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USA Cycling announces new national mountain bike calendar

USA Cycling introduced for 2007 a new mountain bike calendar that is designed to recognize and support top-level regional, national and international events through a season-long calendar similar to the National Racing Calendar model currently utilized in road cycling. This series is not to be confused with the "National Mountain Bike Series" (NMBS), which has been owned and operated by Team Big Bear and Blue Wolf Production for the past three years.

The new Mountain Bike National Calendar is an attempt to increase interest in US mountain bike racing and will include events that have not participated in the traditional "NORBA National Series" model. Events will be grouped into categories: endurance, gravity and ultra-endurance. Endurance will consist of cross country, short track cross country, time trials and stage races. Gravity is defined as downhill, dual slalom, 4-cross and super downhill. Ultra-endurance will include marathon, ultra-marathon and 12- and 24-hour races.

Later today, USA Cycling will release pro purse requirements and bidding documents for the three categories. The documents are expected to explain the requirements and process for solidifying a spot on the calendar, prize money requirements, event guidelines, rights and responsibilities, and application procedures.

Steve Johnson, USA Cycling chief executive officer, called the calendar an attempt to "build a true national event ladder to support and sustain the continued development of American mountain bike racing."

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