The elite North American mountian-bike racing scene kicks off this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, at the first National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) event on March 31. Although many of the top cross country racers have been flying all over the globe to collect UCI points early this season, they have yet to all face off in one place at one time.
On the men's side, Todd Wells (GT Team), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru / Gary Fisher), Michael Broderick (Kenda / Seven Cycle) and Adam Craig (Giant USA) all saw action as recently as this weekend at the Medalla Light Ultimate Challenge in Rincon, Puerto Rico. The first three stood atop the podium there. Wells also came third behind Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) and Seamus McGrath at the Pan American Championships amidst a similar cast of characters including also Jeremiah Bishop (Trek / VW).
Mary McConneloug (Kenda / Seven Cycles) and Heather Irmiger (Subaru / Gary Fisher) took one-two in the women's event in Puerto Rico, but it was Georgia Gould (Luna) who won the Pan American championships earlier this month. Look out also for Willow Koerber (Subaru / Gary Fisher) and Sue Haywood (Trek / VW).
Following the NMBS opener, most racers, including the gravity set, will meet again at Sea Otter in Monterey, California, from April 12-15.