USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendars unveiled for 09

Colorado Springs, Colo. (September 25, 2008)—USA Cycling announced today the 34 races that will comprise the third annual USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendars. With the 2008 calendar champions yet to be crowned in the disciplines of cross country and ultra-endurance, USA Cycling is looking toward the future with the announcement of the 2009 Cross Country, Gravity and Ultra-Endurance National Calendars.

The USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendars were specifically designed to provide a more accessible opportunity for top-level events in the United States that have not traditionally been part of the national series model. The concept is compatible with a variety of event models and provides professional and elite-level athletes with consistent, top-quality racing opportunities across all disciplines of mountain biking.

“The 2009 Mountain Bike National Calendars look solid this year, with a more logistical travel schedule and a higher cash purse minimum for the Cross Country Calendar. With the addition of the United States Cup and the UCI races, we’re really looking forward to some strong events and competition. The Gravity and Ultra-Endurance Calendars are also seeing the return of excellent events and venues.”

Consisting of 19 events across 13 states, the cross country calendar will kick off with the Fontana United States Cup in Fontana, California on March 20 and will once again stretch seven months to the last weekend in October when the Piney Hills Classic in Ruston, La. concludes the calendar.  In between, several notable events including seven United States Cup series races are included.

Over the course of the season-long calendar, athletes will accrue ranking points as they pursue overall titles in men’s and women’s individual and team categories – much like USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar model in road cycling.

Each of the 29 events on the cross country calendar is categorized according to the amount of overall ranking points available. Three category-1 events offer the most points – the Sea Otter United States Cup in Monterrey, Calif., the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships in Granby, Colo. and the Mount Snow United States Cup in West Dover, Vt.

The cross country calendar also includes two category-2 events, three category-3 races and 11 category-4 events. 

Athletes will also have the opportunity to accumulate UCI points at eight calendar events as all category-1, category-2 and category-3 events are included on the UCI calendar. Those eight events will offer athletes eight different opportunities to gather UCI points on American soil in 2009.  

The eight-event gravity calendar, which features downhill, 4-cross, super D and dual slalom events, will span five states. With similar category designations, there is one category-1 event and three category-2 events on the 2009 calendar. The category-1 event will be the USA Cycling National Championships, July 16-19, and the category-2 events include the Chile Challenge in Angel Fire, N.M., May 23-25, the Blast the Mass in Snowmass, Colo., June 27-28 and the Whiteface 5K Downhill on Aug. 30.

The ultra endurance calendar consists of 62-mile races, marathons, eight, 12- and 24-hour races. The seven-race calendar will once again kick off with the Mas O Menos 100K in Terlingua, Texas on February 4th and wrap up at the National Mountain Bike Oktoberfest in Davison, N.C. on October 24-25.

As in the cross country calendar, the gravity calendar and ultra endurance calendar will also crown overall champions at season’s end.

An important element in the creation of the separate calendars within the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendar framework allows for events that have a stronger presence in one particular discipline to be a part of the national calendar.
 
With the 2008 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Gravity Calendar the only one of the three completed, Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.) and Aaron Gwin (Morongo Valley, Calif.) earned the overall calendar victories.

For the complete USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendars, click on the links below:

Cross Country: http://www.usacycling.org/forms/mbnc/MTBNatzCalendar_XC.pdf (coming soon)
Gravity: http://usacycling.org/forms/mbnc/MTBNatzCalendar_Gravity.pdf
Ultra Endurance: http://www.usacycling.org/forms/mtb/09_MBNC_Schedule_UE.pdf

 
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 www.usacycling.org. For media-related or general inquiries, please contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at alee@usacycling.org.


This Article Published September 25, 2008 For more information contact:
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