The US Open of Mountain Biking, a downhill event at Diablo Freeride Park in Vernon, New Jersey, is returning in 2011 for its ninth edition. The event, which will take place from May 26 to May 29, draws elite gravity racers from around the globe to compete for the US$50,000 prize purse.
Founded in 2003, the US Open of Mountain Biking was established to reinvigorate interest in American gravity racing. Organizers say that was "at a point in time where neglectful sanctioning bodies and sponsors of yesteryear had stripped the US gravity scene of its identity, its soul and necessary funding".
The race adopted an unique pro/amateur format that allows up-and-coming athletes the opportunity to test their mettle against the world's fastest gravity racers. While the professional categories typically take center stage, the US Open has become a premier proving ground for amateur racers, with several past champions using the win to kick-start professional careers.
Held over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the racing will feature an enhanced downhill course with re-routes and additions.
Registration, capped at 450 total competitors, is now open. For more information on the US Open of Mountain Biking, visit www.usopen-mtb.com.