Three Peaks USA, ‘America’s Hardest Cyclocross Race’ Returns to Banner Elk Winery and Villa Sept. 23

Published Monday, August 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Aug. 27, 2012. Three Peaks USA: America’s Hardest Cyclocross Race, the fourth race in the American UltraCross Championship Series and the final stop in the Capo Cycling Apparel King of Pain Series returns to the Banner Elk Winery and Villa Sept. 23. The legendary roads around Beech Mountain provide the perfect setting for this unique challenge, featuring steep inclines, high altitudes and incomparable High Country views.

The third annual Three Peaks USA UltraCross year’s race will help raise money for Lees-McRae’s National Champion cycling team. Student athletes will be course marshaling and look for their racers to defend Kerry Werner’s title. Registration for Three Peaks USA is only $60 ($40 for the Half) until Sept. 1 on BikeReg.com. 

UltraCross cycling events feature a unique combination of paved and gravel roads, jeep trails, and narrow single track, with at least one section where even top professionals have to get off their bikes and push. While most participants line up on cyclocross bikes – heavy duty road bikes that run knobby tires – many choose to ride mountain bikes to make the course slightly less brutal. The American UltraCross Championship Series consists of five races across the U.S. culminating at Iron Cross in Pennsylvania in October.

This year’s course will be 51 miles long, with 10,000 feet of climbing and features several improvements which will make it more fun and easy to navigate, while still rewarding strong bike handling and a high pain threshold. 

The race will start and finish at the Banner Elk Winery and Villa, where racers’ friends and families can relax over a bottle of their award-winning wine, pick blueberries and enjoy a picnic on the grassy knoll next to the pond and lower vineyard while their loved ones are suffering in the pucker brush. 

The final approach for Peak One near the Land of Oz in Emerald Mountain includes a short hike in the Emerald Outback trail system. Once again, the course will traverse the Headwaters at Banner Elk, the area’s top selling luxury gated community. Some of the forty families who call the Headwaters home will be running a rest stop right before the epic descent through their Back 500 forest to Twisted Falls.

After the race, the Winery will be hosting a complimentary meal, and the good folks from Blowing Rock Ale will be serving their premium ales and lagers until everyone feels properly hydrated. Racers can also sign up for the “Half” distance race, which skips the most technically challenging descents and the brutal slope of Peak Two for a 37 mile route with 5,600 feet of climbing.

Banner Elk and Beech Mountain offer some of the best road and mountain bike riding on the East Coast. There are tons of fabulous restaurants for every budget, loads of family activities, and you can get amazing deals on lodging at properties ranging from a romantic inn, a brand new hotel, a private log cabin or a five star resort such as the Banner Elk Winery & Villa.

For more information about the race, including registration information, directions, lodging, course maps and past years’ results, go to www.ThreePeaksUSA.com. For advice and up-to-the-minute announcements, head over to the Three Peaks USA Facebook page.

Pirate Race Productions  is dedicated to staging and promoting athletic events that are incredibly fun for our participants, valuable marketing opportunities for our sponsors, a positive contribution to our host communities, and provide great entertainment for our spectators. Visit BikeHighCountry.com to learn about tons of fun events including Three Peaks USA, the Abby Construction Cyclocross Series, the Wilkesboro Cyclocross FestivalBoone-Roubaix: The Hell of the High Country and The Ascent.

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