MTB XC Series starts Saturday in Echo

Mar 2, 2012 by

ECHO — The popular Echo Red to Red MTB XC race is back Saturday for a fourth year in its familiar spot as the start of the Oregon mountain bike racing season. It’s also the first event of the nine-race 2012 Oregon XC Series.

The course outside of Echo, which is about 9 miles southeast of Hermiston, is 70 percent singletrack with the start/finish on Main Street. Sue Butler and Kevin Bradford-Parish took the pro wins in 2011, but Niner Bikes’ Dejay Birtch was the fastest man last year, riding his singlespeed over a 30-mile course that featured more than 2,200 feet of climbing. Evan Plews and Butler won the men’s and women’s pro races in 2010. Plews also won the race during its inaugural year in 2009, when Zephanie Blasi took the women’s pro win.

Saturday registration is from 8:30-10:30 a.m. The race begins with a neutral roll out, with three to four starts at 15 minute intervals. The Pro/Cat 1/SS race around a 28-mile loop starts first at 11 a.m.The Category 3/2/Clydesdale group will cover a 22-mile loop, and Juniors will tackle 14 miles.

Check Oregon Velo for photos.

2012 Oregon XC Series
#1) Echo Red to Red — March 3
#2) 24th Mudslinger presented by Peak Sports — April 1
#3) Bear Springs Trap — April 29
#4) Cascade Chainbreaker presented by Webcyclery — May 13
#5) Spring Thaw XC — May 19
#6) Sisters Stampede — May 27
#7) Return on the Jedi — June 3
#8) Test of Endurance 50 — June 16
#9 Picketts Charge — June 24 … *Finals

Best six races count toward the final. (Four races for juniors).