Collegiate mountain bikers flock to Nationals near Tahoe

Twenty-two individual, omnium and team titles up for grabs

The University of Nevada is hosting the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships this weekend at the Northstar at Tahoe Resort near Truckee, California. The weekend of racing, from October 16-18, is the second collegiate nationals of the season, after track nationals were held last month.

Twenty-two national titles will be awarded to Division I and II contenders. Both Fort Lewis College of Colorado and Appalachian State University of North Carolina will race to defend their 2008 national titles, won last year in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

On Friday morning, Division I and II cross country races will be run, with the men racing three 7.5-mile laps and the women doing two laps. Each lap features 800 feet of climbing and a mix of doubletrack, singletrack and fireroads.

The short track will be run through the resort town and nearby singletrack for both divisions on Saturday morning, and then in the afternoon, four crossers will do their qualifying and final runs.

Sunday's racing wraps up with downhill qualifying and finals as well as the awarding of overall team and individual omnium titles.

In addition to the racing, Katerina Nash will speak at a banquet on Saturday night at the Mid-Mountain Lodge. Nash is a graduate of the University of Nevada at Reno. Jeffrey Hansen, USA Cycling's new High School and Collegiate Program Manager, will also be on hand.

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