A feast of MTB racing action has been announced for the coming year in the United States, with more than $150,000 in prize money at stake.
Across the season the official calendar has been expanded to 42 races and once again split into three categories – cross country, gravity and enduro.
Kelli Lusk, USA Cycling’s newly-appointed Mountain Bike events and program director said, “The 42 events on next season’s national calendars represent the best off-road races in the United States in terms of organization, prize lists and prestige.
“With races in 19 states and all regions of the country, we’ve managed to once again put together a sizeable series-long calendar that provides elite athletes with top-quality racing across all disciplines of competitive mountain biking.”
There are eight new events and four UCI-sanctioned races in the 2008 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Cross Country Calendar, along with the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships.
New events on the 24 race XC calendar include the Keyesville Classic as well as the Rabbit Valley Rampage in Fruita, Colorado, the Massanutten Hoo-Ha in McGayhesville, Virginia, the East Coast National in Windham, New York State, the Tamarack National in Idaho and the Fall Classic in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Ten races are featured on the 2008 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Gravity Calendar – four of which are also on the UCI Calendar. Four of the ten races are also new to the national calendar.
The gravity season also opens with the Keyesville Classic in March before concluding with the Whiteface Third Annual 5k Downhill in Wilmington, New York Stat. on August 31. New events include the Keyesville Classic as well as the Sol Survivor in Sol Vista, Colorado.
Three events – the Chile Challenge, the Blast the Mass and the Keystone Classic – are part of the UCI Calendar, while the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships also offer UCI points to competitors.
After featuring six events last season, the 2008 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Ultra-Endurance Calendar will include eight races. Added to the enduro season are two national championship events – the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado on July 4 and the USA Cycling 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships in Wausau, Wisconsin on August 2 to 3. The last event on the calendar – the Shannon Ridge Showdown in Clear Lake Oaks, California, October 18 to 19 – is also new.
Once again, athletes will accumulate points over the course of the season as they pursue overall titles in six categories. The cross country calendar will again feature traditional Olympic-style cross country races. Gravity calendar events include downhill, 4-cross, super-D and dual slalom events. Ultra-endurance calendar races will feature marathons, 100-kilometer, and 12- and 24-hour competitions.
In 2007, USA Cycling crowned Georgia Gould (Ketchum, Idaho/Luna) and Canadian Geoff Kabush overall champions of the National Cross Country Calendar. Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS) and Australian Jared Graves took home National Gravity Calendar titles. Nat Ross (Golden, Colo./Subaru-Gary Fisher