The US National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) announced a new program to encourage beginner and sport women by providing free race entries.
NMBS instituted a new entry-fee block purchase program for the 2007 series. Series patrons can purchase blocks of five entries in the women's beginner/sport category for the discounted rate of $125. These entries will then be made available on a first-come first-served basis to beginner/sport women entrants for free. To keep things fair, only one free entry will be available per person, per season.
In addition to the free entry incentive, NMBS introduced more women's age group categories. The new categories are Expert Women 40-49, Expert Women 50 plus, Beginner/Sport Women 18 and under, Beginner/Sport Women 19-29, Beginner/Sport Women 30-39, and Beginner/Sport Women 40 plus.
The changes were in response to a February petition presented by women's 45-49 cross country national champion Jane Finsterwald. Over 900 signers supported the petition asking for better representation for women in the NMBS.
The blocks will be available for purchase by anyone - individuals or sponsors.