 p.m. and finishing with pro and open race at 6:20 p.m. The beginners and never evers will race for 20 minutes, sport for 30 minutes and the pro and open category for 45 minutes.

Costs are $15 for preregistered adults or $20 on race day and $5 for preregistered youth racers or $10 on race day. Cyclocross bikes are not required to race, but Wells encourages racers to utilize a lighter-weight bike with less knobby tires to assist with efficiency during the race.

VRD Sports and Event Sponsorship Manager Beth Pappas says she is excited to extend the race season and offer participants a great way to kick-off the cyclocross season.

"Just when you think the cycling season is over in the Vail Valley, we're able to offer one last race to get local and visiting racer's hearts pumping," said Pappas.

"We're thrilled to partner with Jake and hope people take advantage of the clinics to prepare themselves for the cyclocross race."

Registration for the cyclocross race is available by clicking here and will be available onsite Sept. 12 at 4:30 p.m. Following the race, an after party will take place at The Saloon in Minturn where each racer will receive a free beer from Bud Light and be entered into a raffle for prizes. Additionally, the top three in each category will also be recognized.

Sponsors of the VRD's cyclocross race include at the Athletic Club at the Westin, East West Resorts, Vail Valley Medical Center, Central Rockies Mortgage and Apex Dental.

Additional information and registration for both the clinics and cyclocross race is available by going to or by calling the VRD at 970-479-2280. For details on all other activities available with the VRD, visit

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