The Pikes Peak APEX, a 4-day world-class mountain bike event, will be held on September 24-27, 2020. Permits are in place, and the event will be well within state and local regulations. We are working very closely with our landowners, government entities and partners to execute a safe event that will excite participants.
We are proud to have Dr. Michael Roshon as our Medical Director. Dr. Roshon is also the Chief Medical Officer for USA Cycling. He has worked in conjunction with the El Paso County Health Department to create resources that will allow us to operate as safely as possible for our staff, volunteers and participants. Our goal is to EXCEED state and local regulations related to the virus. Please see the following changes as we pivot The Pikes Peak APEX in response to COVID-19.
Packet pickup will offer extended hours, beginning Wednesday afternoon and going through Thursday morning. The extended hours will allow for more distancing between riders to pick up packets, swag bags and race jerseys for those who pre-ordered.
Physical distancing protocol will be in place for packet pick up. Further updates and details will be announced prior to the event.
There will be no mandatory pre-race meeting.
Instead of an in-person meeting, we will host a live video presentation, with details for each course and Q&A.
In addition to the live presentation, the video will be recorded and available for viewing after.
While we really were looking forward to a large group, mass start, we WILL change our start format.
As many of you know we sent out a survey to registered riders and asked riders who were considering the APEX to fill out the survey.
Approximately 35% of riders indicated they would prefer a small group or single-rider start
Approximately 50% said they would race no matter what the format.
Only 10% said they may not attend if it was NOT a mass start.
With that in mind, our revised start plan is as follows.
- Day 1 (Thursday, Prologue) will run as a single rider start, enduro style. Each rider will get a start time and there will be at least 10 seconds between each rider.
- Days 2-4 (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) will have start waves of a MAXIMUM of 25 riders at a time. Placing on Thursday will determine start waves for Friday. Please note: More virus spread in Colorado between now and September COULD reduce the size of the start waves.
- Riders who do not want to ride in a group of 25 will have the following options.
- A solo start after the waves have gone.
- Ride with only teammates or a spouse. Simply request your own start time after the prologue on Thursday.
- Since this is chip timed, everyone is still eligible for prizes. This is simply a timed race from Point A to Point B, with everyone in the mix for cash prizes and age group prizes, regardless of their start time. Everyone is still racing against everyone else. Most of these stages start with a solid climb that will spread the groups out, so riding this event solo will give you limited disadvantages.
We will make physical distancing a priority at the start line. Face coverings will be mandatory for all staff, volunteers, and riders in the start area until the racing starts.
Face coverings will not be mandatory during the race itself, although we ask that riders always carry one with them for use at aid stations or in the case of a breakdown.
We will have signage indicating where each group will wait to start in a start grid as well as urging everyone to sanitize their hands and maintain physical distance. Hand sanitizing stations will be available in several places near the start line. An announcer will be on-site to make sure everyone knows where they should be positioned, as well as plenty of volunteers to help communicate to riders where to be and what to do.
While close friends and family are welcome to come and spectate, we will not be encouraging spectators to crowd in the start or finish areas.
All aid stations will be formatted for safety and adhere to a physical distancing protocol.
Aid stations will include hand sanitizing stations, volunteers with masks and gloves and single-serve food and beverages.
High-touch areas and surfaces will be cleaned frequently.
There will be lines to receive food and water to ensure practice of physical distancing protocols.
Recycling and trash bags will be tied and disposed of properly.
Aid Stations will be limited to essential team staff, medical personnel, and a limited number of volunteers to help.
We will have a medical plan in place with virus safety in mind.
Dr. Roshon has put together a medical operations plan that gives us some strong support out on the mountain. We are working with a team of experts from Centura Health, Penrose St. Francis Hospital, El Paso County Search and Rescue and others.
There will not be an expo or beer garden.
Our plan for a big outdoor industry expo and beer garden to grab a post-ride brew will have to wait one more year. To maintain our physical distancing protocols, there will be no infrastructure beyond what is needed for the race. We will not have any type of fair, expo or area that would encourage crowds or attract people to a single location.
Tech support will be available to assist riders. The tech support booth will be manned by mechanics from SRAM and/or a local bike shop. However, no interactive booths will be available.
We will not be organizing a post event party.
Instead of an after-party, we will give each rider a gift certificate to a local restaurant, where they can go with their family for take-out or their own post-ride celebration.