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Iceman Cometh makes changes to reduce traffic congestion

Alison Dunlap leads Kelli Emmett and Heather Irminger

Alison Dunlap leads Kelli Emmett and Heather Irminger (Image credit: Brittany Nigh)

One of the most popular races in the US, the Iceman Cometh Challenge, announced changes to its race categories and starting waves for 2010. In 2009, the race attracted 4,000 competitors, some of whom complained of traffic jams.

"The 2010 race categories will no longer be based on ability and age. They will be based solely on age," said Iceman Promoter Steve Brown in an email to previous participants. "Additionally, the 2010 waves will be based on your 2009 time."

While evaluating 2009 results, organizers discovered that approximately 25 percent of the Iceman riders had been riding up an ability level compared to where they should have been racing. "Whether that has been due to simply wanting to arrive at Timber Ridge Resort earlier in the day (and leave more time for the Ice Hole Beer Tent), a desire to test themselves against faster riders, or avoid the traffic in some of the larger waves, a solid portion of riders have opted to choose an ability level that is one step above where they realistically belong," said Brown.

What that means is that 25 percent of riders falls off the pace of their respective waves and end up being caught by those racing in later waves.

"We also heard from many of you about the traffic congestion at the top of the Wall during the Sport waves. Traffic on your commute home is one thing, but having to wait five to eight minutes in the middle of the woods is unheard of!" said Brown.

Categories for junior men and women, pro men and women and the MYC scholarship classes will remain the same.

Waves will be set by qualifying times - that is the 2009 race times. The exact time criteria for each wave will likely be determined at the end of October. Within each time wave, there will be riders of different age classes. That should ensure riders are racing more among racers of their own speed and ability; however, the downside is that each racer will likely not start with all of the riders in his or her age class. Times for the waves will be adjusted to make the number of racers more consistent across the waves.

New Iceman riders without a previous time will start towards the end of their respective waves.

Registration for the event will open on March 1 at 11:00 am local time. It is limited to 3,700 riders for the Iceman and 3,00 for the Meijer Slush Cup. Once again, the Meijer Sno-Cone event for children under 12 will be free, with no limit on the number of young participants.  For more information on the race, visit

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher - Subaru) and Alison Dunlap (Luna) won the 2009 edition of race in the elite men's and women's categories.

Iceman 2010 categories

Pro Women
Women 12-18
Women 19-24
Women 25-29
Women 30-34
Women 35-39
Women 40-44
Women 45-49
Women 50-54
Women 55-59
Women 60+
Lady Clydesdales
Pro Men
Men 12-18
Men 19-24
Men 25-27
Men 28-29
Men 30-31
Men 32-33
Men 34
Men 35
Men 36
Men 37
Men 38
Men 39
Men 40
Men 41
Men 42
Men 43
Men 44
Men 45
Men 46
Men 47
Men 48
Men 49
Men 50
Men 51-52
Men 53-54
Men 55-57
Men 58-60
Men 61-64
Men 65+
Clydesdales 39 & Under
Clydesdales 40+
Singlespeeds 39 & Under
Singlespeeds 40+

Meijer Slush Cup 2010 Age Classes
Women 10 & Under
Women 12 & Under
Women 14 & Under
Women 16 & Under
Women 18 & Under
Women 19-34
Women 35-44
Women 45+
Slush Men 10 & Under
Slush Men 12 & Under
Slush Men 14 & Under
Slush Men 16 & Under
Slush Men 18 & Under
Slush Men 19-44
Slush Men 45+

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.