The Transylvania Times -

By Eric Crews
Staff Writer 

Pisgah Stage Race Kicks Off Annual Festivities Today – Brevard NC


Last updated 9/17/2013 at 7:01am

Festivities for the fifth-annual Pisgah Stage Race kick off this afternoon and will bring more than 60 riders to Brevard to test their abilities as they sample some of Pisgah National Forest’s finest single-track riding.

This year’s five-day race event boasts redesigned stages, cheaper registration prices, and as always a blowout bash at the Brevard Music Center to end the week.

The event has become known as one of the premier stage races in the country and draws partici-pants from locations around the world each year.

Past participant Adam Craig, a professional mountain biker, said the single-track trails of Pisgah are “definitely in the top three places in the universe I have ridden, maybe the best one.”

The race will take the 60 participants through what race director Todd Branham describes as a “sample platter of some of the all-time killer trails the area has to offer.

“Not for the faint of heart, this race will test mental and physical endurance as riders tackle rugged rainforest trails day after day,” Branham said. “This race is intended for the die hard single-track junkie, not for heart rate monitoring racers, so bring your full suspension bike.”

This year’s event will kick off Monday evening with a welcome dinner and party at the Brevard Music Center before racers take to the trails Tuesday morning.

Branham chose mid September to hold the race again this year as he believes the early fall season is one of the best times to experience Pisgah.

Besides the well-known single track, the course will also include natural rhododendron tunnels, leaf colors and picturesque creek crossings.

But this event is much more than just challenging terrain, scenic beauty and fun downhills.

Branham said the atmosphere that surrounds each day is what truly makes it stand out.

Professional cyclist and three-time EXTERRA World Champion winner Melanie McQuaid agrees.

“The combination of awesome course, incredible volunteers, random trailside memorabilia (including a giant white squirrel, a banjo player, Darth Vader, funny lady yelling in the bushes, and awesome aid station people) and incredibly friendly Brevard locals, makes this a world class grassroots adventure,” McQuaid said. “All the fun and camaraderie of a small race organized with the preci-sion of a pro event.”

On top of redesigned stages and lower registration prices, this year the race will also finish on the new Bracken Mountain Trail. Designed and built by race director and two-time National Super D Series Champion Todd Branham, the course is designed to be a fast and exhilarating downhill to end the week.

This year’s finish will mark the first time the Bracken Mountain Trail has been used in an event and will conveniently lead racers directly into the Brevard Music Center for the after party.

The race is limited to 200 participants and attracts a large international crowd. For more information, head to our website at


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