It’s all about the ride: Colorado Freeride Festival returns to Winter Park | SkyHiNews.com

It’s all about the ride: Colorado Freeride Festival returns to Winter Park

A rider does a front flip during the “Banana Peel Jam” at the 2016 Colorado Freeride Festival.

As the 11th annual Colorado Freeride Festival arrives, visitors and Grand County residents are gearing up for a weekend full of world-class biking, mind-blowing tricks and fun for the whole family.

The festival takes place at the Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, and runs Thursday through Sunday.

"It's really grown into our signature summer event," said Steve Hurlbert, public information officer for Winter Park Resort. "It brings in athletes from all over the world. It bring in spectators from all over the country. It's a great four days celebrating mountain biking."

The festival will bring in 800 world-class athletes from across the globe to participate in a myriad of races including the super downhill, cross-country and air downhill.

The festival's main attraction is the Maxxis Slopestyle Open, a Freeride Mountain Bike Association circuit gold event, wherein athletes treat visitors to their best tricks on a custom-built course. It is the only gold event of its kind in the country.

"The tricks they do are just phenomenal," Hurlbert commented. "You can't believe your own eyes when you watch it."

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The festival also includes plenty to do for those who aren't extreme athletes, featuring several events created to get visitors of all ages off the sideline and involved in the fun.

There is a free children's clinic where new riders can learn basic skills and techniques. There will also be a bike decorating competition for kids, the Green Horn-It Challenge for junior racers and trick showcases by the Maxxis BMX Stunt Team all weekend long.

"In addition to being a great spectator event, the Colorado Freeride Festival has turned into a great participatory event as well," Hurlbert said. "There's some really cool stuff to watch, but what makes this festival unique is that you also get to take part in it."

New to this year's event is the short-track race, where participants from all ages take each other on, head-to-head, in a multi-lap race.

The Freeride Festival began as an offshoot of the Crankworx Festival at Whistler Mountain in British Columbia. After a couple of years as Crankworx Colorado, the festival was rebranded to the Colorado Freeride Festival.

"We decided to make it our own; make it a real Winter Park thing," he said, adding that the keystone event brings in over 20,000 visitors. "It's grown every single year that we've done it and we expect it to grow even more this year, too."

The Colorado Freeride Festival kicks off in earnest Friday morning at 9 a.m. and wraps up Sunday at 4 p.m.

Thursday, JULY 27

9 a.m. – VIP Lounge

9 a.m. – Festivillage

9:30 a.m. – Maxxis Slopestyle Training

Noon – Maxxis BMX Stunt Team

2 p.m. – Maxxis BMX Stunt Team

4 p.m. – FREE Intro to racing – Kids Clinic for Green Horn-it!

4 p.m. – Air Downhill

5 p.m. – Maxxis BMX Stunt Team

7 p.m. – Air Downhill Awards

FRIDAY, JULY 28

8:30 a.m. – Maxxis Slopestyle Training

9 a.m. – Festivillage

9 a.m. – VIP Lounge

9 a.m. – Village Family Bike Fest Cabriolet Pump Track Lessons (children 12 and under)

9 a.m. – Family Bike Festival

10 a.m. – Super Downhill

10 a.m. – Maxxis BMX Stunt Team

11:10 a.m. – Maxxis Slopestyle Open Qualifications

10:30 a.m. – Professional Mountain Bike Trial Rider Stunt Show featuring Aurélien Fontenoy

1 p.m. – Free Bike Decoration Station (12 & under)

2:15 p.m. – Super Downhill Awards

2:30 p.m. – Maxxis BMX Stunt Team

2 p.m. – Professional Mountain Bike Trial Rider Stunt Show featuring ‘Aurélien Fontenoy’

3:30 p.m. – Professional Mountain Bike Trial Rider Stunt Show featuring ‘Aurélien Fontenoy’

4 p.m. – Green Horn-it! Challenge

4 p.m. – Maxxis Slopestyle Finals – Open Training

4 p.m. – Friday Music Series

6:30 p.m. – Maxxis BMX Stunt Team

After sunset – Coca-Cola Family Movie Night

SATURDAY, JULY 29

8:15 a.m. – Short Track

9 a.m. – VIP Lounge

9 a.m. – Village Family Bike Fest Cabriolet Pump Track Lessons

9 a.m. – Festivillage

9:30 a.m. – Maxxis Slopestyle Training

11 a.m. – Maxxis BMX Stunt Team

11:30 a.m. – Professional Mountain Bike Trial Rider Stunt Show featuring ‘Aurélien Fontenoy’

12:30 p.m. – Short Track Awards

1 p.m. – Free Bike Decoration Station

1:15 p.m. – Family Bike Parade

1:45 p.m. – Village Family Bike Fest Grand Prize Raffle

2 p.m. – Maxxis Slopestyle Training

2:15 p.m. – Intergalactic Pond Crossing

4 p.m. – Maxxis BMX Stunt Team

5 p.m. – Maxxis Slopestyle Finals

SUNDAY, JULY 30

9 a.m. – VIP Lounge

10 a.m. – Downhill Qualifiers

11:15 a.m. – Downhill Finals Start

2 p.m. – Maxxis BMX Stunt Team

4 p.m. – Downhill Awards

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