Pro XCT Mountain Bike Final This Weekend

Todd Wells at Colorado Springs Pro XCT 2009

Photo courtesy of UltraRob.com

The USA Cycling PRO XCT series makes its final stop this weekend, July 9-11, in Colorado Springs at the Carmichael Training Systems International Classic presented by GT Bicycles. There will be 3 days of racing at Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

This year’s race is not only the PRO XCT final but it’s also part of the Alison Dunlap Junior MTB Series as well. Both Pros and Amateurs will race the 3 day stage race starting with a 4.4 mile time trial on Friday evening which includes the locally infamous Medicine Wheel trail which will certainly favor the most technically adept riders.

The racing continues on Saturday with the 4.9 mile short cross country course. It includes the challenging Cougars Shadow trail that surprised quite a few Pro riders last year with it’s twisting single track laced with boulders sometimes the size of small cars.

Finishing up on Sunday the Amateur riders will race the 8.5 mile long cross country course and the Pros finish on the 1.4 mile short track making for three exciting days of race action just minutes away from downtown Colorado Springs.

The Kids on Bikes kiddies race encompasses sections of the Pros short track course and should be a great time for the events youngest riders.

In the Pro men’s race the top five riders currently leading the PRO XCT will be racing. At the end of the weekend the men’s series will most likely crown Todd Wells (Specialized) as long as he finishes better than eighth as his lead seems nearly insurmountable. Second through fifth is more complicated and should be great racing with Geoff Kabush (Maxxis/Rocky Mtn), Max Plaxton (Specialized/Sho-Air), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Trek) and Sam Schultz (Subaru/Trek) all within striking distance of second place. This battle will definitely be the highlight of the PRO XCT finale.

On the Pro women’s side of things for the PRO XCT series it looks like Georgia Gould (LUNA Chix) and Willow Koerber (Subaru/Trek) have virtual locks on first and second place respectively as long as they can finish inside the top ten. Third place will most likely go to Heather Irmiger (Subaru/Trek) as Lene Byberg (Specialized) is racing in Europe and Kelli Emmett (Giant) will probably slip to fourth, as she isn’t competing due to sponsor commitments. Fifth place is where the action is for the women with Amy Dombroski (LUNA Chix) and Aleksandra Mooradian (K.Bedford/Verge/Spin) most likely battling for that spot as 12 points separate them. However, if Pau Sawicki (MATA) decides to make the trip to Colorado Springs then there could be a three-way battle for fifth place. Katie Compton (Planet Bike) with a great ride could rocket up the leaders board and possible contend for fifth place as well. It will be an exciting three days of racing.

Nearly half of the UCI points awarded in the US this year will be from these 3 days of racing. UCI points are used for qualifying for the Olympics. Also the Pro XCT series Men and Women winners get an automatic 2010 World Championship spot.

It’s not just for racers though. The start and finish for all races winds through the Bicycle Expo and Pro Team parking areas. It allows spectators to keep an eye on the exciting racing action while they’re checking out the latest bicycle equipment and Pro set ups. The racing will be fueled by a guaranteed $10,000 Pro cash prize purse. Anchoring the Expo are GT Bicycles, Kenda Tire and Specialized Bicycles and there will be on food concessions on site as well.

Schedule

  • July 8 Number pick up at Carmichael Training Systems Hwy
    24 & 21st St from 5-9 PM
  • July 9 Stage 1: Encantadas Time Trial using the very technical Medicine Wheel trail
  • July 10 Stage 2: Cross Country for everyone (same course as in 2009)
  • July 11 Stage 3: Amateur Cross Country (different course than July 10 but using the same S/F line). Pro Men and Pro Women Short Track Cross Country per UCI MTB Criterium rules.

Race details are located here.

Volunteers Needed

The race could use more volunteers for course marshaling. Call Allen Beauchamp at 719-351-3205 if you can help out on either of the 3 days.

Long time fast mountain bike racer, Jurgen Bergeron is in charge of directing traffic going in and out of the race area. Part of the road is used for the course so there’s only one lane for traffic. This would be a great volunteer position for people that like to talk to people coming and going. Give him a call at 321-8590 if you want to help with that.

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