By Sue George
NMBS organizers issued a revised schedule for the 2008 series. The series will consist of six, not eight rounds relative to the draft version. Gone from the originally published list are the Showdown at Sugar in North Carolina and the round in Snowmass, Colorado. The 2008 finals at Tamarack Resort move up one week to the Labor Day holiday weekend (as celebrated in the US).
"The long and the short of it is that we're always looking at new venues and to bring events to new regions," said Jeff Frost of Blue Wolf Event Productions, the organizers of the NMBS Series. We were disappointed in the Sugar Mountain [North Carolina] attendance and went with New York. Windham is only 75 or 90 minutes from New York City." Frost expects to draw from a whole new demographic. The event is in the Catskill Mountains of New York and will also be fairly close to racers in several New England states.
The NMBS previously visited northern Idaho with a stop at Schwiezer, but Tamarack Resort in southern Idaho is a new stop. "Boise has a huge cycling community. Tamarack is just two hours north. We've been trying for three years and it's finally worked out [for an Idaho venue to join the series]," said Frost to Cyclingnews.
Commenting to the disappearance of Snowmass, Colorado from the calendar, Frost said, "Snowmass had a three to four year run. The Venue never really worked for us; whether it was a course problem or an expo problem. But it thrives under the Mountain States Cup. We want both series to benefit and we believe not having it as part of the NMBS will allow it to grow as a Mountain States Cup event."
Frost hinted that the NMBS had not left Colorado for good. "It's important for us to be in Colorado from a national series perspective. Colorado and California are two key states. We're looking to return to Durango in 2009. Adding a venue to the NMBS is about a two or three year process."
All but the East Coast National are slated to offer UCI cross country points. Santa Ynez and Tamarack will award C2 points while the others will award C1 points.
2008 NMBS Schedule (Revised)
March 29 - 30: NMBS #1
Fontana National, Southridge Park, Fontana, California (XCO/DHI/ST/4X/Super D)
April 5 - 6: NMBS #2
NOVA National, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Fountain Hills, Arizona (XCO/ST/Super D)
May 17- 18: NMBS #3
Santa Ynez Valley National, Ted Chamberlin Ranch, Los Olivos, California (XCO/DHI/DS/ST/Super D)
June 28 - 29: NMBS #4
Deer Valley National, Deer Valley Resort, Park City, Utah (XCO/DHI/DS/ST/Super D)
July 12 - 13: NMBS #5
East Coast National Windham Resort, Windham, New York (XCO/DHI/DS/ST/Super D)
August 30 - September 1: NMBS #6
National Mountain Bike Series Finals, Tamarack Resort, McCall, Idaho (XCO/DHI/DS/ST/Super D)