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USAC considering venues for multiple championships over several years
USA Cycling confirmed that the 2010 Mountain Bike National Championships, scheduled for the weekend of July 15-18, will return to Sol Vista in Granby, Colorado. When 2010 the US National Championship calendar was released in recent weeks, USAC had confirmed only that the mountain bike nationals would be somewhere in Colorado, with no certainty that they would return to Granby.
The town of Granby, located in the Rocky Mountains generally northwest of Denver and north of Winter Park, hosted mountain bike nationals for the first time 2009, and a return to the venue was in process of being negotiated.
"We are moving forward with Sol Vista resort in Granby, Colorado, for 2010," said Andrea Smith of USA Cycling to Cyclingnews. "We're working on a signed contract. They (at Sol Vista) have signed a letter of intent."
The resort will again host national championships for downhill, cross country and four cross events for elite, junior, master and amateur categories.
"Sol Vista has huge potential. They're going to tweak some things in the basin area. For example, they will re-do the cross country course, so you'll be able to see more of it as your watching," said Smith of the proposed changes.
"They'll move the expo area over and open the main area up for teams and vendors. Hopefully, it'll be even more of a festival like atmosphere."
In an effort to reduce the contracting and administrative logistics involved in constantly moving the nationals, USAC has been moving toward a model in which hosts serve as venues for multiple years, though perhaps for different disciplines.
"Right now, we are just focusing on 2010, but ultimately, we're looking to restructure things a little bit and look at places that can host one national championship or another for a number of years," said Smith. "It might be a place that can host two years of the US Mountain Bike National Championships and then two years of Collegiate Nationals, for example. We'll still move things around," promised Smith, who said racers would not be happy if nationals always stayed in the same place since moving venues spreads the travel costs around among USAC members.
USAC does not have a long-term deal with Sol Vista, but she is hopeful that USAC will move forward with such multi-year, multi-championship agreements with some venues. USAC presently coordinates 16 different national championships annually.