CTS Sand Creek International Classic

, | UltraRob | Saturday, June 6th, 2009 at 9:42 am

Cougar's Shadow at Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Update: Pro XCT Race Report | Short Track Race Report

CTS Sand Creek International Classic Course MapNext weekend will have the most competitive mountain bike racing Colorado Springs has seen. The CTS Sand Creek International Classic is being held at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. It is one of only 7 mountain bike races in the US this year with international ranking points. Most of the top mountain biking Pros are registered to race.

The race isn’t just for the Pros. It’s part of the Sand Creek Series and will have all of the categories. See the race flyer for start times and number of laps. Pre-entry online is encouraged and closes on Wednesday.

Although we have some better mountain biking trails, the Cheyenne Mountain SP course is nice. For a race of this level, there needs to be easy access and room for an expo area. For those reasons, Cheyenne Mountains SP was chosen.

CTS Sand Creek International Classic Course ProfileMost of the 1st half of the course is climbing. There’s a little up and down across the top before descending back to the start/finish. When I rode it, I got 5.02 miles and 1,070 feet of climbing. The official course GPS track has 4.9 miles and 960 feet.

Cheyenne Mountain from Cheyenne Mountain State ParkThe lower part of the course is open with plenty of places to pass. It’ll be hard to pass on the first part of Cougar’s Shadow but it’s possible to pass just before it on the Blackmer Loop.

Originally the rocky, technical Medicine Wheel Trail was part of the course. It was taken out due to concerns about it being a bottle neck at the start of the race.

The lower trails have been covered with crushed limestone to reduce mud. When it’s dry, it can be easy to slide on it. Some of the upper parts of Blackmer Loop and Cougar’s Shadow don’t have the limestone.

Rock Garden at Zook Loop and Blackmer LoopMost of the course is non-technical but there are some tricky rock sections on Cougar’s Shadow. There’s a rock garden at the junction of Zook Loop and Blackmer Loop. The course designer told me he thought it would be faster to run it but I was able to easily ride it without slowing much.

I’ve created a Google Map of the CTS Sand Creek International Classic course. If you click on the camera icons, you’ll get photos of that part of the course.

The USA Cycling National Series Short Track Cross Country race is also Friday afternoon/evening. It will be held at Bear Creek Terrace on some of the same trails as the Wednesday evening Sand Creek races.

Related Links: Pro XCT Race Report | Short Track Race Report

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4 Responses to “CTS Sand Creek International Classic”

  1. Jeremy says:

    that is a pretty good course. wish i was going to be in town to check out the event, should be a good time!

  2. Fonk says:

    Wish I'd be around just to check it out as a spectator, but unfortunately we leave for MN on Friday.

  3. Matt Benassi says:

    ah you can ride the rock garden–there will be a few surprises on the course with some of the easy lines removed with caution tape at the rock garden and up on cougars shadow come race day.

  4. [...] are to use the same cross country course as last year. I don’t yet know what the courses will be for the other 2 races but the [...]

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