“Blitz” Professional Mountain Bike Race Becoming a Bend Signature Event

Carl Decker (Giant) chases Todd Wells (Specialized) off of the Big Air jump during the 2015 edition of the Blitz at Tetherow Golf Club in Bend, Oregon. Photo by Rob Kerr

Carl Decker (Giant) chases Todd Wells (Specialized) off of the Big Air jump during the 2015 edition of the Blitz at Tetherow Golf Club in Bend, Oregon. Photo by Rob Kerr

One of Central Oregon’s most popular sporting events starts off as a pro invite mountain bike race and ends with an arm wrestling championship at a world class golf course — with a big air competition to boot.

The 7th Annual Blitz, Presented by Deschutes Brewery, happens June 16th and features 40 men and women professional riders, including past Olympians, World and National Champions. Check out The Blitz website to see the full list of racers.

The race kicks off from the Wanoga Sno-park about 15 miles from Bend. The riders will rocket down some thrilling singletrack trails before navigating a more rocky, technical section that spits them out near Tetherow Resort. There, a few hundred fans, some stairway obstacles and a big air jump await on the driving range. They’ll ride around some of the rolling terrain and through some practice range bunkers at the club to the finish… where the winner isn’t necessarily the first rider who crosses the finish line…no, it’s the first rider across the finish line who chugs a beer from Deschutes.

Bend resident professional mountain bike racer Chad "Chainsaw" Cheney chugs a beer near the finish of the 2015 edition of the Blitz at Tetherow Golf Club in Bend, Oregon. Photo by Rob Kerr

Bend resident professional mountain bike racer Chad “Chainsaw” Cheney chugs a beer near the finish of the 2015 edition of the Blitz at Tetherow Golf Club in Bend, Oregon. Photo by Rob Kerr

Throw in some music and an arm wrestling competition among the riders and you have an event that’s more “party” than “race.”

“We are excited that the Blitz is back at Tetherow again for year seven,” says event founder Erik Eastland. “Last year’s race was the biggest yet! We expect 2016 to be even bigger with a new jump that will surely blow your mind.”

The finish line party kicks off at 5 p.m. and features bike demos, a BBQ and a mini beer fest. It’s free and open to all ages. The celebration continues until 10 pm. From there, revelers move to the after party at The Row.

Image Courtesy Whit Bazemore & The Blitz

Image Courtesy Whit Bazemore & The Blitz

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