The final national titles of 2014 are set to be awarded this weekend as the 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships get underway at North Carolina’s Beech Mountain.
In addition to the cross-country, short track, downhill, and dual slalom contests, the event will also feature the return of the co-ed team relay which was a rider and fan favorite in its debut last year.
TWENTY-FOUR NATIONAL TITLES ON THE LINE
By the end of the weekend, 24 national titles will be awarded including the coveted team omniums in Divisions I and II. Fort Lewis College will look to defend its Division I team omnium from 2013 which it won ahead of powerhouse Marian University. In Division II, Brevard College will ride in defense of its omnium which it took ahead of Western State Colorado University last year.
RIDERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The trails on Beech Mountain certainly won’t be lacking any talent this weekend. Kate Courtney (Stanford University) will be one to watch in the Division I women’s races. She won both the cross-country and short track cross-country events last year, but she’ll have to face threats from riders like Linnea Dixson (University of Wyoming), Emily Shields (Lees-McRae College), and Coryn Rivera (Marian University). In the gravity events, watch out for Rebecca Gardner (Fort Lewis College) (DH) and Shayona Glynn (Marian University). In Division II, spectators can expect plenty of heated action from riders like Sarah Hill (Brevard College) and Kaysee Armstrong (King University).
Many of the key players from last year’s Men’s Division I competitions have moved out of the collegiate ranks, but there will be strong riders like Sepp Kuss (University of Colorado – Boulder) and John Swanguen (Lindsey Wilson College) who will be sure to keep things interesting. In Division II, Zachary Valdez (Brevard College) will return to Beech Mountain to ride in defense of the cross-country and short track titles that he took home a year ago, but he’ll have to fight off attacks from riders like Wesley Lamberson (Union College – KY) and Dylan Johnson (Brevard College).
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Racing kicks off on Friday with the short track contests, as well as downhill seeding. Cross-country and downhill finals will take center stage on Saturday before the event concludes on Sunday with the team relay and dual slalom races. For a complete schedule, click here.