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The 2009 USA Cycling 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships will go off this weekend in conjunction with the 24 Hours of Moab in Moab, Utah.
In all, the event, in its fifteenth year, is expected to draw more than 4,000 athletes, support crew and spectators.
“We’re really looking forward to providing the kind of production quality deserved of a national championship,” said Laird Knight, president of Granny Gear Productions. “We will have live, real-time scoring available on-site as well as via the web, so fans all over the world can follow the progress of their favorite team.”
The course is a mix of high-speed double-track, technical sections and power-sucking sand-traps. The roughly 15-mile loops have nearly 1,400 feet of climbing per lap. Check out the course map and profile.
Based on the increased participation, Knight said this year’s event is also shaping up to have the largest cash purse in the history of 24-Hour racing, topping $24,000.
“We’re also deeply honored to have Chris Eatough making this his last hurrah,” he said.
Eatough, the five-time 24-hour Solo National Champion; 2007 24 Hours of Moab champion; 2007 National Ultra Endurance champion and 2007 BC Bike Race champion, announced that he will retire from professional cycling following the 24 Hours of Moab.
Eatough, however, will have his hands full at the race, as current 24 Hour National Point Series leader Brandon Draugelis and 2008 Moab champion Josh Tostado will be also be present.
As a part of the event Pua Sawicki, winner of three of the past four 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships, will attempt to become the first-ever female record holder in the Guinness Book of World Records for the “most miles ridden in 24 hours on a mountain bike.”
Thirteen different classes will race for the Stars-and-Stripes and designation as USA Cycling 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Champion. Racers must compete in one of the championship categories to earn the honor. Also, the national championship is up for grabs by American riders only. National championship classes will also be competing within 24-hour series classes with matching criteria.
For example, the Men’s Solo Championship winner could also win the 24 Hours of Moab Men’s Solo, or perhaps, take second in the 24 Hours of Moab Men’s Solo and, in either case, earn series points and cash purses accordingly. However, a Men’s Solo that is not registered in the Men’s Solo Championship class could win the 24 Hours of Moab Men’s Solo class but would not qualify in the USA Cycling Championships.
Fans can follow the race via live stats, in real-time, at grannygear.com. RealTime tracks the results and instantly publishes the standings on local terminals as well at grannygear.com.
Homepage photo of 24-Hours of Moab start by Xavi Fane.