Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Encourages Riders to Register Before it’s Too Late

May 16, 2023

Durango, Colo. /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Race organizers for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic are encouraging riders to register for the event sooner rather than later. Taking place May 26-28, registration numbers are approaching the event’s 50th anniversary edition last year, which saw the McDonald’s Citizen’sTour and Coca Cola Road Race events reach capacity and sell out.

In addition to the classic Durango-Silverton events, the Iron Horse also offers the 25-mile Quarter Horse to Purgatory Resort as well as the E-bike Citizen’s Tour. Out on the trails, mountain bikers can take on the Subaru Mountain Bike Race or the Alpine Bank La Strada La Plata Gravel Race.

The event will kick off on Friday afternoon with packet pickup from 1-7 p.m. at Chapman Hill. There will be short track mountain bike races at Chapman starting at 5 p.m. Durango’s top elite women and men racers will compete for a first place prize of $1,000.

“We can’t wait to host this amazing weekend of bike racing in Durango on Memorial Day weekend again this year,” said race director Ian Burnett. “We are going back to some of our roots by hosting MTB at Chapman Hill with an in town venue again.”

Recently, the Iron Horse announced the course for the mountain bike race, which will start and end at Chapman Hill. The course will challenge riders on Lion’s Den and Rim trails, which were used as part of the 2001 UCI World Cup event, while spectators can enjoy music and a beer garden at the base of Chapman Hill. The gravel race will also start and end at Chapman Hill on Sunday.

The backbone of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is the Durango-Silverton route, where riders “race the train” over two mountain passes for a total of 50 miles and 5,700’ of elevation gain. The tradition began in 1971 when Tom Mayer, a cyclist, challenged his brother Jim, a railroad worker on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, to see who could get to Silverton faster. Tom was able to pedal the distance faster than the steam engine, and the legend of the Iron Horse was born.

The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic celebrates all that the Durango cycling community has become over the past five decades–a home and training ground for Olympians, national, and world champion cyclists as well as the 600-rider strong Durango Devo youth development program. With over 300 miles of trails and diverse terrain within city limits, Durango has become a premiere destination for traveling cyclists and a limitless pedaling playground for the locals

2023 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Schedule

  • May 26
    • 1:00-7:00 pm – Local packet pickup at Chapman Hill
    • 5:00 pm – Women’s Short Track race at Chapman Hill
    • 5:30 pm – Men’s Short Track race at Chapman Hill
  • May 27*
    • 7:30 am – Durango Coca-Cola Road Race start
    • 8:00 am – McDonald’s Citizen Tour start
    • 3:00-7:00 pm – Bike pickup at Durango Transit Center

*Return transportation from Silverton will be offered to participants

  • May 28
    • 8:30 am – La Strada La Plata Gravel Race start at Chapman Hill
    • 9:00 am – Mountain Bike wave 1 start at Chapman Hill
    • 11:30 am – Mountain Bike wave 2 start at Chapman Hill
    • 2:00 pm – Mountain Bike wave 3 start at Chapman Hill

To learn more about the Iron Horse Bike Classic, please visit: https://www.ironhorsebicycleclassic.com.

About Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is a 3-day cycling festival, which includes a 47-mile bike race and tour over two 10,000’ passes from Durango to Silverton, Colorado. The tradition began in 1971 when Tom Mayer challenged his brother Jim to see if he could ride the route faster than the train. Today the Iron Horse includes mountain bike and gravel events as well as numerous other cycling festivities around town.