Colorado Springs, Colo. (Oct. 24, 2011) — The 2011 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships begin Friday, Oct. 28 and continue until Sunday, Oct. 30, at Angel Fire Bike Park in Angel Fire, N.M. The most competitive cycling schools in the country are expected to compete for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys in for mountain bike events in addition to individual and team omnium awards during the second event of the 2011-12 Collegiate Cycling National Team Rankings.
Competition begins Friday as the riders will turn 5.5-mile laps on the cross-country course which traverses 1,400 feet of elevation gain and loss on each circuit. Racing begins at 9 a.m. when the Division I females will be followed five minutes later by the Division II women. The Division I men follow at noon with the Division II men five minutes later. Seeding for the entire downhill competition begins at 4 p.m.
Racing continues Saturday at 9 a.m. as riders contest the short-track cross-country course which spans one-half mile per lap. Once again, the Division I women open, followed by the Division II ladies an hour later. The Division I men begin their short-track cross-country competition at 11 a.m. before the Division II riders contest the course at noon. The downhill finals are slated to begin Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Riders will descend 2.8 miles, losing 1,700 feet of elevation on the downhill course.
Sunday marks the return of the dual slalom competition as riders will contest the course which descends 100 feet in a quarter-mile span.
Erica Zaveta (Erwinna, Pa./Lees McRae College) and Jill Behlen (Boulder, Colo./University of Wyoming), who also ride in USA Cycling’s National Development Program, are Division I riders to keep an eye on. Zaveta won the women’s “A” short-track cross-country race while placing third in the cross-country and downhill competitions at the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (SECCC) Championships last weekend. Behlen won the women’s under-23 race at the 2011 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships in Ketchum, Idaho, in July to earn a spot on the American team at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champery, Switzerland. In the Division II women’s individual competition, sophomore Eva Wilson (Kensington, N.H./Warren Wilson College) and Coleen Pacurariu (United States Air Force Academy, Colo./United States Air Force Academy) are chief among the competitors. Wilson improved as the conference season moved along this year, culminating in winning the women’s omnium and the cross-country race at her conference championships, last weekend. Wilson also earned second place in the short-track cross-country and fourth in the dual slalom. Pacurariu has posted wins in the mountain cross and downhill competitions at Rock the Steamboat in Sept. before topping the field in downhill races at the WSC on Oct. 1 and 2. Paurariu defeated Behlen in the dual slalom at the 2011 FLC Squawker MTB Classic last weekend.
Rotem Ishay (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College), who won the cross-country and short-track cross-country races at the 2010 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships in Truckee, Calif., is considered among the favorites for the men’s Division I individual omnium. Challenging Ishay will be Victor Alber (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./University of Florida) who earned the season-long omnium in the SECCC. Last weekend, Alber finished third in the short-track cross-country as well as the cross-country races while placing eighth in the dual slalom. Among the Division II men’s riders, Eric Smith (Ripon, Wisc./Ripon College) continued to blossom this season after finishing ninth in the men’s omnium in 2010. Smith won six out of the 13 conference endurance races and won one downhill race was placed second in the other two downhill competitions.
Online registration for this event closes Monday, Oct. 24 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Riders are reminded that there will be no on-site registration after Thursday at 6 p.m., but registered riders will be able to pick their packets up on site during posted times.
Visit the official event webpage of the 2011 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships for more information on the event, including important eligibility requirements, competition guide, complete schedule, results, photo gallery and more. Follow the event on Twitter, using hashtag #CollNats.
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, USA Cycling comprises 70,000 licensees; 2,400 clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,900 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year, manages 17 national championship events and is responsible for fostering the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.
About USA Cycling – Collegiate
With over 4,700 student athletes and 300 collegiate clubs and teams, Collegiate Cycling is the division of USA Cycling responsible for administering competitive bicycle racing in 11 unique collegiate conferences. Collegiate Cycling also oversees all four USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships: Track, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-cross, and Road, and recognizes collegiate club and athlete achievements with the Stenner and Kuck scholarships. To learn more about USA Cycling-Collegiate, visit www.usacycling.org/collegiate. 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.
About Angel Fire Bike Park
Located in Angel Fire, New Mexico, Angel Fire Bike Park is a premiere mountain bike destination in the southern Rocky Mountains. The Bike Park offers chairlift-accessed terrain for downhill, cross-country and all-mountain styles of mountain bike riding, including beginner, intermediate and advanced/ expert trails. Collective features of the bike park include riding clinics, bike rentals and repairs, guided tours, skills parks, freestyle features, special events and bike-friendly, slopeside lodging. Angel Fire Bike Park is privately owned and operated by Angel Fire Resort, and is open from May to October, providing one of the longest bike park seasons in the United States. For additional information on Angel Fire Bike Park or Angel Fire Resort, please call 800-633-7463 or log on to www.angelfirebikepark.com.
Source: Dave Gaylinn, USA Cycling