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US Gravity Mountain Bike Nationals head to Beech Mountain

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Jill Kintner (Norco)

Jill Kintner (Norco) (Image credit: Mike Gladu -
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Mitch Ropelato won his second medal with a quick third place ride.

Mitch Ropelato won his second medal with a quick third place ride. (Image credit: Eddie Clark)

America's top gravity mountain bike athletes will descend on Beech Mountain, North Carolina this weekend for the 2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships.

It's the second year that the gravity portion of the mountain bike national championships will stand alone, and more than 40 stars-and-stripes jerseys will be up for grabs in the downhill and dual slalom contests.

On the dual slalom course, which was built by 2007 national champ Christopher Herndon, pro riders Mitch Ropelato and 2008 BMX Olympic medalist Jill Kintner will fight to defend their titles from a year ago. The dual slalom is held in place of a four cross.

When the pro downhill competitions take center stage on the event's final day, hundreds of fans are expected to gather near the course's rock garden to watch. Kintner will have a second title to ride in defense of, and in the men's event, Logan Binggeli will be the defending elite men's champion.

Racing begins on Friday, July 20 and will continue through the day on Sunday, July 22.

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