Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Collegiate Mountain Bike Nats begin Friday in Angel Fire

The 2011 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships begin Friday, Oct. 28 and continue until Sunday, Oct. 30, at Angel Fire Bike Park in Angel Fire, N.M. The most competitive cycling schools in the country are expected to compete for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys in for mountain bike events in addition to individual and team omnium awards during the second event of the 2011-12 Collegiate Cycling National Team Rankings.

Competition begins Friday as the riders will turn 5.5-mile laps on the cross-country course which traverses 1,400 feet of elevation gain and loss on each circuit. Racing begins at 9 a.m. when the Division I females will be followed five minutes later by the Division II women. The Division I men follow at noon with the Division II men five minutes later. Seeding for the entire downhill competition begins at 4 p.m.

Racing continues Saturday at 9 a.m. as riders contest the short-track cross-countrycourse which spans one-half mile per lap. Once again, the Division I women open, followed by the Division II ladies an hour later. The Division I men begin their short-track cross-country competition at 11 a.m. before the Division II riders contest the course at noon. The downhill finals are slated to begin Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Riders will descend 2.8 miles, losing 1,700 feet of elevation on the downhill course.

Sunday marks the return of the dual slalom competition as riders will contest the course which descends 100 feet in a quarter-mile span.

Rotem Ishay looks to defend his national titles in the cross-country and short-track cross-country races at Angel Fire.
Rotem Ishay looks to defend his national titles in the cross-country and short-track cross-country races at Angel Fire.
Erica Zaveta (Erwinna, Pa./Lees McRae College) and Jill Behlen (Boulder, Colo./University of Wyoming), who also ride in USA Cycling’s National Development Program, are Division I riders to keep an eye on. Zaveta won the women’s “A” short-track cross-country race while placing third in the cross-country and downhill competitions at the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (SECCC) Championships last weekend. Behlen won the women’s under-23 race at the 2011 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships in Ketchum, Idaho, in July to earn a spot on the American team at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champery, Switzerland. In the Division II women’s individual competition, sophomore Eva Wilson (Kensington, N.H./Warren Wilson College) and Coleen Pacurariu (United States Air Force Academy, Colo./United States Air Force Academy) are chief among the competitors. Wilson improved as the conference season moved along this year, culminating in winning the women’s omnium and the cross-country race at her conference championships, last weekend. Wilson also earned second place in the short-track cross-country and fourth in the dual slalom. Pacurariu has posted wins in the mountain cross and downhill competitions at Rock the Steamboat in Sept. before topping the field in downhill races at the WSC on Oct. 1 and 2. Paurariu defeated Behlen in the dual slalom at the 2011 FLC Squawker MTB Classic last weekend.

Rotem Ishay (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College), who won the cross-country and short-track cross-country races at the 2010 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships in Truckee, Calif., is considered among the favorites for the men’s Division I individual omnium. Challenging Ishay will be Victor Alber (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./University of Florida) who earned the season-long omnium in the SECCC. Last weekend, Alber finished third in the short-track cross-country as well as the cross-country races while placing eighth in the dual slalom. Among the Division II men’s riders, Eric Smith(Ripon, Wisc./Ripon College) continued to blossom this season after finishing ninth in the men’s omnium in 2010. Smith won six out of the 13 conference endurance races and won one downhill race was placed second in the other two downhill competitions.

Online registration for this event closes Monday, Oct. 24 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Riders are reminded that there will be no on-site registration after Thursday at 6 p.m., but registered riders will be able to pick their packets up on site during posted times.

Visit the official event webpage of the 2011 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships for more information on the event, including important eligibility requirementscompetition guidecomplete scheduleresultsphoto gallery and more. Follow the event on Twitter, using hashtag #CollNats.
Article Source: USAcycling.org

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