USA Cycling announced today the dates and venues for the 2005 NORBA National Mountain Bike Series. After undergoing significant changes in 2004, the nation's premier off-road cycling series returns to several familiar venues next season while also tapping into a couple of new markets.
For the second consecutive year, management of the series will again fall under the cooperative efforts of Team Big Bear and Blue Wolf Events in a continuation of a partnership created last year.
Beginning with the first weekend in March and ending with the last weekend in August, the 2005 NORBA National Mountain Bike Series packs nine events into what will likely be a competitive summer for mountain bike enthusiasts from around the globe. Astonishingly, with the UCI World Cup calendar expanding to 19 events among cross country, gravity, and marathon disciplines, there is only one minor date conflict between the two series all year long.
The series opens with a return to Texas in early March and culminates with the series finals in Mount Snow, Vt. in late August. Sandwiched in between are notable changes including a first-time visit to suburban Phoenix, a return to Deer Valley, Utah, and an early summer trek across the border to Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec for the series' first stand-alone marathon event.
Competitors of all levels and abilities will again be offered a wide variety of events, both endurance and gravity oriented, from coast to coast. The traditional core events of cross country, short track, downhill and mountain cross will again take center stage along with the increasingly popular disciplines of marathon, super D, and ultra-endurance categories.
2005 NORBA National Mountain Bike Series
MA - Marathon
TT - Time Trial
ST - Short Track Cross Country
XC - Cross Country
DS - Dual Slalom
MX - Mountain Cross
DH - Downhill
EN - Endurance (12 or 24 hours)
Super D - Super Downhill
March 4-6: NORBA National #1 - Tapatio Springs Resort - Boerne, Texas
(MA, TT, ST, XC - Stage Race)
Centrally located in the heart of Texas hill country in the south-central region of the state, the series again kicks off in Texas after the 2004 opener visited Waco. Like Waco, a stage race format will be again be offered in the season opener with time trial, cross country and short track stages on tap. Endurance fanatics will also be pleased with a marathon event also on the schedule.
March 18-20: NORBA National #2 - McDowell Mountain Regional Park - Fountain Hills, Ariz.
(EN, TT, ST, XC, Super D - Stage Race)
Traditionally known as the Nova Desert Classic, the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series makes its first appearance in suburban Phoenix. Notable disciplines include an ultra-endurance event, either a 12 or 24 hour race, along with another stage race format.
May 13-15: NORBA National #3 - Snow Summit Resort - Big Bear Lake, Calif.
(MA, MX, DH, XC, ST, Super D)
A staple on the NORBA circuit for years, Snow Summit again hosts a national series event and again features the popular "downhill mania", a four-up downhill race, in the gravity opener.
June 17-19: NORBA National #4 - Deer Valley Resort - Park City, Utah
(DH, XC, ST, MX, Super D)
Deer Valley rejoins the national series calendar after last hosting a NORBA National in 2001. On tap are the traditional core disciplines and a Super D competition.
June 18: NORBA National Mountain Bike Series Marathon #3 - Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec,
Making its first appearance beyond U.S. borders, the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series visits Quebec in conjunction with the third stop of the UCI Marathon World Cup.
July 15-17: NORBA National Mountain Bike Series #5 - Schweitzer Mountain Resort - Sandpoint, Idaho (MA, MX, DH, XC, ST, Super D)
Returning to the Northwest, Schweitzer Mountain plays host to a NORBA National for the third consecutive season after entering the fold in 2003. With a UCI World Cup on the calendar in Angel Fire, N.M. on the preceding weekend, a strong international field should be on hand.
July 22-24: NORBA National Mountain Bike Series #6 - Snowmass Village - Aspen, Colo.
(MA, XC, DH, MX, ST, Super D)
Hosting its second NORBA National, Snowmass could also see a strong international field as European riders look to prepare for their continental championships the following weekend. Along with the New Mexico World Cup, the NORBA stops in Sandpoint and Aspen offer top international pros an attractive block of elite-level competition in the U.S.
August 19-21: NORBA National Mountain Bike Series #7 - Snowshoe Mountain Resort, W. Va.
(MA, MX, DS, DH, XC, ST, Super D)
Mountain bike racing returns to the off-road hotbed of West Virginia for the first east coast date for major disciplines. Also scheduled is the first and only dual slalom event of the series giving gravity enthusiasts a full docket with mountain cross, downhill and Super D also on the schedule. The series' only conflict with World Cup dates occurs here with a gravity World Cup scheduled for Pila, Italy on August 21.
August 26-28: NORBA National Series Finals - Mount Snow Resort - West Dover, Vt.
(XC, MX, DH, ST, Super D)
Noticeably absent form the 2005 calendar is a stop in Durango, Colo., host of the last two series' finals. Next year, the finals return to Mount Snow after last hosting them in 2002.
The NORBA National Mountain Bike Series is North America's premier off-road cycling series. USA Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States. Blue Wolf Productions and Team Big Bear are the series management and promotions company, and are recognized as the USA's leading cycling and events management group.