Downieville Classic Cross Country Race

Point to point cross country race, and
All-Mountain World Championships Stage 1

Sierra City to Downieville. 4,413' ascent / 5,692' descent
For 2018, we have eliminated the gravel road 93 to Baby Heads, and replaced with specatucalar all Sierra Crest singletrack on the new Gold Valley Rim Trail singletrack! Miles more of singletrack instead of gravel road. Stay tuned! These numbers will change, details coming.

The Downieville Classic cross country race is one of the last remaining point-to-point bicycle races in the United States. The 29 mile course follows a rugged "Gold Rush" era route that departs the mountain town of Sierra City (elevation 4,100'), climbs to the crest of the Sierra Nevada (elevation 7,100'), and then plunges 5,200 vertical feet into downtown Downieville. A golden pathway, selected as a tribute to the mountains, the rivers, the fresh mountain air, and to the hard men that carved these trails through the river canyons in search of gold and prosperity.

The adventure begins with an 8 mile, 3,000' climb up the face of the Sierra Buttes, a metamorphic crown that stretches 8,600' towards the wide-open sky. This legendary climb is known to many as the "Trail of Tears". It starts with pavement, turns to dirt, and then gradually steepens and narrows to a loose, exposed, shaly doubletrack. We try to make things more comfortable by providing an overhead water mister at the 2 mile point, and Clif Bar supported aid stations at the 4 and 7 mile markers.
After cresting the saddle, the route follows a rolling jeep road to the east rim of Gold Valley and the top of "Baby Heads" - a fast, loose, rocky descent that is responsible for numerous flat tires, get-offs and lead changes. At the bottom of this anarchy awaits Gold Valley and the Pauley Creek crossing. This 30' wide crossing can be as deep as 3' during the race, often making it difficult to navigate across at high-speed.
Once across, the route turns to singletrack on the Pauley Creek Trail, a 17 mile creekside plunge that blends flowing turns and rolling jumps with jagged rocks and slippery roots. After descending 2,000' and crossing three foot-bridges, the trail climbs from the Pauley Creek Canyon to the Lavezzola Creek Canyon, and to the trailhead of the world famous Third Divide Trail. Third Divide is known for it's Star Wars like speeds, magic carpet tread, bermed corners and lofty airs.
After a thrilling 3 miles, Third Divide Trail dumps out onto Lavezzola Road, which descends to the upper First Divide trail, a 150 year-old water flume built to provide water to a nearby hydraulic mining site. This stretch of trail requires a ton of pedaling as it winds its way downstream through the Lavezzola Creek Canyon, across a saddle, and into the Pauley Creek Canyon to the long awaited streets of downtown Downieville for the finish.


The Downieville Classic is 1 part of the The Lost Sierra Triple Crown race series, consisting of the Lost and Found, Downieville Classic and Grinduro, an amazing challenge of both fitness and bike handling skills. The Triple Crown will promise to be a fun and challenging endeavor for all participants. Are you up for the challenge?

In the spirit of competition, we'll be using a Points System to determine our All-Mountain World Champions. Lowest points wins. A points tie will default to the riders DH finish position.

1st - 1 pt
2nd - 2 pts
3rd - 3 pts
4th - 4 pts
5th - 5 pts
6th - 6 pts
7th - 7 pts
8th - 8 pts
9th - 9 pts
10th - 10 pts
11th - 11 pts
12th - 12 pts
13th - 13 pts
14th - 14 pts
15th - 15 pts
16th - 16 pts
17th - 17 pts
18th - 18 pts
19th - 19 pts
20th - 20 pts

800 race entries available, including 350+ All-Mountain entries

On-Site Registration/Packet Pick-up:

Packet Pick-up - Friday
Sign waivers, pick up bib # and timing chips in Downieville at the Community Hall

Onsite Registration: Saturday in Sierra City at the Community Hall
7:00-9:00am Register for event and Pre-registered racers sign waivers, pick up bib number and timing chip
9:00am Racer Registration CLOSES. No exceptions
9:30am Start of Cross Country Race


CLICK HERE for a diagram showing Sierra City: parking, registration location and racer staging
9:30am - Pro and Pro All-Mountain
9:35am - Expert, Expert All-Mountain and Singlespeed
9:40am - Sport
9:45am - Beginner and Junior



Pro Men**
Pro Women**
Expert Junior Men 13-18**
Expert Men 30 & Under**
Expert Men 31-40**
Expert Men 41-50**
Expert Men 51-60**
Expert Men 61+*
Junior Women 13-18**
Expert Women 30 & Under**
Expert Women 31-40**
Expert Women 41-50**
Expert Women 51+**
Singlespeed open ages**

*Eligible for Triple Crown points


Sport Junior Men 13-18
Sport Men 30 & Under
Sport Men 31-40
Sport Men 41-50
Sport Men 51-60
Sport Women 30 & Under
Sport Women 31+


Beginner Men 30 & Under
Beginner Men 31-40
Beginner Men 41+
Beginner Women open ages

* Okay, pay attention here. This race Saturday combines xc-only and all-mountain entrants. Whoever finishes 1st through 4th of those entrants in the Saturday race is guaranteed a shot at early registration for the All-Mountain event the following year. This may not sound like any big deal, but remember, the All-Mountain event has very limited registration and generally sells out within about 30 seconds of registration opening. The frustration from a missed registration has been known to make grown men weep, good friends to get in fistfights, governments to collapse, and may even be a known cause of cancer. This is a big podium incentive.

"Stick to the Track"
Some riders seem to be all too familiar with racing events like Megavalanche, and other big mountain enduros, where the fastest man or woman down the mountain, regardless of the route, is crowned champion. This type of racing became a problem in the 2010 Downieville Classic, as we had several riders using what we like to refer to as "Hillbilly Lines". We are officially ending this method of racing, by placing course marshals in known “cutter” areas. Riders that do not stick to the track will be disqualified.

All net proceeds go to the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, to support the SBTS Trail Maintenance Program. Fees also include; insurance, accurate computerized timing, EMT support, aid stations with refreshments, catered lunch, shuttle service from Downieville to Sierra City following the event, event socks, pint glass filled with cold beer at the finish, grab bag- properly equipped, Downieville School kitchen rental, Downieville Community Hall rental, Sierra City Community Hall rental, Sierra County Special Use fees, US Government Special Use fees, including surveys of reproductive pattern of California Spotted Owl territory S1057 / Northern Goshawk territory D53T13, and a whole mess of porta-potties, garbage cans and recycling receptacles.

Parking will be available at the "Flats", Kentucky Mine Museum, and north of Sierra City on Highway 49. Be sure that your vehicle is completely off the road surface, otherwise you could be ticketed and towed! A complimentary racer shuttle will be available from 12:00pm to 3:00pm, returning riders and spectators to their cars Sierra City.

Note: If you are being dropped off in Sierra City by a friend, parking in Downieville is limited to the following areas: Highway 49, both north and south of Downieville. The USFS Downieville Ranger Station, located across the bridge from the Pizzeria and behind the Courthouse. Cannon Point, located at the western end of Downieville along Highway 49.

Parking is always a major issue in Downieville. We recommend you use the shuttle services provided, especially on Saturday, as the number of cars outnumber the town's population. Be curtious to the locals and respect all private property.
Special Note: please be smart about where you park, especially in town, or you will be ticketed and towed!