Bear Creek Challenge offers US mountain bike nationals preview option

For the first time since 2008, US Mountain Bike Nationals is returning to the east coast on July 18-21. Pennsylvania's Bear Creek Resort in the Lehigh Valley will host the cross country nationals both this year and in 2014. Racers will have the chance to preview the courses a few weeks ahead of nationals at the Bear Creek Challenge race on June 1-2.

"Having nationals come to Bear Creek on July 18th - 21st is a huge deal," said US MTB Nationals Promoter Gary Kline of Bear Creek Resort. "I can't think of a better venue to bring back nationals to the east then Bear Creek. Say goodbye to thin air and long fire road climbs, and say hello the rocks and technical descents."

The Bear Creek Challenge will also serve as the Pennsylvania State Championships and as a nationals qualifier. It is part of the AMBC Series, the MARC Series and the MASS Series.

"What better way to prep for Nationals then to race at Bear Creek," said Kline."We thought it would be cool to run the identical course that we plan on running at nationals for this race. So, that's what we are going to do."

"Riders will have a unique opportunity to race on the nationals course just seven weeks prior to nationals. The Saturday June 1 race will include a short track and a super D. We will be offering shuttle service to the top of the mountain for the super D. Sunday will be the cross country race."

For more information on the Bear Creek Challenge, visit

For more information on US Cross Country Mountain Bike Nationals, visit

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.