USA Cycling have awarded the 2013 and 2014 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships to Gallup, New Mexico. The event will be held on the third Sunday in June in each year in the Zuni Mountains in conjunction with the established 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest race.
The 16-mile course is nearly entirely singletrack. It starts at 7,850 feet of elevation and reaches as high as 8,350 feet of elevation, featuring 1,344 feet of climbing.
"There are a lot of great endurance races and experienced race directors out there," Director of Zia Rides Lindsay Mapes said. "I've been thinking about nationals for a few years. We thought we had a shot - New Mexico has never hosted this event, Gallup is poised as a mountain bike destination, our team of organizers is seasoned, and we have a solid course. We're honored to have been selected and stoked about hosting in 2013-14!"
The two-year agreement between USA Cycling, the sport's national governing body, and Zia Rides is expected to bring approximately 300 of the country's best endurance mountain bike riders to New Mexico.
"We're looking forward to bringing the 2013 and 2014 USA Cycling Mountain Bike 24-Hour National Championships to Gallup," National Events Director Kelli Lusk said. "The course in the Zuni Mountains featuring so much singletrack and climbing will certainly challenge the best endurance riders in the country."
USA Cycling has already identified other locations for its 2013 and 2014 national championships. Cross country nationals will be held in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Marathon nationals will be in Sun Valley, Idaho, and gravity nationals will be at Angel Fire Resort in New Mexico.