Californians ready for next Jeep KOM round

Jill Kintner

Jill Kintner (Image credit: Jeep KOM)

The Golden State has long been a hotbed for mountain bike racing, with favorable conditions for year-round training, plenty of trails, countless multi-discipline competitions and a line-up of homegrown talent that has brought home national and world titles; however, no Californian has yet won the Jeep King of the Mountain Series.

Round two heads to the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California, Saturday, August 18. This marks the third consecutive year that the series has hosted a leg in San Luis Obispo. The line up features no fewer than seven in-state standouts who will battle for a share of the record US$100,000 cash purse and the keys to a new 2008 Jeep Liberty.

With the Czech Republic's Michal Prokop and Australia's Jared Graves competing in the UCI BMX World Cup in Beijing, China, Temecula's Eric Carter has the opportunity to gain control of the standings with only one race remaining. Blocking his path will be fellow Californians Cody Warren, Rich Houseman, Brian Lopes, Dale Holmes, and hometown favorite Travis Collins. But not to be forgotten are veteran Wade Bootes of Australia and American Chris Del Bosco

One the women's side, current leader Jill Kintner of Seattle will also be gone racing in Beijing, thus opening the door for a talent laden field led by fellow American Melissa Buhl. Right on her heels is Anneke Beerten of the Netherlands, who has two World Cup titles already in 2007 and Californian Tara Llanes. Great Britain's Fionn Griffiths, South Africa's Joanna Petterson, and Americans Leana Gerrard Neven Steinmetz round out the line-up of favorites.

Series champions are crowned based on a system of cumulative points earned in each of three events. The season kicked off at The Canyons in Park City Utah on August 4, and following the event in San Luis Obispo, the series will head to Beaver Creek, Colorado, for the grand finale on September 1. The San Luis Obispo round will air on CBS Sports on September 23 from 5:00 - 6:00 PM EST.

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