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Shaw and Kintner among favorites for US downhill nationals

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Jill Kintner (Norco)

Jill Kintner (Norco) (Image credit: Mike Gladu -
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Anne Galyean (Gravity East Pros/Trek) wins the women's race

Anne Galyean (Gravity East Pros/Trek) wins the women's race (Image credit: Matt DeLorme)

America's best downhillers and dual slalom racers will be crowned this weekend at the 2013 US Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships. Angel Fire Resort, located in northern New Mexico, is playing host to hundreds of riders looking to claim a Stars-and-Stripes jersey.

Two riders who notched top-10 finishes at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Vallnord, Andorra, this past weekend are expected to put a wheel to the line in Angel Fire: Luca Shaw (Specialized Gravity DH), who placed fifth in the juniors men's downhill, and Jill Kintner (Team Norco International), who finished eighth in the elite women's race.

Additionally, there will be several riders competing who rank in the top five in the USA Cycling Pro GRT standings, including women's leader Anne Galyean (Trek-Integrity Racing-Deity), third-ranked Amber Price (BikeSource Gravity Racing) and fourth-ranked Mary Elges (Integrity Racing - Deity).

The downhill races will start at 10,500 feet above sea level, and competitors will descend nearly 2,000 feet as they cover about 2.5 miles to the finish line. The dual slalom course is a quarter-mile long and includes about 100 feet of elevation loss.

The elite categories will contest dual slalom finals on Saturday and and downhill finals on Sunday.

The Angel Fire Bike Park has previously hosted the USA Cycling Collegiate MTB Nationals the past few years.