Promising riders from around the country will compete in five separate events as USA Cycling’s premier college mountain biking event returns to Durango, Colo.
On Oct. 13, the country’s best collegiate mountain bikers will gather at Purgatory Resort (outside Durango) for 3 days of competition. Events include cross-country, short track cross-country, team relay, dual slalom, and downhill.
The first event is the dual slalom qualifiers, happening on Thursday, Oct. 13. Friday holds cross-country and dual slalom finals, while short track and downhill seedings take place on Saturday. Competition wraps up Sunday, Oct. 16, with downhill finals and the team relay event.
Many of the courses are in full view of the resort’s base area, helping make the events just as exciting for spectators as they are for riders.
While the fall colors might provide a peaceful background, the competition on display will be anything but serene.
A Hometown Proving Ground
The 2022 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships offer a chance for emerging riders to showcase their prowess. “This event is a stepping stone for future World Champions and Olympians, and we’re looking forward to highly contested races next week,” said Tara McCarthy, USA Cycling Director of National Events.
Hometown riders from Durango’s Fort Lewis College should fare well, thanks to familiarity with the course — and altitude. And, of course, there’s the talent born of daily riding in one of America’s foremost mountain biking destinations.
“We had a deep team this season, and they’ve all had their turn being competitive,” FLC Cycling Director Ian Burnett said. “We’re excited to see what they can do individually and as a collective.”
Purgatory’s UCI and World Cup History
The championship venue, Purgatory Resort, bills itself as family-friendly and owns plenty of singletrack for riders of all skill levels. It played home to the 1990 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships course. Durango also hosted World Cup races in both cross-country and downhill MTB in 2001.
“Purgatory is delighted to host the national championships again this year. Our goal is to bring major races back to Durango, on par with the UCI World Cup race in 2001,” Rathburn said. “Many of the nation’s top professional cyclists call Durango home, and we [hope to] continue to develop opportunities to bring national cycling events to the Durango area.”
The full schedule for the 2022 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships is available online. The mud starts flying at 9 a.m. local time.