Participation up for US Mountain Bike Nationals

New location and terrain attracted more racers

If the numbers are any indication, the US Mountain Bike National Championship, run earlier this month from July 15 to 19, was a success. The event was held for the first time in Granby, Colorado, after a few years in Mount Snow, Vermont. With a total of 1,875 entrants, participation was up approximately 150 riders or 8.7 percent from 2009 to 2010.

"We attribute the increase to the sheer number of Colorado riders," said Andrea Smith of USA Cycling to Cyclingnews. "But it was also an accessible venue - just one and a half hours from a major metropolitan airport - Denver.

"And there was great terrain," she added referring to the location in the Rocky Mountains. Most races were run on courses that ranged from 8,000 to 9,000 feet elevation, adding the element of coping with high altitude to the list of challenges many racers faced earlier this month.

A look at the start lists showed a majority of riders from Colorado. Many made the trip from Texas and California, as well.

Cross country racers comprised most of the entrants with 869, but downhill was not far with 500 entrants. 173 short track, 163 super D and 160 four cross racers also competed.

Although in recent years, USA Cycling has had many venues host multiple years of national championships, no venue is has been picked officially for the 2010 US Mountain Bike National Championships.

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