Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals set to go

Banner Elk, N.C. (Oct. 20, 2008)--Providing the proving ground for many of our nations rising fat tire stars, Lees-McRae College will once again host the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships, October 23-26 in Banner Elk, N.C.

The action begins Friday morning with the battle for supremacy in the cross country event over the five-mile loop through the breathtaking Appalachian Mountains. Both Division I and II men and women will compete for the crown in the Olympic-style race over the varying, 50-percent single track course, which is a permanent fixture on the Lees-McRae campus.  Later that afternoon, gravity riders will attempt to qualify for the finals on the technical downhill course at Sugar Mountain Resort that has tested the country’s top pros. Also on Friday professional Decline Team America gravity racer and 2007 USA Cycling Dual Slalom National champion, Chris Herndon, will lead a complimentary course inspection clinic open to all collegiate attendees. The clinic, set for 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, will cover line choice and form on Sugar Mountain's downhill course. A former collegiate racer at nearby Lindsey Wilson College, Herndon gives back to collegiate cycling in the form of coaching gravity and skills with the Brevard College cycling team, course design and production and leading a variety of skills clinics.

Saturday the action will return to the Lees-McRae campus where the short track cross country races and will provide a great opportunity for spectators to witness bar to bar racing as riders battle it out for the title of national champion. That afternoon at approximately 2:00 p.m., the finals of the downhill competition will take place on what is largely the same course as was used in the 2007 event, featuring 1,200 feet of vertical drop over the 1.5-mile course.  
In the spirit of collegiate cycling, the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championship Banquet will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Ski Sugar Mountain Lodge where USA Cycling National Development Team graduate and multiple-time collegiate national champion, Brent Bookwalter, will serve as guest speaker.

Sunday’s finale will begin at 8:00 a.m. and will feature a pure dual slalom competition on Lees-McRae’s own course complete with four-foot high starting deck. Immediately thereafter, the event will conclude with the coronation of the overall team and individual omnium national champions in both Division I and II as defending champs, Fort Lewis College and the Colorado School of Mines, will seek to regain the glory of last year’s team victory.  
For more information on the 2008 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships, including a complete schedule, rules and registration, click here.
Click here to check out the current 2008-2009 Collegiate rankings.
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 October 20, 2008 For more information contact: