The 2014 Cyclocross National Championships were off to a robust start on Wednesday as up to 1,600 racers from ages 8 to 80 started to converge on Boulder's Valmont Bike Park for the city's first hosting of what's known as the steeplechase of bike racing.

Daniel Bork was among those showing his grit on the 5280 Run Up stairs, also called the "BonkBreaker Heart Breaker during Wednesday's Men 45+ Non-Championship race on Wednesday afternoon. During the same race, Kirk Rinehart sampled the local soil when he took a spill on Pete's Plunge, an off-camber right-hand turn.

It is hardly Boulder's first date with a high-profile cycling event, but it is the city's first experience in staging the increasingly popular version of two-wheeled competition. Boulder landed the race as one of three finalist cities that bid on the 2014 championships.

Boulder's candidacy was certainly aided by construction of the Valmont Bike Park, located northeast of Valmont and Airport roads, which will be three years old in June.

The event, which is free to the public, concludes with the men's and women's elite races Sunday afternoon. The last event each day typically starts between 2:30 and 3:15 p.m., and the course closes at 5 p.m.