By Steve Medcroft
The 24 Hours of 9-Mile, in Wasau, Wisconsin, will host the NORBA 24-Hour Endurance National Championships this weekend. Men's solo, women's solo, junior, masters 30+ (4 riders, all 30+), men's team (4 riders) and women's team (4 riders) championship jersey's will be awarded.
The race begins LeMans-style at 10:00 a.m. Saturday July 29 and ends at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday July 30. Racers will be timed, on a course put together from trails on the Nine Mile County Forest Recreation Area, with electronic chip technology.
Cameron Chambers (Subaru/Gary Fisher) will be on hand to defend the jersey he earned in the men's division at the Round and Round 24-Hour race in Spokane, Washington in 2005. In that race, excessive temperatures knocked favorites like Tinker Juarez (Cannondale), Nat Ross (Subaru/Gary Fisher) and Chris Eatough (Trek/VW) out of contention leaving the door open for the relative newcomer to score a major career victory.
9-Mile doesn;t have the arrid desert terrain of Spokane so Chambers' will have to rely on pure endurance and speed to retain the jersey because six-time Solo 24-Hour world champion Chris Eatough was on site Thursday pre-riding the course, former national champion Nat Ross (Subaru/Gary Fisher) is confirmed, as is runner up to Eatough at 2005 Worlds Ernesto Marenchin (Sologoat). And a growing number of high-performing endurance-focused racers.
The only sure bet for Chamber's is that he won't to deal with Tinker Juarez; after a solo attempt at RAAM, Juarez is said to be on his honeymoon - celebrating marriage instead of endurance racing this weekend.
Check back on Cyclingnews after the race for results and a race report.