UCI Bike Race This Weekend At Soldier Hollow Brings In High Level Competitors
The Soldier Hollow Bike Festival runs Thursday through Sunday. They’re expecting more than 600 mountain bike racers, including some of the best riders in North America. It’ll showcase top level mountain bike racing as well as an abundance of activities.
Soldier Hollow Bike Fest Race Director and Director of the Summit Bike Club, MJ Turner has organized the four-day mountain bike stage race. This will be the third year and he says it’s ranked as an S-1 event with UCI cycling.
“So, there’s only one level higher that you can go to. And then beyond that you’re at World Cup. So, one of the top in the country and top in North America.”
Turner says, in preparation, they’ve put in more than a hundred hours of trail work at Soldier Hollow.
“There’s been a bunch of different trails that have been used for like horse riding, Nordic skiing. Just getting them cleaned up and little more safe for the biking too. This year we have one lap that's 18 1/2 miles.”
Park City native, Keegan Swenson races for Stans Pivot Pro Team Maxxis. Swenson now lives in Heber and he arrived home Monday, after winning the Whiskey 50 in Arizona last weekend. He trains in California during Utah’s cold, snowy months. Training and race schedules have kept him away from home since the end of December.
“Then I went to Greece in February for two stage races, to kick off the season. And then we had more races in California in March. And then I went to Mexico in early April for the Pan Am championships, which is basically like the north and south America championships, more or less. We went to Monterrey California for the Sea Otter Classic and then from there, we went to Arizona for the Whiskey 50."
Swenson says he’s excited to be on his home turf for this race. His family and friends will be able to attend, and he’ll be able to sleep in his own bed. And, if he does well, it could be good for his Olympic hopes for 2020.
“And then, this year, it’s a UCI stage race. Which means it helps qualify points for the world ranking which then in turn helps qualify spots for the US Olympic team for Tokyo. So it's awesome that they’re putting on this race close to home.”
The first race event is Thursday, go to the sohobikefest.com for a complete run down of the race and all the activities going on at Soldier Hollow.