Jim McKenna is president of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. He says the Leadville qualifier will provide an economic boost for Wilmington and the Olympic region. And he says there's room for the event to grow.
"Right now we have just about 200 riders in the race," he said. "It's not so much that we're looking at this year, but this is one of those events that we feel can grow significantly over the next three to five years."
The Wilmington/Whiteface Bike Fest also features the Whiteface Uphill Bike Race on Saturday - a five-mile trek up the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway.
Additionally, the state Department of Environmental Conservation will host the grand opening of the Beaver Brook Mountain Bike Trail System.
DEC Region 5 spokesman David Winchell says the trail system features biking and hiking opportunities for all ability levels. The grand opening ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the trailhead, located on Hardy Road in Wilmington.