Jeep KOM kicks of in San Louis Obispo

The Jeep® King of the Mountain Series ( ) announced that San Luis Obispo, Calif.,...

The Jeep® King of the Mountain Series ( announced that San Luis Obispo, Calif., has been selected for the second straight year as the launch site for its 2006 season. The city will host the first race in the three-event summer series, which is slated for Saturday, July 8, at the historic Madonna Inn.

The 2006 premiere is shaping up to be even larger than last year’s event, with a wealth of spectator-friendly events planned for the entire family. In addition to serving complimentary sandwiches to the first 1,000 attendees, the Mountain Biking World Professional Championships will feature an interactive sponsor expo for race fans and prize giveaways throughout the day.

The Jeep King of the Mountain Series features 16 of the world’s top riders competing head-to-head to capture the coveted title of World Professional Champion. In addition, the athletes will be battling for a share of the richest cash payout in the sport, topping $100,000, and the keys to a new 2007 Jeep Compass.

Each event in the 2006 season will be televised to a national audience on CBS Sports, representing the most extensive national coverage offered to professional racing in recent history. The race from San Luis Obispo will air on CBS Sports on August 13.

World Professional Champions are crowned based on a system of cumulative points earned throughout the Jeep King of the Mountain Series. An elite field of international professional racers – six women and six men – will be pre-qualified to participate in the World Professional Mountain Biking Championships. The balance of the 16 athlete field - two men and two women - will be invited from the local community or based on results from other national and international mountain bike competitions, allowing these wild card entrants a chance to compete against the best of the best for the coveted title.

This year’s World Professional Mountain Biking Championships will again be staged on the Jeep King of the Mountain Series’ innovative Y-shaped racecourse. The daredevil racecourse, known simply as “The Y,” combines the two most dramatic and popular forms of mountain bike racing into one unique discipline. Competitors begin the race on separate sides of the course (the prongs of the Y) before converging midway into a single course (the crux of the Y). In the bottom section, racers must navigate a series of banked turns, tabletops, step-down jumps and rollers before the track climaxes with an all-out sprint to the finish.

Michael Prokop and Jill Kintner won the 2005 Jeep KOM series.

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