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Crystal ball time: Mountain bike schedule 2002

Though still very preliminary, the 2002 mountain-bike-racing schedule is beginning to take shape. After several conversations with sources close to NORBA and the World Cup, VeloNews has drawn up a possible picture of what next year’s racing calendar will look like. The biggest wild card appears to be Durango, Colorado, which hosted a World Cup "triple" this summer. Initially organizers in the small tourist town seemed enthusiastic about a repeat visit in 2002. But since then things appear to have shifted, and now there are indications that Durango will pass on holding another World Cup

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By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor

Though still very preliminary, the 2002 mountain-bike-racing schedule is beginning to take shape. After several conversations with sources close to NORBA and the World Cup, VeloNews has drawn up a possible picture of what next year’s racing calendar will look like.

The biggest wild card appears to be Durango, Colorado, which hosted a World Cup “triple” this summer. Initially organizers in the small tourist town seemed enthusiastic about a repeat visit in 2002. But since then things appear to have shifted, and now there are indications that Durango will pass on holding another World Cup event, instead going after a NORBA NCS stop, which it almost certainly would get.

If that happens, long time World Cup venue, Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec, site of this year’s finals, becomes the front runner to replace Durango on the shortened World Cup schedule (The UCI has already said the series will be cut from eight to six races next year). This would also mean that the World Cup series would not be stopping in the United States for the first time in its 12-year history.

In the NORBA series the most noteworthy fact is that Mammoth Mountain is definitely out for 2002. The California ski area is undergoing massive renovations next summer, forcing it to step out of the NORBA circuit for the first time since the series’ inception in 1989.

Here’s a look at one scenario for the 2002 season. Asterisks appear next to venues that are all but locks for next year:

World Cup (Tentative order)
Cross country No. 1: Madrid, Spain.
Cross country No. 2: Houffalize, Belgium*
Cross country No. 3, downhill/dual No. 1: Lake Garda, Italy
Downhill/dual No. 2: Maribor, Slovenia*
Cross country No. 4, downhill/dual No. 3: Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec
Cross country No. 5, downhill/dual No. 4: Grouse Mountain, British Columbia*
Downhill/dual No. 5: Arai, Japan*
Cross country/downhill/dual No. 6: Les Gets, France

NORBA NCS (Order still to determined)
Big Bear Lake, California*
Snowshoe, West Virginia*
Park City, Utah*
Durango, Colorado
Mount Snow, Vermont*