The Pan American Championships will take place in Farellones, just 15 minutes from downtown Santiago, Chile, on March 20-22. It will bring together more than 200 riders from countries of North, South and Central America to contest cross country, downhill and 4X titles in elite, under 23, junior, cadet and master categories.
Chile is pinning its own hopes on riders like Olympian Christopher Silva to help it defend the three titles the country earned at the 2008 Pan American Games. That's where Silva won the elite men's cross country.
"I will race with all the pressure of defending the title," said Silva, "but I hope that being a local will be to my advantage."
Foreigners expected to challenge Silva include US National cross country and Super D champion Adam Craig, La Ruta de los Conquistadores winner Paolo Montoya and Leonardo Paez, who has finished fourth at the UCI World Marathon Championships.
In the women's cross country, Chilean Olympian Francisca Campos will battle Canadian Catherine Pendrel, who finished fourth at the Olympic Games and won a World Cup in Bromont last year. The Americans will bring national champion Mary McConneloug and fellow Olympian Georgia Gould.
Read the complete preview of the Pan American Championships.