"It’s been fun" – Northstar finishes Thursday Night Race Series | SierraSun.com

"It’s been fun" – Northstar finishes Thursday Night Race Series

After deciding only a week in advance to host the Thursday Night Mountain Bike Race Series this year, Northstar-at-Tahoe finished the eight-week series Aug. 17 with twice as many participants as the first race in the series.

“The highest we had one night was 65 but it averaged between 40 and 50 riders,” Special Events Director Laura Abbey said. The series started June 29 with roughly 25 riders.

The eight-week event had a shaky start when event organizers realized they were unable to attain the necessary permits for two of three courses in last year’s series, at Tahoe Vista and Lake View Cross Country Center.

Faced with losing the competition entirely or hosting the event on their own, Northstar employees Garry Morgan, Laura Abbey, Mike Henry and Tony Rogiers pulled together and decided to hold the series at Northstar with two courses.

“I would definitely do it again next year. I liked the format. It was fun to try and beat your time each week,” said Suzie Sutphin, who finished first in several sport races and in the top three in the expert class.

“It totally changed my attitude about races,” she added. “In Colorado, in other races, it has always been super competitive and too many people. This was a lot mellower and a good reason to get together with your friends.”

Following the last race, Northstar provided a barbecue and awards ceremony to recognize key organizers and riders.

“There was a raffle and awards ceremony. Myself and Mike Henry gave thanks to timer Tony Rogiers, Garry Morgan and Mike Henry from Trail Maintenance. We awarded each of them a 6-pack of Singletrack beer,” Abbey said.

Northstar expressed interest in hosting the series again next year but would like to include a partner and increase the number of races from eight to 12 and add new courses.

In order to qualify for the finals, competitors must have raced in at least four races in the same division.

For a list of finalist and racers who competed in at least three races, see The Score on page 3c.

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