A rider loses control in a grassy portion of the Enduro Cup race at Canyons Resort last year. (Park Record File Photo)
A rider loses control in a grassy portion of the Enduro Cup race at Canyons Resort last year. (Park Record File Photo)

For the third year in a row, there will be an enduro bike race at Canyons Resort. For the second straight year, it will be a stop on the Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro.

The final event of the three-stop series, which has already had races in Moab and Sun Valley, will take place Saturday, July 19, at Canyons.

Darren Muehlhaus, the marketing and events manager at Canyons, said Saturday's race will feature plenty of downhill action.

"The Canyons race on Saturday will have eight stages," he said. "Four are called transfer stages, basically getting from point A to point B. Then there are four competition stages, which are timed descending stages. They alternate. The competition stages are one rider at a time that's what determines the overall winner, the total time of the four competition stages."

The transfer stages consist of riders making their way to the top of the downhill competition stages. The transfer stages are untimed and have no bearing on the final results.

The downhill stages will feature four different routes that will showcase all of Canyons' diverse terrain, Muehlhaus said.

"This year, we've incorporated a bike park trail," he said. "That's incorporating more built features and jumps. You need to be a good overall rider to win."

The terrain will vary greatly, Muehlhaus added, making it tough on riders to get into a rhythm.

"The competition stages, we've combined to add a bike park trail, a jump trail, a flow trail and a technical singletrack trail," he said. "Getting out and getting a sense of what the course is like will determine what bike the riders use."

But, Muehlhaus continued, though the downhill portions of the race are the only ones that determine the final standings, riders can't overlook the transfer stages.

"Because of the transfer stages, there is a level of fitness required," he said. "You're having to climb from one stage to the next."

With nearly 250 riders expected to compete at the event, Muehlhaus said he's expecting some quality competition on Saturday.

A rider gets big air during a competition stage at last year s Enduro Cup race at Canyons Resort. (Park Record File Photo)
A rider gets big air during a competition stage at last year s Enduro Cup race at Canyons Resort. (Park Record File Photo)

"There are different categories pro men's and women's, and then there are beginners and intermediates," he said. "There are going to be some of the top domestic riders attending this race. And there are rumors of some top European riders coming, too."

Canyons is the perfect place to host a race of this caliber, Muehlhaus said, for a variety of reasons.

"Riders like having the start/finish area come through the resort village so their friends and families can get a good view," he said. "Being Park City, the accessibility of the international airport [in Salt Lake City] makes it easier for riders to bring their families along."

Course information will be released this week, allowing riders to begin preparing for the event.

"We'll start seeing riders arrive midweek to start training," Muehlhaus said. "We're expecting a full field and we're looking for a big weekend of local riders mixed in with top pro riders."

The races on Saturday will start at approximately 8 a.m. Muehlhaus said he expects to finish around 3 p.m.

"We'll be racing all day," he said. "We're shooting for a mid-afternoon finish."