Juarez and Kirland among favorites for US 24-hour nationals

Some of the best endurance mountain bikers in America will take to the trails at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this weekend to test their skills, toughness and determination during the 2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike 24-Hour National Championships. Racing begins on Saturday, September 27, at noon and continues through the night, with final completed lap counts taken at noon on Sunday.

15 Stars-and-Stripes Jerseys to Be Awarded

Riders will be competing for one of 15 national titles up for grabs, including separate male and female categories for solo, solo singlespeed, duo, 4-person team/open, 4-person team/juniors, 4-person team/35+ and 4-person team/45+.

There is also a coed duo national championship on the line. In addition, the event will feature non-championship categories as part of the 24 Hours of COS, with solo and teams of up to eight people competing. A 24-Minutes of COS kids race will be held prior to the start of the main event.

Riders to watch

Olympian and former world champion Tinker Juarez (Cannondale Factory Racing) and reigning men's cross country mountain bike singlespeed national champion Cameron Chambers (Ethos Racing) highlight the men's solo field.

Jari Kirkland, the 2010 women’s solo national champion, will be looking to add another Stars-and-Stripes jersey to her closest. She'll have to contend with last year's runner-up Kristin Desantis (Tokyo Joe's-Whole Foods/Primal).

The course

Palmer Park has long been a favorite riding destination for local mountain bikers. Despite being just minutes away from downtown Colorado Springs, Palmer Park features short climbs, technical zones and a combination of doubletrack and singletrack surrounded by scrub oak, yucca and pinion pines, and sandstone rock formations. The 13.5-mile course will present competitors with a challenge worthy of a national championship.

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