The promoters of the Iceman Cometh mountain bike race announced a new title sponsor for the 2011 edition of the race: Bell's Brewery, the largest craft brewery based in Michigan. This year's race, called the Bell's Beer Iceman Cometh, will take place on Saturday, November 5.
The 29-mile race takes riders from Kalkaska to Traverse City, Michigan. The course passes through the hardwood forests, meadows, and cross country ski trails of the Pere Marquette State Forest.
"Bell's is thrilled to lend its name to this season-ending, iconic, Michigan race and is excited to continue its long standing policy of supporting cycling in the Great Lakes region," said Larry J. Bell, President and Founder of Bell's Brewery, Inc. based in Comstock, Michigan.
"Iceman is unique due to the unpredictable weather that occurs in Northern Michigan during November. It could be 55 degrees (Fahrenheit) and sunny or it could be 20 degrees and snowy like it was last year," said Bell.
Iceman events will welcome athletes from two to 72 years old from 38 different states. An estimated 7,500 spectators will line the course to catch the excitement as the competitors roll along the trail.'
"Iceman Promotions, Inc. is absolutely thrilled to have a Michigan-based company with the quality reputation of Bell's Beer as the title sponsor of the Iceman," said Steve Brown, Event Director. "Since the Bell's Beer Iceman is the 'unofficial' end of the riding season, the post-race celebration, featuring Bell's Beer, is as important as the race itself for most of the riders!
The Bell's Beer Iceman weekend will kick off with the Ice Cycle Expo on Friday, November 4, from 12 noon until 9:00 pm at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. In addition to the Bell's Beer Iceman, the Meijer Slush Cup features a half-frozen eight-mile event for beginning racers, and the Meijer Sno-Cone event, for riders under the age of 12, offers a chance for future world champions to experience the thrill mountain bike racing.
The Iceman Cometh is the largest single-day race in the United States. It boast $52,000 a cash purse with $30,000 reserved for professional cyclists.
Bell began brewing beer 25 years ago in a 15-gallon soup kettle. Today Bell's Brewery is one of the few craft breweries in the nation to remain under original ownership. Bell's produces some 170,000 barrels of beer each year and distributes its products to 18 states.
Amanda Carey and Brian Matter won the 2010 Iceman Cometh.
For more information on the 22nd Annual Bell's Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge, visit Iceman Promotions online at www.iceman.com.