The next Whiskey Off-Road Mountain Bike Event in Prescott, Arizona, is set for April 27-29, 2012. For its ninth running, Tucson, Arizona-based Epic Rides has raised the prize purse of the race to $30,000 - evenly distributed between male and female competitors for an equal payout.
"After a successful first year hosting a pro category, we are excited to raise the bar once again," said Todd Sadow, President of Epic Rides. "Last year was a $20,000 purse. Now, in 2012 we are up to $30,000. This is among the biggest single day pro cash purse in the mountain biking worldwide," he said.
2011 winners Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain) and Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Specialized) will return to defend their titles.
"The "Whiskey" should be the template for every weekend mountain bike race in North America: Community, road closures, gnarly trail, flowy trail, rock, sand, music and views," said Sheppard.
"It is so inspiring to find a community like Prescott that supports sporting events with so much enthusiasm and has a genuine interest in promoting the growth of trail riding and active lifestyles both for their residents and visitors," said Catharine Pendrel, who finished as runner-up in the women's race in 2011.
Epic Rides anticipates 1,750 riders (1,600 amateurs and 150 professionals) participating in three days of racing, riding and celebrating all things mountain biking. At 5,400 feet elevation, Prescott offers crisp spring mornings with daytime temperatures in the mid-70s.
Historic Prescott, Arizona looks much like it did in the 1870's, when it was named capital of the Arizona Territory. The same courthouse stands in the town square to host vendors and live music during the Whiskey Off-Road weekend. Adjoining "Whiskey Row," so named for revelry in the 1800s, once boasted no less than 40 saloons. Now, more than 100 years later this infamous strip of downtown Prescott still serves libations to wet any 21st Century appetite.
The weekend will kick off with a pro level fat tire criterium, a well appointed industry vendor and tech expo boasting over 65 vendors, and a beginner level "15 proof" fun ride on Friday (one proof = 1 mile).
Saturday will present a complete day of amateur riding in the 25 and 50 proof distances complimented by live music on the courthouse lawn and a full schedule of family-friendly events and activities centrally located in downtown Prescott.
The showdown for the cash purse begins Sunday morning. The pro and amateur 50 milers will ride the same course.
Registration for professional riders will open on November 1, 2011, and amateur registration will open on January 1, 2012.
For more information on the Whiskey Off Road Race, visit www.epicrides.com/wor/wor.htm.