In addition to supporting trail advocacy for the Southern Off Road Bicycle Alliance (SORBA) and IMBA, the Dirt Sweat and Gears (DSG) race will benefit the American Cancer Society.
"This year the American Cancer Society will benefit from your DSG race participation," said Mark Cleveland, a partner in DSG. "It's all about life and how you live it, but it's also about how we come together to support people in need. The battle against this disease hits close to home for many of us."
In the days before the inaugural race in 2007, Cleveland's wife Sheila was diagnosed with breast cancer. She recently completed her last round of chemotherapy treatment. "My partners at DSG recognize the great work done by The American Cancer Society and we support their effort to Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back."
DSG has made an effort to reach out to its women's racers. The second-year USA Cycling Ultra-Endurance Calendar event will offer men and women equal prize money of more than US$10,000.
Women already signed on to attend include Rebecca Rusch (Specialized Bicycles), Namrita O'Dea (Vassago Bicycles), Carey Lowery (Outdoor Store), Danielle Musto (Titus/Maxxis), and reigning race champion Monique "Pua" Sawicki (Ellsworth Bicycles).
Race Director Clay Higgins offered support for the recent work of Georgia Gould (Luna) to petition the UCI for equal prize money for top places for men and women. "We think it is critical that both male and female elite athletes are compensated equally, and if we can continue to do just that at our event, we see no reason that this should not become the norm in cycling," said Higgins.