Mountain Bike National Championships open with U23 Cross Country

West Dover, Vt. (July 17, 2008)—The USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships opened on Thursday with Tad Elliott (Durango, Colo.) and Chloe Forsman (Boulder, Colo.) riding to respective victories in the U23 men’s and women’s cross country contests. With her win, Forsman successfully defended her Stars-and-Stripes from a year ago at Southern Vermont’s Mount Snow Resort while the 20-year old Elliott earned his first national title.  
Elliott, stepped up to take advantage of a wide open men’s race after an early crash by defending national champion and heavy pre-race favorite, Sam Jurekovic (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Elliott rode a strong fourth and final lap to take the title with a winning time of 1:48:57, while Mitchell Peterson (Sandy, Utah) took the silver and last year’s third-place-finisher Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo.) repeated his bronze-medal performance.
“I’ve never been a national champion in anything before, so this is huge for me,” said Elliott, an accomplished nordic ski racer. “I was really nervous, so I was just trying to keep it smooth.”
Jurekovic pushed the 32-rider field men’s field up the first climb, but suffered from an unfortunate crash halfway down the initial descent. After attempting to re-enter the race, the defending national champion was forced to drop out due to injuries suffered in the devastating crash.
“I just glanced off at a practicing downhiller, hit a water bar and went down so fast,” explained Jurekovic. “I’m pretty banged up and going to be really sore, but racing on Sunday is still a possibility,”
With the 20+ mile race only just underway, the road to the Stars-and-Stripes was wide open for the deep field. By the second lap several riders had set themselves apart, including Peterson and Elliott.  It wasn’t until the fourth lap on the fast, dry course that Elliott surged to overtake Peterson and earn the national title.
Faced with three laps on the five-mile circuit, the women’s race played out quite differently with the lead pair of Forsman and Jamie Dinkins (Powell, Tenn.) taking off from the start and never looking back. The small, but talented field didn’t let the pair get too far away however with most riders finishing within 20 minutes of Forsman’s mark of 1:41:02.
“It’s a bit of a relief to defend the title,” said Forsman. “There was definitely strong competition this year, so that makes it special.”
Fresh off a trip to the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, Dinkins improved upon last year’s fourth-place national championship finish, around a minute behind Forsman, while 2007 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Cross Country Champion Kylie Krauss (Asheville, N.C.) crossed the line in third.
The USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships will continue on Friday with the semi-pro, junior, sport and beginner cross country contests as well as the beginner, sport and expert dual slalom national championship races. Saturday’s full slate of competition will feature both the men’s and women’s pro cross country contests as well as the pro dual slalom national championships.
For complete results, click here.
To view photos from the event, click here.
U23 Men’s Cross Country
1. Tad Elliott (Durango, Colo.) 1:48:57
2. Mitchell Peterson (Sandy, Utah) 1:50:59
3. Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo.) 1:52:43
4. Travis Livermon (Winterville, N.C.) 1:53:07
5. Tim Allen (Flagstaff, Ariz.) 1:54:45
U23 Women’s Cross Country
1. Chloe Forsman (Boulder, Colo.) 1:41:02
2. Jamie Dinkins (Powell, Tenn.) 1:42:37
3. Kylie Krauss (Asheville, N.C.) 1:50:27
4. Lydia Tanner (Boulder, Colo.) 1:50:33
5. Amanda Miller (Fort Collins, Colo.) 1:55:30
About USA Cycling   
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization and sanctioning body, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ members, including 57,000 competitive cyclists, 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 350 professional cyclists, and 200 certified mechanics. USA Cycling also sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive organized cycling events throughout the United States annually, as well as 1,800 clubs and teams. Associations of USA Cycling include the United States Cycling Federation (road, track & cyclo-cross), the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), the BMX Association, the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the United States Professional Racing Organization. USA Cycling is also responsible for the identification, development, support and promotion of American cyclists through various athletic initiatives and programs including the USA Cycling National Development Team, the USA Cycling Women’s National Team, the USA Cycling Junior Development Team, Talent Identification and Regional Development Camps, domestic and international race calendars, direct athlete funding and support programs, and educational camps and seminars. USA Cycling also fields and supports U.S. National Teams for various international events, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, Continental Championship and World Cups across all levels and disciplines of competitive cycling. USA cycling further supports grass roots and locally-based initiatives through its 32 Local Associations and comprehensive network of licensed and certified coaches and officials. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts National Championship events for amateur and professional cyclists, awarding more than 600 national titles annually to men and women in junior, U23, masters, elite, professional and paralympic categories throughout the various disciplines of competitive cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit For media-related or general inquiries, please contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867 or   

This Article Published July 17, 2008 For more information contact: