The Eastern Fat Tire Association is sanctioning two upcoming mountain bike races in the Western Mountains.

The Carrabassett Cross Country Cycle Challenge will be Sunday, Aug. 20, at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center. The Rangeley Lakes Trails Center, a new four-season recreational trail system for hiking, biking and skiing, will host the Saddleback Challenge Mountain Bike Race on Sunday, Sept. 3.

Both races will take place on a 7-mile loop with racers doing one, two or three loops depending on their level of competition. Classes are open to novice, junior, sport, expert and single speed.

In Carrabassett, mountain bikers will race on the Widowmaker loop, which event organizers say includes a grueling ascent, technical single track and thrilling downhill sections. More than $1,500 in merchandise will be awarded to all race categories and age divisions after the last racer finishes.

Entry fees are $15 for junior men and $20 for expert sport and beginner. A free kids fun race will be at noon for children age 2-12.

Phone Kimberly Truskowski at 237-6907, or e-mail her at [email protected] for more information.

Event organizers are planning on about 100 racers to compete in the first Saddleback Challenge Mountain Bike Race.

John Field of Seasonal Cycles in Rangeley said racers of all levels are expected. “The non-racers who are just getting into it or doing it for fun, and we’re hoping to see some fairly high-level racers.”

Field has worked to upgrade the course.

“It’s a combination of fast gravel road, wide cross-country ski trail corridors and a challenging single track with narrow bridge crossings,” Field said.

“The course works with 200 feet of vertical,” he added. “The hills are pretty short.”

Race day registration opens at 7:30 a.m. and will close 30 minutes prior to each start time. Prizes will be awarded to the top three in each class and racers will be treated to a free barbecue. Spectators are encouraged.

Race fees are $25 for expert, sport and novice, and $18 for juniors. A short, easy, free kids fun race is also planned at noon for children 11 and younger.

Preregister online for the Saddleback race at Online registration closes Sept. 1.

For more information contact Field at 864-2100 or e-mail [email protected] For directions to the Rangeley Lakes Trails Center go to

Because the EFTA is sanctioning both races, bikers must have an EFTA license. Licenses may be purchased for $4 on race day or online at The Web site also has more information about each race.

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