USA Cycling announced all 2011 US National Mountain Bike Championships at the end of 2010. One of the more interesting changes is the change of event for the Mountain Bike Marathon (XCM) National Championship from Breckenridge, Colorado to Bend, Oregon.
As with many XCM National Championships around the globe, and the UCI XCM World Championships, the US Champs are usually tied in with another event. This keeps the event with it’s elite field within a great atmosphere, and helps keep administration costs down. Plus, it gives all Marathon Mountain Bikers the opportunity to say that they have raced on the same course as one of their MTB heroes.
Breckenridge hosted the XCM Nationals with the Firecracker 50 event for the past four years – and was highly successful in doing so. At only just over 80km, the 50 mile event is on the shorter side of a UCI sanctioned Marathon National Championship. However, along with location and timing on the National Holiday of July 4th – the field of elite racers was always very deep in talent. Masters racer Mike Hogan, from the Justin’s Nut Butter Team explains:
“The event has been sold out to over 750 riders and has been an extremely well run race that has been both popular and challenging. To take this history and success and to move it to Bend, Oregon will be a new twist”.
And so now the event moves to Bend, Oregon. Away from the high altitude and dusty trails of Breckenridge, and now late in the season on September 17th – the Nationals Championships are sure to be a very different event.
“Bend is no stranger to big cycling events, hosting US Road Nationals and US Cyclocross Nationals over the past several years. Bend is an amazing town with spectacular scenery and bike culture that is sure to be up to the task.” Hogan assured us when talking with MarathonMTB.com. “I am not sure that it will draw the numbers that Breckenridge did, but it will have a flair all its own….Bend Style. The date that is set now is well into September which will offer yet another twist to the marathon mountain biker’s calendars”.
A new town, a new date, a new timezone, and a different style of trail in the Pacific Northwest. A change is as good as a holiday, and MarathonMTB.com looks forward to seeing how the US XCMNational Championships will unfold in 2011.