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Telluride to host new outdoor sports festival

Think Lollapalooza outdoor-sports style and you get some idea of what the organizers of the new-for-2002 Primal Quest Telluride 360-Degress Adventure Festival are trying to pull off. Like the all-over-the-map music festivals of the 1990s, the four-day event, July 11-14, will try to bring together a diverse cross-section of people. Included in the itinerary will be adventure racing, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, trail running and for the less energized… fly-fishing. From a cycling standpoint the 360-Fest will provide a new opportunity for both amateur and pro mountain bikers. All

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By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor

Think Lollapalooza outdoor-sports style and you get some idea of what the organizers of the new-for-2002 Primal Quest Telluride 360-Degress Adventure Festival are trying to pull off.

Like the all-over-the-map music festivals of the 1990s, the four-day event, July 11-14, will try to bring together a diverse cross-section of people. Included in the itinerary will be adventure racing, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, trail running and for the less energized… fly-fishing.

From a cycling standpoint the 360-Fest will provide a new opportunity for both amateur and pro mountain bikers. All four major disciplines — cross-country, downhill, short track and mountain cross — will be contested, and according to event organizer Rick Sutton of Sea Otter fame, the prize money at stake for the pros will mirror that of his season-opening event in Northern California.

Sutton says that he’s already received commitments from downhiller Eric Carter as well as the Tomac racing team. Carter and John Tomac will help with course design. Other possible pro attendees include the Trek and Gary Fisher teams, though no formal commitments have been made.

Besides the competition, which Sutton estimates will attract as many as 2000 athletes, the event’s promotional material touts a substantial sports exposition area, a sports film festival, training clinics and gear demonstrations.

The cornerstone of the event will be the Primal Quest Adventure race, which will actually run from July 9-18. Sutton says all the top adventure race teams will descend on Telluride to contest the $250,000 prize purse.

The main venue, as well as the start-finish area, will be at the Telluride Mountain Village, which sits at the base of the ski area several miles outside of town.

Telluride is located in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The closest major airports are in Denver and Albuquerque, New Mexico, which are both more than 330 miles away. But there is limited direct service to Telluride, as well as flights to the smaller Colorado cities of Cortez, Durango, Montrose and Gunnison, none of which is more than 150 miles away.