cycling utah August 1999

Stage racing gets down and dirty;

Mercury Tour returns to Colorado

BOULDER, COLO. - In its third year of international mountain bike racing, the Mercury Tour presented by Mercury vehicles and Outdoor Life, will once again test the best riders in the world August 25-29 in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Challenging riders of all abilities, the Mercury Tour has evolved into a festival of mountain biking including professional and amateur racing, citizen fun rides, concerts and parties.

With $100,000 in prize money to be awarded to the racers, the annual event boasts the largest prize purse in mountain bike racing in the world. Riders expected to compete include top athletes from the U.S., Australia, France, Canada, Italy, and Russia. Athletes from over 12 countries are expected to compete at this year's event. Sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA), the Mercury Tour hosts all levels of mountain bike racers from sport and expert to professional level riders.

Event partner, Outdoor Life Network, will broadcast 4 1/2 hours of exclusive event coverage beginning with a 30 minute Mercury Tour special premiering September 16 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. This will be followed by a two-hour special covering the men's event on September 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and two-hour coverage of the women's event on September 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

"With two of this year's stages being point to point and at high altitudes, Outdoor Life Network's coverage will be unmatched in the sport of mountain biking." said Ric LaCivita, coordinating producer for Outdoor Life Network. "Our coverage will be as exciting as the race itself and, with use of helicopters and roving cameramen on motorcycles, we can promise to deliver another year of outstanding coverage."

For more information on the 1999 Mercury Tour Mountain Bike Festival, visit the official website at or contact the Mercury Tour office at (303) 443-7020.

Getting to Steamboat Springs for the Mercury Tour will be easy for two lucky winners and their guests of a national sweepstakes sponsored by Outdoor Life Network and Steamboat. Winners receive roundtrip airfare to Denver for two, race week lodging in beautiful Steamboat Springs and the full VIP treatment at America's premier mountain bike race. The sweepstakes is featured on the Outdoor Life Network and on the network's website.

Mercury Tour Schedule

August 25, Prologue - Howelsen Hill Ski Area. This 1.15 mile circuit has approximately 350 feet of climbing.

August 26, Stage 1 Rabbit Ears XC. A point-to-point race beginning at Rabbit Ears Pass, 18 miles east of Steamboat Springs.

August 27, Stage 2 Mt. Werner Hill Climb. Beginning in downtown Steamboat Springs, this 13-mile stage finishes at the 10,568-foot summit of Mt. Werner.

August 28, Stage 3 Thunderhead Circuit. A circuit race featuring single track and rolling terrain. The men's field will race 24 miles and the women race 15.2 miles.

August 29, Stage 4 Gondola Criterium. This short .8 mile course features multiple laps and a short climb in Steamboat Springs.

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