Granby’s SolVista hosts USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships | SkyHiNews.com

Granby’s SolVista hosts USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships

Tonya BinaSky-Hi Daily NewsGrand County, Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

The 2009 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships are rolling in this weekend at SolVista Basin, attracting 2,000 competitors to the scene.SolVista has prepared for an added 2,000 to 2,500 spectators during the three-day series of professional and amateur cross-country, downhill, single speed, Super D, four-cross and short track races.”The abilities, numbers of competitors and competitors’ abilities are a step or two above the races we’ve hosted to date,” said Charlie Mayfield, vice president of operations at SolVista Basin, Granby Ranch. “These athletes are from all over the country.”It’s the largest event yet at Granby Ranch, he said.Ever since the snow melted at SolVista, improvements have been under way with a new Championship pro Gravity course, new cross-country course and new mountain-cross track. Included is a 50-foot gap jump.The pro downhill course and mountain cross track are new trails constructed by Momentum Trail Concepts, a Colorado firm specializing in state-of-the-art gravity mountain bike trail and design construction.The mountain cross track, where four riders race each other, features a 6-foot drop at the start into a challenging series of jumps and berms. “This course will separate the best riders from the rest of the field,” said Matt Thompson, Momentum Trail Concepts principal and SolVista’s chief trail designer. “It will test riders’ technique, stamina and strategy. The best riders will definitely dominate the competition, and whoever makes the fastest run with the least mistakes will prevail.” “From a local standpoint, it’s really exciting riding to watch here,” Mayfield said. He highlighted the Pro Men’s Mountain Cross Finals at 7 p.m. on Saturday and the Pro Men’s downhill race at 2 p.m. on Sunday.The SolVista Bike park will be open to the public all weekend.Parking is available at the Inn at SilverCreek with free shuttles running continuously up to the races. There is a $5 parking charge at the base of SolVista.A live band is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday nights, and food and refreshments will be available throughout the weekend. Although SolVista has been making a name for itself as being a mountain-biking Mecca, this national championship event “is going to continue to build our reputation on a nationwide basis,” Mayfield said. – Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

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