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NORBA Announces 2002 National Championship Dates and Locations
It was Snowshoe, W. Va., last year, and now the venue additions just keep coming for North America's most prestigious mountain bike series. The 2002 NORBA National Championship Mountain Bike Series, America's five-stop mountain bike show, includes two venue additions -- Alpine Valley, Wis., and Durango, Colo.

NORBA has brought the national mountain bike championships to racers of all ages and abilities for 13 years. For 2002, Outdoor Life Network will once again be the official broadcast marketing partner of the series. The good people at GaleForce Sports Marketing also return to action, heading up the series' management and promotions.

The 2002 series kicks off in familiar territory, May 16-19 at Snow Summit Resort in Big Bear Lake, Calif. Southern California's premier ski resort has offered its trails to the NORBA Nationals a record-number 13 times. It will be like the first day of school at Snow Summit, with teams, riders, manufacturers and sponsors ready to show off their new duds and equipment for 2002.

Next, June 13-16, it's off to Wisconsin's Alpine Valley Resort, a short, 40-minute drive from Milwaukee. Located in southern Wisconsin, Alpine Valley Resort is set against the hills and valleys of the scenic Kettle Moraine.

"The racers have asked for more diverse NORBA National locations, and Alpine Valley is a perfect choice to spread the series out geographically," said GaleForce President Rick Sutton. "It's a small, quaint resort with great cross-country riding, and there's an excellent hill for the dual slalom. The resort is just a 15-minute drive from lots of lodging and restaurants, all of which provides a well-rounded venue."

At the mid-way point, the NORBA Nationals return to the technical and epic courses of Snowshoe, W.Va., June 20-23. Racers first experienced the twisty trails at Snowshoe in 2001. Besides each other, competitors faced heavy rain and mud, making for some of the most interesting racing that season.

It's two more to go when the series visits Durango, Colo., August 1-4. The southwest mountain town has pulled out the stops before for the NORBA Nationals, previously hosting the event three times (1986-87, 1992). Ed Zink, Durango Mountain Resort and the city of Durango know how to put on a race. Eleven years ago they brought the sport to the international stage with the first-ever World Mountain Bike Championships. They proved it again in this year with the World Cup race in July, when racers made their way through downtown Durango (as well as some of its shops and a brewery).

"It's always special when NORBA goes to Durango, so we're proud to take the national series back to such a supportive mountain bike community," said NORBA Acting Managing Director Eric Moore. "When it comes to the city of Durango and Ed Zink, there's no doubt it's going to be an awesome event."

Mountain Bike magazine recently voted the folks in Durango as the best fans. No doubt they'll be out again in full force next year.

Mount Snow, Vt., has become a finals favorite for the NORBA National Championship Series. Next year marks the sixth time the "Mountain Bike Capital of the East" will host the season-ending event, August 15-18. It's the granddaddy of them all, as the pros take one more shot for national championship points and the coveted national title. Juniors (ages 10-18) and masters (ages 30-plus) compete in a winner-take-all one-day national championship race.

Two notable venues are absent from the 2002 NORBA Nationals schedule. Deer Valley, Utah, was pulled from the lineup due to scheduling conflicts. Planned capitol improvements at Mammoth Mountain Resort have left the California venue off the 2002 schedule. Race director Bill Cockroft said the bulk of the construction is focused on Canyon Lodge, where the event is normally held.

Look for fun and surprises at each venue in 2002. Fun rides for families and recreational riders will be back, with the sport's top professionals sharing their expertise. The tech/expo, filled with team trucks, the hottest equipment and autograph sessions, provides good times off the racecourse. Free Shimano kids races, Junior Olympic competition, raffles and demonstrations are all part of the fun.

The NORBA National Championships Mountain Bike Series is North America's premier off-road cycling series. NORBA is a member association of USA Cycling, the national governing body for cycling. The series is aired in 10 one-hour shows on the Outdoor Life Network, one of the world's leading destinations of cycling and adventure sports on television. OLN is also the U.S. television home for cycling's premier event, the Tour de France. GaleForce Sports Marketing is the series management and promotions company, and is recognized as the United States' leading cycling and events management group.

2002 NORBA National Championship Series Schedule
May 16-19: Snow Summit Mountain Resort (Big Bear Lake, Calif.)
June 13-16: Alpine Valley Resort (E. Troy, Wis.)
June 20-23: Snowshoe Mountain, W.Va.
August 1-4: Durango, Colo.
Aug 15-18: Mount Snow (W. Dover, Vt.)

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