Cross country: -
The Massanutten Hoo Ha! is drawing several hundred racers from all over the East Coast for two days of racing on June 9-10 near Harrisonburg, Virginia. The action will kick off with a super D and short track on Saturday and a cross country and marathon on Sunday.
As of the close of pre-registration on Wednesday, more than 200 racers had signed up, including a relatively larger than usual amount of women.
"That's the most amount of ladies I can remember having signed up in advance," said George Willetts, one of the race organizers for the Massanutten Resort. "We're also getting a great turnout from all over the region."
Super D racers will compete on a mostly downhill, 3.5-mile course that starts high up on Massanutten Mountain. Later in the afternoon, short track racers will compete on a lung busting, short course on the western slope, complete with berms for carrying extra speed.
On Sunday, marathon (aka "XXC") racers will cover 32 miles in an event that is also part of the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association (WVMBA) series. Later in the morning, cross country racers will cover a 12-mile course. The more experienced riders and pros will do two laps while the other amateurs will race one loop. Beginners and never-evers will do an eight-mile race. Cross country and marathon racers will get to show off their rock riding skills on the technical terrain for which Massanutten is famous.
All courses are the same as in 2011. They have been meticulously maintained by the local mountain bike club of Harrisonburg, Virginia: the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition.
"I think the courses will be riding fast and tacky," said Willetts. "We've had some precipitation this week, but it will dry out and be beautiful and sunny and warm again by the weekend."
Willetts had yet to confirm whether current local pro Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing) and local "retired" pro Sue Haywood (No Tubes) will be racing. Both have just finished up a week of racing at the Trans-Sylvania Epic, where Bishop won the men's race and Haywood was second in the women's race.
The race is round 2 of the Triple Crown East Series. Last week, it kicked off with the Bump 'n Grind in Alabama. Racers can take their best results from either of the first two rounds and combine them with results at the final round in North Carolina in August to determine their overall standings.
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