Northstar to host Tara Llanes Classic mountain bike race benefit | SierraSun.com

Northstar to host Tara Llanes Classic mountain bike race benefit

Special to the Sun

Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort will again host the Tara Llanes Classic on Oct. 2-3.

The benefit race serves as the Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort race series finale, and is open to downhill mountain bike competitors of all abilities.

Proceeds from the race and activities associated with the weekend will support the Tara Llanes Road to Recovery Fund and the Reeve-Irvine Research Center to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.

In September 2007, Llanes, a professional mountain bike racer, was left paralyzed from the waist down as a result of injuries suffered in a crash while competing in the Jeep King of the Mountain event in Beaver Creek, Colo.

The Tara Llanes Classic, began when friends of the injured pro started the event to help raise money for her medical bills. Four years later, the event has grown to now provide charitable medical assistance to professional mountain bike athletes who compete in downhill, 4X, dual slalom and cross-country events, and to support the efforts of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center as it searches for a cure for spinal cord injury.

This yearand#8217;s event will feature activities for all ages, including an expo at mid-mountain both days, a Shimano Kidsand#8217; Race on Saturday, downhill clinics offered by Giant Bicycle DH pro Duncan Riffle, a premiere screening Saturday night of the highly anticipated mountain bike film, and#8220;Life Cycles,and#8221; and a huge prize raffle with hundreds of items on Sunday, Oct. 3.

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The race also takes place on Sunday, with competitors racing on a 4-mile-long, World Cup-style DH course featuring an 1,800-foot descent that begins at Northstar Resortand#8217;s summit and ends at mid-mountain.

Pro- and Expert-level riders will ride a different course than those competing in the Sport and Beginner categories.

Donations to participate in the race are $35 for Cat.2 and Cat.3 (Sport and Beginner) and $45 for Cat.1 (Experts) and pros. And, Northstar Resort will offer discounted lift tickets for $20 to registered riders both Saturday and Sunday of the event weekend. Medals and other prizes will be awarded to the top finishers, and the experts and pros are eligible for the $2,500 Giant-Shimano Pro prize purse.

Professional racers already confirmed to participate include Duncan Riffle, Carl Decker, Kelli Emmet, Cody Warren, Sabrina Jonnier, Kathy Pruitt and Kirt Voreis. Also returning are last yearand#8217;s Pro Menand#8217;s podium, Adam Craig, Evan Turpen and Mark Weir.

Advance pre-registration is available online at http://www.NorthstarAtTahoe.com. Race-day registration will also be welcome. For more information about Tara Llanes, the Tara Llanes Classic and the pre-registration Blackburn Racer Bundles, visit http://www.tarallanesclassic.org.