More than 60 national titles will be on the line this week as top mountain bikers from around nation face off at the Bear Creek Resort in Macungie, Pennsylvania on July 17-20 for the 2014 US Cross Country Mountain bike National Championships.
Riders will compete for medals and Stars-and-Stripes jerseys over four days in cross country, short track, singlespeed and super D competitions.
Among those returning to the 2014 nationals, held for the second year in a row in Pennsylvania are many defending cross country national champions, including Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) and Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing) as well as defending short track champion Todd Wells (Specialized Racing). Davison also won the women's short track title in 2013.
Davison will have plenty of competition from fellow Olympians and former national champions Georgia Gould (Luna) and Mary McConneloug (Kenda/NoTubes) as well as .Evelyn Dong (Backcountry.com), Erin Huck (Tokyo Joes/VCGraphix.com), Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna) and Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com).
Other podium contenders in the men's race include Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale), Michael Broderick (Kenda/NoTubes), Drew Edsall, Russell Finsterwald (SRAM Factory), Alex Grant (Sho-Air/Cannondale), Mitch Hoke, Brian Matter (KS Energy Services/Team Wisconsin), Spencer Paxson (Kona) and last year's U23 champion Kerry Werner (BMC Project Dirt).
In addition to the Stars-and-Stripes jerseys that are on the line, automatic world championship team nominations are also up for grabs for men’s and women’s 17-18 junior, under 23 and elite winners.
The trails at Bear Creek Mountain Resort include 150-year-old mining switchback roads up the mountain. The trails also feature rocky, technical sections which demand as much power, skill and technique on the ascents as on the descents.
The amateur cross country course spans just short of seven miles and includes many of the course features available on the mountain. The pro course includes the mountain's signature feature, a rock drop plus a triple log crossing and a rock jump just before the finish.