The Santa Cruz Hellride, which takes place neither in Santa Cruz nor Hell, will return to the rugged steeps above Downieville, California, August 1- 3.
"What has in the past been an opportunity for two unlucky souls to get mugged by Mark Weir and Rachel Lloyd for about 12 solid hours, with the chance to limp away at the end of it all with a new Santa Cruz Nomad for their efforts, is taking a new twist this year," said Santa Cruz spokesman Mike Ferrentino.
"This year, applicants will be narrowed down to a field of about 32, who will then be voted by the internet public down to a final eight (four men, four women), who will then be invited to Downieville," he added. "They will then compete against each other, as well as Hellriders Weir and Lloyd, in a series of feats of strength (think "American Gladiators" meets "jackass") to gain hopeful time bonuses for the following day's Hellride."
The Hellride itself will take in somewhere between 65 and 75 miles of prime high country riding, mostly singletrack, with anywhere between 12,500 and 15,000 feet of climbing. The contestants will race each other, as well as the pursuing wheels of Weir and Lloyd, in battle where attrition and willpower will feature as strongly as fitness and bike handling ability, in the hopes of winning a brand new Nomad, kitted out with SRAM and Rockshox finest, valued at more than US$5500.
Entries are being accepted now, at: www.santacruzbicycles.com/hellridefive. Entries will close on June 1st, and voting on finalists will begin on the same site the next day. The final 8 contestants will be announced on July 1st.