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Windham World Cup gravity courses set for weekend test

Less than a week after New York's Windham Mountain was designated as a UCI World Cup venue for 2010, gravity racers will get to preview the World Cup downhill and four cross courses in competition. The Gravity East Series is heading to Windham Mountain on June 27-28

With the addition of Windham Mountain to next year's World Cup, three of Gravity East's first four 2009 events have been, or will be, host to UCI World Cup Downhills. The Gravity East at Windham Mountain will utilize both new UCI courses this weekend. The new downhill course is roughly 3:20 long and based on the popular course first used at last year's national series event. There have been additions to both the beginning and end of the course, notably the "Black Bear Slide", a feature so technical that it will be used only for the expert and professional divisions. The weekend will also see the debut of Windham's brand new four cross World Cup course when it is used for the second race of Gravity East's dual slalom series. The course is expected to be nearly one-minute long.

Windham Mounta is a well-known ski mountain, but the mountain bike program is new, with the first tree having been cut in April of 2008. Thus far, Special Events Director Rick Hodge and the Windham Mountain staff have been intent on establishing the resort as a first-class competition venue, but plans call for a full network of lift-assisted and cross country trails to be open for recreational riding by next spring.

Heading into this weekend's racing, there is a tight battle for the overall championship. Jason Memmelaar ( / Manitou) has 2,430 points and holds onto a narrow lead in the elite men's category ahead of Alejandro Ortiz (NEMA) with 2,340 points. Nine riders are still within one win of the lead in the overall.

The wild card, however is dropped races. 2009 race winners Neko Mulally (Specialized Team America) and Sean McClendon both used one of their three drop races when they bypassed last week's event in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. Of the two, Mulally has the upper hand as, with a first and a second place, he has the best average finishing position of any racer on the circuit in the races he has attended. Mulally also leads the dual slalom standings.

On the women's side, Stephanie Gubernat (Vertical Earth / Cutters Bike Shop), Hillary Elgert and Rae Gandolf (Sierra Nevada) have distanced themselves from the rest of the competition.

Standings of the Gravity East Series are below.

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Elite men
1Jason Memmelaar2430pts
2Alejandro Ortiz2340
3Ben Hulse2257
4Jason Beckley2192
5Justin Gregory2175
6Jeff Cayley2172
7Tyler Wilson2154
8Neko Mulally1670
9Sean Mcclendon1600
10Geritt Beytagh1537
11Trevyn Newpher1515
12Jonthan Gaber1500
13Ethan Quehl1495
14Tim Price1455
15Geoffrey Ulmer1448
16Michael Thomas1441
17Bj Treglia1432
18Brian Yannuzzi1420
19Marvin Scanland1394
20Dan Whitehead1391
21Gavin Vaughan795
22Szymon Kowalski780
23Trevor Hallenbeck750
24Chuck Pitts718
25John Leslie714
26Christopher Talotta702
27David Haas694
28Zach Faulkner694
29Justin Beers690
30Marvin Scanland690
31Matty Komar687
32Erik Gosselin687
33Josh Misevcis684
34Terry Hinton681
35Ken Walter678
36Tim White675

Elite women
1Stephanie Gubernat2485pts
2Hillary Elgert2430
3Gandolf Rae2038
4Allegra Burch855
5Lauren Petersen795
6Ellen Adams765
7Alicia Jakomait750

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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.