Established in 1991, bikers from across Arizona and the Southwest have gathered in Fountain Hills, Arizona to celebrate an iconic spring event. The Specialized Cactus Cup is THE season-opener in March, that includes races for professionals, amateurs, and juniors. Three dynamic days of racing kick off the season with Short Track, XC and Enduro events. Riders test their grit in warm weather over desert single track that takes them through washes, steep ridges and of course big cacti. To chase the Cactus Cup and capture the overall title, racers compete for all 3 days of the event. Additionally, there are kids events, recreational rides, and a consumer expo full of new season products in a vibrant festival atmosphere.
The original race was founded by Team Aware, a group of well known Arizona locals sitting on the tailgate of an old truck pondering how cool it would be to race mountain bikes in the desert…..They began building trails and little did they know they would modernize trail design, win awards and set the standard for high-speed biking and multi-use trail sustainability. We still race on the same trails and since then some of the most notable names in mountain biking have left their mark. The Specialized Cactus Cup is a pillar of mountain biking history that now attracts thousands of riders annually.
For professionals looking to lay down their first race effort of the season, The Specialized Cactus Cup delivers. Athletes in the Elite Category, compete for a Prize Purse totaling $5000 in cash prizes with distribution to the top 5 racers. The 2021 event welcomed a stout field of 50 pro men and 20 pro women in a year when registration was capped for Covid precautions.
Hub Events, has taken the Specialized Cactus Cup into the future. While continuing the tradition of bringing professional and amateur mountain bikers and their families together for a weekend of competition and fun, the event focuses on encouraging a new enthusiasts through kids’ races, live entertainment, food trucks and a beer garden.
The Specialized Cactus cup actively supports the Central Arizona Mountain Bike Patrol in their mission to assist, educate and inform all trail users in order to enhance their recreational experience.
The Specialized Cactus Cup has also officially adopted the Tech Loop trail on the competitive track at McDowell Mountain Park. We promote trail stewardship through our community-based trail maintenance and clean up events.
Some of the best mountain biking trails in Arizona are in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. The park has much to offer over 40-miles of pristine desert trails ranging from the technical to the friendly and incorporating cross country, flow trails, and a competitive short track. The park offers 76 individual sites for tent or RV camping as well as dry camping which sell out quickly every year.
Cactus Cup | 3 Days of Racing: Short Track or TT \ XC 40-mile \ Enduro
Mini Cup | 3 Days of Racing: Short Track or TT \ XC 25-mile \ Enduro
Short Track | Time Trial | Enduro | XC 10-Mile | XC 40-Mile | XC 25-Mile + Class 1 E- MTB
Gran Fondo, Kids Race, Kids Balance Bike Race, Kids MTB Camp
Expo, Shopping, Kids Zone, Live Music, Food Truck Area, Beer Garden, Bunny Hop Competition
“We had the most amazing experience at the Cactus Cup. It was an effort to coordinate this trip from New Jersey for the three of us and we are glad that it turned out to be one of the most amazing events we have the fortune to be a part of. Your staff did a great job and everything was organized and kept at a fun level as well. We plan on attending next year as well”. Dominick I., Scott H. and David G. New Jersey
“Thank you and the entire crew for making this such a welcoming and fun event for a mtn bike newbie !! Wow amazing top to bottom. Thanks again!!!” Megan H. Colorado
“Thanks to you as well as everyone else who puts this race together… we had a blast and made memories to last a lifetime”. 🙂 Bryan T. Texas
(*Times subject to adjustment)
9am Vendor Load-in/Set Up
6am Site opens for reserved camping & check in for
reserved Team Pits
9am Main Venue Opens; Registration, Packet pick up and Expo
Noon EVENT KICK OFF – Time Trial p/b Landis Cyclery
4pm Huss Brewing Beer Garden
5pm Pro Men/Women Race Start
6pm Award Ceremony
6am Registration / Packet Pick Up Open
8:30am Kids Mountain Bike Camp
9am Cross Country Event Start
9am Expo & Kids Zone Open
10:30am Kids Balance Bike Races (ages 1 – 5)
Noon Live Entertainment on Main Stage
2:30pm Kids Racing (1st grade – 8th grade)
Bunny Hop Competition
7am Registration/Packet Pick Up Open
8am Enduro Race Start
9am Expo & Kids Zone Open
11am Gran Fondo
1pm Final Awards Ceremony
SAGE MELLEY | firstname.lastname@example.org | 480-518-3742
LORI KANOUSE | email@example.com | 602-618-0280