The Quarter Horse Classic, the newest event for the annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic weekend, will make its debut May 23.The Quarter Horse bicycle ride to Purgatory will be held in conjunction with the longer ride and tour to Silverton.
But in the Quarter Horse, cyclists will stop at Purgatory after riding the 25 miles from downtown Durango.
The Quarter Horse will follow the same road used by cyclists in the Iron Horse Classic until reaching the entrance to Durango Mountain Resort, where the Quarter Horse course will veer left and climb Heartbreak Hill to the finish line at the DMR plaza.
The Quarter Horse ride features more than 2,300 vertical feet of elevation gain.
"The Quarter Horse appeals to many riders, including those who didn't get signed up for the Iron Horse before the field was full for 2009," said Sven Brunso, vice president of sales and marking for DMR.
"The Quarter Horse does not have a cap and allows for registration up until the day prior to the race," he said.
"The Quarter Horse also appeals to families that want to ride the event together, or those that didn't quite have the time this year to train for the full race to Silverton," he said.
Durango Mountain Resort will have a food court in the finish area, offering everything from wraps and fruit to hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids.
There also will be live music for the spectators and riders.
"The Quarter Horse will allow more riders to be a part of the Iron Horse weekend, which will provide additional revenue for the event and the community of Durango as well as the north county area," Brunso said.
He said Iron Horse Bicycle Classic riders are invited to stop at DMR on their return trip to Durango.
"We'll have a party going on ... come on up," Brunso said.
To get cyclists ready for the Iron Horse and Quarter Horse, Durango Mountain Resort will host a "carbo-load" at Purgy's the night before the event May 22.
For information, or to register for the Quarter Horse Classic, visit www.ironhorsebicycleclassic.com/events/quarterhorse.html.