Tostado and Kirkland aim to defend national titles

Colorado Springs hosting US 24-hour nationals

More than 200 riders will tackle the trails at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday, October 1, for the 2011 USA Cycling 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships.

Held in conjunction with the 24 Hours of COS race, there will be 15 national titles up for grabs, including separate male and female categories for solo, solo singlespeed, duo, four-person team/open, four-person team/juniors, four-person team/35+, four-person team 45+ and coed duo.

Josh Tostado is returning to defend his 2009 and 2010 solo titles. He'll be challenged by 2010 runner-up Kelly Magelky, Nate Ginzton (Broken Spoke Cycling) and DeJay Birtch (Niner Stan's Ergon).

2010 national champion Jari Kirkland will headline the solo women's field. Also competing are 2010 third-place finisher Laureen Coffelt, Timari Pruis, Renee Kline (Team Therapeutic Associates-Dobbiaco) and 2011 marathon national champion Pua Mata (Team Sho-Air).

Palmer Park's location just minutes away from downtown Colorado Springs is a unique aspect of this year's event. Despite its urban location, however, competitors will find the course well-suited to determine the nation’s best endurance mountain biker.

Scrub oak, yucca and pinion pines nestled between sandstone rock formations frame the 13.5-mile course. Short climbs, technical zones and a combination of doubletrack and singletrack await riders as they attempt to complete as many laps as possible between noon on Saturday and noon on Sunday.

In addition to the national championship categories, some riders will compete in non-championship classes for military, first-responders, bike industry and families. There will also be a 24-Minutes of COS kids race held prior to the start of the main event.

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