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 (Fort Collins, Colo./LUNA Pro Team) and Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Factory Racing) highlight the pro women’s field stocked with talent. Among the competitors vying for Gould’s national championship are Maureen Bruno-Roy(Arlington, Mass./Cycle Loft Velo), Judy Freeman (Boulder, Colo./Crankbrothers Race Club), Mary McConneloug (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 men’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, Todd Wells(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 OffRoad) and 24-year-old Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./ BMC Mountainbike Racing Team).

The men’s U23 race also boasts a wealth of talent asRussell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, 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 Development MTB Team).

The trails at Bear Creek Mountain Resort include 150-year-old mining switchback roads 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.

Thursday’s racing begins with nine category 3 age groups contesting one-lap of the amateur cross-country course. The juniors men and women 15-18, senior men and women 19-29, masters men 30-54 and women 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 men 10-14 competing in a 10-minute plus one-lap race beginning at 2:30 p.m. The category 1 senior men 19-29 will race for 20 minutes plus three laps beginning at 3 p.m. before the category 1 masters men also compete for 20 minutes and three laps beginning at 3:45 p.m.

The action heats up on Friday with the men’s and women’s U23 races on the pro cross-country course. The women’s U23 race opens the day of racing at 8:30 a.m. while the men’s race is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. The category 1 juniors women’s 15-16 and 17-18 races are scheduled to begin at 8:33 a.m. The U23 men’s race will be followed by the category 1 juniors men 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 men’s and women’s 13-14 races beginning at 12:30 p.m. The juniors men’s and women’s 11-12 races begin at 2 p.m. before the juniors men’s and women’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 men 55-and-up will race two laps alongside the masters women 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 men 19-29, masters men 30-54 and the men’s singlespeed racers are each slated to race early on Saturdaymorning. The senior women 19-29 will race alongside the masters women 30-49 and the singlespeed women’s racers at10:30 a.m. The penultimate day of competition concludes with the professional men’s and women’s cross-country races. The women’s race is slated to begin at 1 p.m. while the men’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 women’s race begins at 1:30 p.m. before the category 1 juniors men 15-18 is set to begin at 2:15 p.m. The penultimate race of the day features the pro women at 3 p.m. before the pro men cap the day’s racing at 3:45 p.m.

It’s not just the national championships 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 entertainment 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.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.
About Ron 3385 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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