USA Cycling announces new MTB Nationals Venue
Too much snow in Mammoth - Championships relocated to Infineon Raceway, California
Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California will host the 2006 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships July 13-16 as part of the Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic.
Originally planned for the following weekend, the 2006 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships have been moved up one week after a record amount of snowfall forced the event's relocation from Mammoth Mountain last month.
Initially designated as the fifth round of the 2006 National Mountain Bike Series, the event has been removed from the series calendar and will no longer factor into the overall series standings. Instead, the event has been designated as the stand-alone, American-only national championship for all levels and disciplines of mountain biking.
"This is a phenomenal opportunity for Infineon Raceway and for the Northern California cycling community," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway. "We have long believed that the unique nature of our facility landscape and our location in the virtual birthplace of the mountain bike offered the ingredients for an outstanding competition festival. Hosting the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships is an honour and a responsibility we take very seriously and we look forward to working with everyone involved to stage a successful and memorable event in July."
After a record 664 inches of snow fell this season, Mammoth Mountain reported a base depth of nearly 20 feet as of May 1 - a figure that ultimately put the resort's ability to host the event in jeopardy.
"It was a difficult decision," said Bill Cockroft, senior vice president of operations at Mammoth Mountain, "but ultimately we believe we owed it to the mountain bike community to make sure the event continues at the level and standards expected by USA Cycling."
After weeks of discussion with several potential sites, Infineon Raceway was identified as the best replacement venue, and the date change was largely due to the raceway's preparation to host a National Hot Rod Association event the following week.
"Infineon Raceway is one of a handful of established venues capable of hosting a national championship-caliber event in a short amount of time," commented Steve Johnson, chief executive officer of USA Cycling. "We had hoped to maintain the original date that was designated for our national championships, but ultimately a decision had to be made so that we can move forward with the organization of an event consistent with the level of quality that our membership has come to expect. After discussions with several potential venues, it was determined that Infineon Raceway on the new date provided the best-possible scenario."
Infineon Raceway has a history of hosting nationally recognized cycling events including a NORBA National Mountain Bike Series event in 2004 and the Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic.
Registration for the 2006 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships begins on Monday, May 15 at www.sportsbaseonline.com. A complete schedule of events will be available at that time.
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