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By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
With less than a week before racing is set to commence, organizers of the Durango NORBA say that all is set to go for the event despite this summer’s scary fire season.
“There was a point where things were a little touch and go,” said Patti Zink, who along with husband Ed runs the Durango race. “If it came to the point where if we weren’t going to have our best face and not be able to do all the events, then we wouldn’t want to put our reputation on the line and not come out with flying colors.”
Most of the uncertainty was caused by the Missionary Ridge fire, which started northeast of Durango in early June, grew as large as 70,485 acres, consumed 56 houses, and has just recently been fully contained. The fire drastically stretched community resources, making it tough for Zink to secure commitments from the 500 volunteers needed to make the race go.
“In terms of volunteers were not quite there yet,” Zink said. “But we’ll get there. That fire isn’t going to beat us.”
The NORBA in Durango commences on Wednesday, July 31, when the cross-country and downhill courses open for practice. Amateur racing begins Thursday with the dual slalom finals set for 2 p.m. at Durango Mountain Resort.
Pro racing kicks off next Friday, with the men’s and women’s cross country, which will be held just above town at Fort Lewis College, the same venue that will be used for Saturday’s short track. Mountain cross follows in the evening on Saturday, and it will take place on Chapman Hill, just a few blocks north of downtown. Sunday is pro downhill day back up at Durango Mountain Resort.
For more information about the race in Durango go to www.DurangoNational.com or call (970)-259-4621.
Check back to VeloNews.com next week for full reports, results and photos.