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2012 US Cross Country National Championships dates announced

Todd Wells (Specialized) riding the last rock garden

Todd Wells (Specialized) riding the last rock garden (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/

USA Cycling set the dates for the 2012 US Cross Country Mountain Bike National Championships for July 5-8. The nationals will return to Sun Valley Resort in Ketchum, Idaho, but they will no longer be held in conjunction with the national championships weekend dates set by the UCI for July 21-22 next year.

The US championship dates were moved up two weeks to coincide with the second annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival. The Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival begins June 29 with the Wood River Cup Finals. The Galena Grinder, an event on the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Professional Ultra Endurance Tour (US Pro UET), will take place on June 30. A road criterium will fill the streets of downtown Ketchum on July 4 before the national championship event begins on July 5.

The 2011 nationals attracted more than 1000 riders in its first year in Ketchum. The 2012 event will feature updated courses and race schedule, both still in the planning phase.

"We are thrilled to come back to Sun Valley Resort," USA Cycling National Events Director, Kelli Lusk said. "The July Fourth weekend is a great time of year for riders and spectators to come out to Ketchum and watch world-class mountain bikers. While we were thrilled with our rider turnout and unparalleled community support in 2011, we expect to even be bigger and better in 2012."

"We are committed to putting the athletes first," said Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce General Manager Greg Randolph. "Ride Sun Valley strives to embrace everyone who makes the journey with a great experience and make it as easy as possible for everyone to get around, get out and ride, and of course have the performance of a lifetime. We are stoked to have another year with this great group of athletes and are hard at work to deliver an even better event next year."

The new dates do not conflict with any UCI World Cups, which will enable America's top World Cup riders to race for the stars and stripes.

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