Last year's winners Andy Schultz (Team Kenda-Felt) and Gretchen Reeves (Team Tokyo Joes) will return to the Whiskey Off Road endurance mountain bike race in Prescott, Arizona, on April 29 to May 1, 2011 to defend their titles.
"I had so much fun last year I would be there regardless of the purse size," said Schultz.
The pair is set to face some stiff competition with several other pros already committed to the event including Amanda Carey (Kenda-Felt), Barry Wicks (Kona Bikes), Dara Marks-Marino, Jay Henry (Tokyo Joes), and Tinker Juarez (Siemens-Cannondale). In addition to the above confirmed athletes, there has been interest from other pro level mountain bikers plus non-mountain bike specific professional level athletes.
The 2011 Whiskey Off Road will take place Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1. The pro athletes will participate in a two-stage weekend. The first stage will be a Fat Tire Criterium held Friday evening, and the second is the 50 Proof endurance cross country on Sunday morning. All amateur level athletes will enjoy their choice from the graduated distance options including a 15 Proof, 25 Proof or 50 Proof course (1 proof = 1 mile).
All events will be based in the center of downtown Prescott on Whiskey Row, which receives an estimated 10,000 visitors each weekend day during tourism season.
Registration for the pro portion of the event opened on Monday, November 1. Event organizer, Epic Rides, expects the pro category to fill up relatively quickly; it is limited to the first 100 entrants and boasts two days of racing and a US$20,000+ cash purse attached to the Sunday, May 1 cross country race. Unique in the mountain biking industry, the cash purse will be split 50/50 between men and women.
Pro registrants will need to attach a race resume to their registration form in order to gain entry into the 2011 Whiskey Off Road. When completing the online registration form, it will prompt the applicant when appropriate to attach their resume.
Amateur registration will open Monday, January 3. The amateur category will be limited to 1,400 participants.
For more information on the Whiskey Off Road, visit www.epicrides.com.