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‘Race of the Year’ Laddies Loppet returns this weekend

Maplelag Resort hosts the annual Laddies Loppet bike race this weekend. It is one of the largest attended races in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series and has been named Race of the Year two times. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Maplelag Resort is gearing up for the 24th running of the Laddies Loppet this weekend.

The event has grown to be one of the largest attended races in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series and was named the “Race of the Year” in 2011 and 2012. The past eight years has been a stage race format.

The weekend kicks off with a time trial Saturday morning followed by a circuit race in the afternoon featuring great spectating in close tight racing action. Sunday is highlighted by cross country racing on a nine-mile hand-built course that has maintained its original features course since the first race in 1990.

New trail has been built and recently completed, which will be a part of this year’s course.

“With the majority of new trail being built in the Midwest off a flow based model, riders are excited to return to a more natural type of course,” said race director Jay Richards. “We have added more flow trail type features to some of the new trail but the feedback from the racers we have interacted with is that they enjoy riding the type of trail we present.”

New additions to this year’s version include custom race “leader” jerseys for the stage race winners, unique prizes as always for the top three male/female in each category. Since the first race in 1990, all participants receive a free T-shirt with registration.

“We are probably one of the few mountain bike races in the country that still offer a T-shirt with registration and something we are proud of,” states Richards.

Overall, it has been an exciting summer with the mountain biking program at Maplelag. Many new riders have been introduced to the sport through the Concordia Language Villages cycling program held at Maplelag over the summer. Many Point Scout Camp has also brought riders twice a week, introducing almost 200 new riders to the sport.

The past two Wednesdays, time trials have been held, giving a chance for local riders to preview the course for the upcoming race weekend. The trials were well attended by riders from the Fargo/Moorhead, Pelican Rapids and Wadena areas.

Plans are already underway for the 25th anniversary in 2015.