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Bend, Oregon will host the 2011 and 2012 Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships.
The annual event, which crowns 24 national champions in marathon mountain biking, has been held in conjunction with the Firecracker 50 in Breckenridge, Colorado for the past four years. Its move to Bend for 2011 and 2012 will mark the seventh and eighth USA Cycling National Championship events held in the cycling-friendly city in a four-year period, according to USA Cycling officials.
“We are very excited to further our relationship with Bend,” said Kelli Lusk, USAC’s national events director. “Bend is one of the most popular hotbeds for cycling in North America. Based on our previous experience there, as well as on the community’s outstanding enthusiasm for the sport, we’re confident our members will have an exceptional national championship experience.”
The city of Bend has also hosted USA Cycling’s 2009 and 2010 Juniors, U23 & Elite Road National Championships and 2009 Cyclo-cross National Championships. In December, it will play host to Cyclo-cross Nationals again. Then the 2011 and 2012 editions of the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships will also take place in Bend.
The 2011 and 2012 Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals will start and end in Bend’s historic Old Mill District. The race course will provide a combination of technical sections and miles singletrack, according to a USAC release. Competitors will gradually climb for 25+ miles toward Mt. Bachelor before looping around and returning to town on a fast and fun descent.
“As a community, Bend is honored and excited to host USA Cycling’s Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships,” said president and CEO of Visit Bend, Doug La Placa.
The event will be held sometime in September of each year, according to LaPlaca.
Marathon-length mountain bike courses range from 60 to 100 kilometers.