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Mount Brighton Ski Slope Transformed For Bike Racing

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GENOA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – A Michigan ski slope that’s usually dormant during the summer months has been transformed into a mountain-biking race course.

The Mount Brighton course includes banked turns and jumps, Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell and The Detroit News reported. Pat Schutte, a spokesman for Mount Brighton, said the new bike course is “almost like a bobsled run” without the ice.

The Mountain Bike Downhill Dual Slalom Series is the headlining bike racing event at the ski slope in Livingston County’s Genoa Township, about 35 miles northwest of Detroit. More than 100 bikers and their families turned out Thursday at the course.

The course starts at the top of Mount Brighton and finishes near the lodge. Racers get to the start on modified chair lifts that have hooks for carrying bikes.

“There’s nothing like this around here that’s going to be this challenging,” said former pro dirt bike racer Matt Maximoff, of Brighton. “You go very fast down this. … It takes your stomach away when you go around the turns.”

Mount Brighton, which is owned by Vail Resorts Inc., plans to host two race days per month through September as part of a racing series modelled after mountain-biking races in Vail, Colorado, Schutte said. Maximoff said he has signed up for the entire series.

“This is the only time you can ride like this,” he said. “This is something everybody should try. It’s unbelievable this is in Michigan now.”

Many of those who will be racing also put in work helping to make the course, taking up shovels to fine-tune the twisting route that was carved out with heavy machinery. Pat Costella, 35, who owns Backdoor Bikes in Howell, was among those who helped get it ready.

“Everybody that’s been here and taken runs, I’ve seen scared and smiles at the same time,” he said. “That just told me what we did was a good job.”

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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