Downhill racing returns to Massanutten

Virginia venue set to host regional contest in April

The site of a former UCI Downhill World Cup, Massanutten Resort, near Harrisonburg, Virginia, will host its annual Massanutten YeeHa! downhill on April 28-29.

New for 2012 is a shift from a Friday-Saturday event to a more standard Saturday-Sunday event. "For the first time since 1997, we will run the downhill on a Saturday and Sunday instead of a Friday and Saturday," said Massanutten's Resort George Willetts. "Saturday is practice day, and Sunday is race day."

The event is not part of any gravity series. "This year, we will be a non-sanctioned race. We're an independent, stand-alone race with a long-running history."

Organizers are working on continued improvements to the tried and tested 1.2-mile course.

"The course has a small facelift planned. There is a bit of work happening," said Willetts. "We're constantly trying to improve the trail. Ironwood Outdoors is running a machine to create the flow trail section. That will take more track off the dirt road and fireroad and make it more singletrack. It builds on what we did last year."

Last year, young riders like Logan Mulally and Lauren Delaney excelled and both are expected to return to compete again this year.

Massanutten hosted the UCI Downhill World Cup in 1997 and has hosted downhills each year since 1998. It also hosts a popular Triple Crown weekend of cross country, super D and short track racing each June, known as the Massanutten Hoo Ha!. This year's event, the 24th annual, is scheduled for June 9-10.

Camping and practice time are included in the race registration fee. For more information, visit

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