Mellow Johnny’s Benefiting Texas High School Mountain Bike League

Pro riders will also pair up with high school athletes over race weekend

The first-ever Mellow Johnny's Classic was held in November 2009 on Lance Armstrong's Texas ranch. The race is now on USA Cycling's national calendar. File photo

The third annual Mellow Johnny’s Spring Classic Kick-Off Party will benefit the new Texas High School Mountain Bike League.

The league is part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and will host its inaugural season in 2012. On April 29 at 7 p.m. Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop will serve as the venue and host for benefit event that will unite the league’s athletes and coaches with top male and female pro riders from around the country.

The free-and-open-to-the-public event will offer raffles as well as allow young athletes from the league the opportunity to shadow the pro teams and receive advice during the Pro XCT race the following day at Lance Armstrong’s ranch.

“The chance to be up close and personal to see how a professional mountain bike racer prepares for a world-class level race like the Mellow Johnny’s Classic is a once in a lifetime opportunity for athletes and coaches,” said Vance McMurry, founding chair of Texas High School Mountain Bike League.

Pairng up young athletes up with pro riders is a chance to learn and gain some inspiration along the way, said Mellow Johnny’s Team Coordinator, Ted Arnold.

“With Suburu-Trek riders stepping up, along with Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant) and Team Jamis Riders, the response from the pro community has been great,” Arnold said. “We’re still looking for more and expect additional team commitments.”

Held on Lance Armstrong’s Juan Pelota Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas on April 30 and May 1, the Mellow Johnny’s Spring Classic is the fourth stop on USA Cycling’s Pro XCT Series. Participants can chose from two registration options. The LIVESTRONG registration option is currently open and allows participants to raise $250 or more for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, in exchange for a guaranteed race spot, access to the VIP/LIVESTRONG tent, and other special events throughout the weekend. Standard registration opens April 15 through

Interested Texas High School MTB teams can contact Vance McMurry, plus, interested pro teams and sponsors can contact Ted Arnold .