USA Cycling has come out with the first annual national mountain bike calendar and I couldn’t be more stoked. The calendar has 53 events in 3 categories (cross-country, gravity, and ultra-endurance) and gives pro mountain bikers the chance to earn points toward an overall title to be awarded at the end of the season. I’m kinda surprised nothing like this existed before but it really adds excitement to the race season and helps get people pumped for local races.
If you plan on participating in one of the 53 events you can look forward to excellent event management and quality events (at least according to USA Cycling). This is definitely a step in the right direction, event consistency is an issue mountain bike racers face in choosing races.
The cross country races include the Sea Otter Classic along with other notable races like the Snowshoe MTB Festival in West Virginia. Cross country races are given category ratings (large races like Sea Otter and Snowshoe are category-1) from 1 to 4 and points are awarded accordingly. The category 1 and 2 events also offer UCI points which will be used to determine the number of start positions the US receives at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Who knows where all this will lead but it definitely seems like a good start in adding to the excitement around mountain bike events. See you at the start line!