The official "end" to the California mountain bike season takes place this weekend, and offers racers two days of solid racing, a 50-mile West Coast marathon championship and a California state cross country championship.
The final race on the US Cup cross country calendar will happen at Vail Lake resort in Temecula this Sunday, October 2.
For the past few years, the Fall Finals has also coincided with the one-day California state championships, and this year is no different as racers go for the last cross country title on the calendar before heading into the off season.
The Vail Lake XC loop is 8.45 miles with 900 feet of climbing per lap. Riders will see a mixture of rolling doubletrack, some swoopy singletrack sections and fast ridgeline descents making for a fun course. A few punchy switchbacks and some steady climbs will also challenge racers of all levels this weekend.
Last year's elite men's winner Sid Taberlay of Kenda/Yeti looks to be challenged by the local California contingent of racers for his crown, including Trek/World Bicycle Relief's Dana Weber, U23 rider Brendon Davids, who recently joined the Sho-Air/Specialized squad, Vincent Lombardi of Steven K sports and last year's runner up, Sean Donovan, of the KHS team.
In the elite women's division, last year's champion Allison Mann of Rock N Road Cyclery is looking to repeat her winning ride from a year ago.
For racers wanting more than a cross country race, there will also be a West Coast 50-mile marathon on Saturday, October 1.
This epic loop was put together by the Southern Cal endurance crew and offers 2,600 feet of climbing per each 24-mile loop that take racers around Vail Lake and up onto ridgelines, giving racers views of the Temecula wine country.
Mountain bike legend Tinker Juarez of the Cannondale Factory team is set to line up and defend his 2010 West Coast marathon title this weekend.
For more information, visit www.uscup.net.