2013 USA Cycling Cross-Country MTB Nationals return to east coast; begin on Thursday

The 2013 USA Cycling Cross-Country Mountain Bike National Championships are set to roll from July 18-21 at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, Pa. The four-day competition is in the Eastern time zone for the first time since 2008.

Three riders who represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games are expected to compete in Pennsylvania. Bronze medalist and defending national champion Georgia Gould (, Colo./) and Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Factory Racing) highlight the pro wo’s field stocked with talent. Among the competitors vying for Gould’s national championship are (Arlington, Mass./Cycle Loft Velo), Judy Freeman (Boulder, Colo./Crankbrothers Race Club),  (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-Stan’s NoTubes), Teal Stetson-Lee (Durango, Colo./Team LUNA Chix) and Chloe Woodruff (Tucson, Ariz./Crankbrothers Race Club).http://www.usacycling.org/usacgallery/photo/legacy/2012/Jul/37602-Gouldcelebratingwin-med.JPG

The ’s field is overflowing with top-flight riders poised to unseat Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Trek Factory Racing) as the national champion. Schultz’s teammate in London at the 2012 Olympic Games, (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing), who has collected countless national titles, is in good form after winning the Subaru Cup Day 1 in Mt. Morris, Wis., on Saturday, July 13. Among the competitors vying for Schultz’s title as national champion are Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-Stan’s NoTubes), Carl Decker (Bend, Ore./Giant Factory Off) and 24-year-old Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./ BMC Mountainbike Racing Team).

The ’s U23 race also boasts a wealth of talent asRussell Finsterwald (, Colo./Trek Factory Racing) is set to compete against Howard Grotts(Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College), Keegan Swenson(Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing) and Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC U23 Developt MTB Team).

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
The trails at Bear Creek Mountain Resort include 150-year-old mining switchback s up the mountain. The trails also feature rocky, technical sections which demand as much power, skill and technique on the ascents as on the descents.

The amateur cross-country course spans just short of seven miles and includes many of the course features available on the mountain. The pro course includes the mountain’s signature feature, a rock drop plus a triple log crossing and a rock jump just before the finish.

Full course maps are available online.

SCHEDULE
Thursday’s racing begins with nine category 3 age groups contesting one-lap of the amateur cross-country course. The juniors and wo 15-18, senior and wo 19-29, masters 30-54 and wo 30-49 are each slated to toe the line at 9 a.m. That group will be followed by category 2 riders in the same age groups contesting a two-lap race beginning at 11:30 a.m. The first day of competition concludes with three short track cross-country races. The first of those three races pits the juniors 10-14 competing in a 10-minute plus one-lap race beginning at 2:30 p.m. The category 1 senior 19-29 will race for 20 minutes plus three laps beginning at 3 p.m. before the category 1 masters also compete for 20 minutes and three laps beginning at 3:45 p.m.

The action heats up on Friday with the ’s and wo’s U23 races on the pro cross-country course. The wo’s U23 race opens the day of racing at 8:30 a.m. while the ’s race is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. The category 1 juniors wo’s 15-16 and 17-18 races are scheduled to begin at 8:33 a.m. The U23 ’s race will be followed by the category 1 juniors 15-16 and 17-18 starting at 10:33 a.m. The spectators’ focus will shift to the juniors cross-country course for six races beginning with the juniors ’s and wo’s 13-14 races beginning at 12:30 p.m. The juniors ’s and wo’s 11-12 races begin at 2 p.m. before the juniors ’s and wo’s 6-10 toe the line at 3:30 p.m.Seven groups of masters racers cap the day’s racing with two laps of the amateur cross-country course beginning at4:30 p.m. The masters 55-and-up will race two laps alongside the masters wo 50-and-up to conclude Friday’s racing.

Saturday’s racing begins with eight groups turning three laps of the amateur cross-country course at 8 a.m. The category 1 seniors 19-29, masters 30-54 and the ’s singlespeed racers are each slated to race early on Saturdaymorning. The senior wo 19-29 will race alongside the masters wo 30-49 and the singlespeed wo’s racers at10:30 a.m. The penultimate day of competition concludes with the professional ’s and wo’s cross-country races. The wo’s race is slated to begin at 1 p.m. while the ’s race starts at 3:30 p.m.

The event concludes with Super D and short track cross-country racing on Sunday. The racing begins at 9 a.m. on the Super D course. The short track cross-country takes center stage in the afternoon with four races spanning 20 minutes plus three laps. The category 1 wo’s race begins at 1:30 p.m. before the category 1 juniors 15-18 is set to begin at 2:15 p.m. The penultimate race of the day features the pro wo at 3 p.m. before the pro cap the day’s racing at 3:45 p.m.

ANCILLARY EVENTS
It’s not just the making Bear Creek the place to be in mid-July. From Wed., July 17, to Sat., July 20, the Bear Creek Mountain Resort is offering many exciting, fun ancillary events.

On Wednesday, the reggae band, Trouble City All-Stars will be performing in the Rock Garden from 5-8 p.m. The next night, the Trails End Café is offering karaoke along with a bonfire and sing-along. From 8-11 p.m. on Friday, there will be a trivia and dance party in the Rock Garden. The ancillary entertaint concludes on Saturday night with a fireworks extravaganza. Spectators are encouraged to watch the night sky fill with sparks from the Rock Garden beginning at 9:30 p.m.

About Ron 3382 Articles
Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

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