Check Out Upcoming 3 Day MTB Stage Race in Winter Park–Qualifier for Nationals

By Bill Plock

Rattler Racing has been around awhile just coming off a successful new gravel race in Eastern Colorado, the Mad Gravel. Now their focus will turn to a three day mountain bike stage race in Winter Park June 17-19–and you will not be racing on Fathers Day if you need to keep that open for family time.

Looking over the event information and having talked with Race Director Dave Muscianisi, you know the goal is to have a lot of fun, be challenged and have a lot of fun–oh wait did I say that already? Here are a few rules that foreshadow the vibe for a well organized event on some beautiful trails and roads in Grand County.

  • Rule 1: You will smile no matter the pain.
  • Rule 6: Be nice to the land, it never did anything to you.
  • Rule 8: If you don’t thank a volunteer, you will be publicly shamed.

We had a Q & A with Dave to talk about the event:

1. Tell us about the overall event, the courses, the vibe, the schedule

This is the second year of hosting G3 for Rattler Racing. It is a 3 day mountain bike stage race in Grand County, Colorado on June 17-19, 2021. Stage 1 focuses on the Fraser River trail system, Stage 2 is in Granby Ranch (site of previous XC Nationals event), and Stage 3 is in the Idlewild area east of Winter Park. The total distance for the entire event is roughly 90 miles. This year we’ve added G3 FIVE-O, which is a condensed version with total of approximately 50 miles. 


2. This is a bit unusual in that its a USAC race and is qualifier for the nationals held just two weeks later in Winter Park. Talk about the significance of that and just what that means. And is this race for people who don’t care about it being a USAC race. And do they need a USAC license? 

G3 (and G3 FIVE-O) is a USAC sanctioned event. Participants must hold a current license in order to race. While it is a stage race with an overall result, racers will earn ranking and qualifying status for every day raced. If a racer DNF’s any stage, they will be out of contention for the overall, but still have the opportunity to race the other stages and earn necessary USAC points. Since G3 is 2 weeks prior to MTB Nationals, this can be a great way to meet USAC requirements and get familiar with the area. 

3. What if someone only wants to race one day? 

G3 is a stage race. Any racer who would like to do just one day of the event has the option to form a 3-person team, where each racer can race a separate day. This also allows for a USAC qualifier. 

303’s Sasha Underwood will be racing and providing updates on this 3 day Mountain Bike Extravaganza

4. You mentioned teams, so people can have two or three member teams? Is there team competitions? 

We have team categories. DUO is 2 riders racing together for the entirety of the race. Their time is calculated based off when the second rider crosses the finish line. THe other option is to form a team where there is a separate racer each stage of the race. This can be made up of 2 or 3 people. 

5. Tell us the history of this race? Of Rattler Racing.

Rattler Racing started as a local MTB race series in the front range of Denver. Our core staff are all either current or former racers. G3 was an idea that came about because we wanted to host an event that all of us would do ourselves. We knew of other stage races, but felt the Winter Park area had all the components for a true XC mountain bike stage race. 

Race Director Dave Muscianisi

6. Why do you love putting on races? On a personal level, the sport of Mountain Biking has played a huge role in my life on many levels. This is my simple way of giving back to the community and to the sport that has given me so much. And who doesn’t want to hang around a bunch of crazy mountain bikers?!?!

7. What fun twist do you put on this race? 

We think G3 and G3 FIVE-O brings to the community a true XC MTB stage race. This is the best sampling of some of the sweetest singletrack in the world, all within 2 hours of the front range. The addition of the FIVE-O makes it so that options are available for those that want big time mileage, or those that want to simply feel what it’s like to do a stage race while keeping the mileage down. Both events provide great opportunities to get those legs ready for MTB Nationals. 

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