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2003 mountain bike World Cup nearly finalized

All but one of the seven stops on next year’s mountain bike World Cup have been set, and like last year North America will be the site of three of those events. Back for another go round are Mont-Ste-Anne, Grouse Mountain and Telluride, which will all host triple events (cross country, downhill and four-cross) in 2003. Both the Canadian locales have hosted triples in the past, but this will be Telluride’s first three-race event after debuting on the circuit with downhill and four-cross last year. (There was a non-World Cup cross-country stage race at the Colorado resort that was run in

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By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor

All but one of the seven stops on next year’s mountain bike World Cup have been set, and like last year North America will be the site of three of those events.

Back for another go round are Mont-Ste-Anne, Grouse Mountain and Telluride, which will all host triple events (cross country, downhill and four-cross) in 2003. Both the Canadian locales have hosted triples in the past, but this will be Telluride’s first three-race event after debuting on the circuit with downhill and four-cross last year. (There was a non-World Cup cross-country stage race at the Colorado resort that was run in conjunction with the World Cup event).

“Last year’s cross-country course might have had too much climbing all at once, so we may need to split that up,” said Telluride event organizer Rick Sutton. “If not we’ll just be famous for having a really hard course.”

Other sites on next year’s schedule include St. Wendel, Germany, which will be the site of the cross-country season opener on May 24-25. That will be followed by a triple event at Fort William, Scotland, May 31-June 1. The next event, a downhill-four-cross only affair, is the only unknown left, though the dates are set for June 7-8 and the event will definitely be held somewhere in Europe.

From there the circuit heads across the Atlantic to Quebec for the Mont-Ste-Anne event on June 28-29. Telluride, Colorado is next up, July 5-6, followed by Grouse Mountain, British Columbia on July 12-13. After that the series goes on temporary hiatus, giving way to national championship events, the European championships and the world championships, which are slated for September 3-7 in Lugano, Switzerland. After that, racers will head north to Kaprun, Austria for the World Cup finals, September 13-14.

Meanwhile, there is still has still been no official word from USA Cycling on when or where this year’s NORBA National Championship Series will be taking place, though an announcement on at least the dates is expected next week.

NEWS BRIEFS
In other mountain biking news, 2002 under-23 national cross country champion Adam Craig has been rewarded for his efforts, recently signing a two-year deal with Giant USA. Craig has wasted no time getting started for his new team, as he kicked off the cyclo-cross season last weekend with a fifth-place finish at the UCI event in Maine.

Craig joins last year’s downhill revelation, Canadian Dustin Adams, and four-cross specialist Thomas Allier of France on the Giant squad. Giant is also expected to add two more racers — one downhill, one cross-country — before the off-season is over. Myles Rockwell and Cassandra Boon, who were both members of the team last year, will not be back.