Purgatory Resort & Fort Lewis College Host 2021 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships

A snowy scene Thursday in the San Juan Mountains as Purgatory races through its qualifying events. Courtesy/Purgatory


DURANGO, Colo. — The top collegiate athletes from around the country will head to
Durango’s Purgatory Resort for the 2021 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National
Championships Oct. 14-17. Student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete on the 1990 UCI
Mountain Bike World Championships course.

“Purgatory is excited to welcome the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships back to Durango,”  said Dave Rathbun, general manager for Purgatory Resort. “We are fortunate to have some of the best riding in North America to attract one of America’s premier cycling events to Purgatory. We look forward to bringing more events like this to the Durango area.”

The Fort Lewis College cycling team will be searching for it’s 25th team overall elite up at Purgatory but
will have stiff competition from Colorado Mesa University, Marian University from Indiana, Brevard
College from North Carolina and Lees-McRae College from North Carolina.

Dave Hagen, director of cycling operations at Fort Lewis College and the technical director for the event,
believes it will be an action-packed weekend for the collegiate athletes.

“Racers will be riding on spruced-up versions of legendary courses up at Purgatory,” Hagen said. “The
Cross-Country course is almost identical to the one from the 1990 UCI Mountain Bike World
Championships and the World Cup Downhill from 2001 has been modernized – both the courses will be
very challenging as the National Championship course should be. The entire Short Track, Cross-Country,
and Dual Slalom courses will be visible from the base area and will make for some great action.”

Racing begins Thursday, Oct. 14 starting with the Dual Slalom qualifiers. Friday will be a full day of
action with early Cross-Country racing followed by Dual Slalom finals. Downhill seedings and Short Track
will take place Saturday, and the weekend will conclude with Sunday’s Downhill finals and the
ultimate collegiate omnium decider, the Team Relay. The Dual Slalom events Thursday and Friday will
be right at the base area—perfect for spectators—as will the Short Track Saturday and the Team Relay on Sunday.

“We are excited to bring collegiate athletes from all over the country to see what is so special about
Durango, Purgatory, and the community we have. They are going to be blown away with how many fans
will be there cheering them on,” Hagen said. “The Friday Cross-Country race is on the 1990 Mountain”

Bike World Championship course that local legend Ned Overend won. It is 5.2 miles in length and climbs
1,100 feet per lap. The Sunday Downhill is on the venerable 2001 World Cup course that is still revered in
the gravity world for being steep and rowdy. The main race venue at Purgatory will have great spectating
opportunities with the majority of the action happening in the base area.”

“USA Cycling is excited to host Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals in historic Durango, Colo. Acer two
previous attempts were canceled, 2019 due to forest fires and 2020 because of COVID, we are excited
that the third time will be the charm! Durango will host the best collegiate mountain bike athletes and
we are set for a fantastic few days of racing,” said Justin Evans, USA Cycling’s Collegiate and Youth
Programs manager.

FLC cycling has had a great conference season so far, using those results to determine its top six female
and male riders across the four disciplines to represent the Skyhawks. Female Downhill rider Fiona
Dougherty has been on fire for the Skyhawks so far this conference season and she’ll have strong backup
with McKenna Marten, Kaia Jensen, and Barb Edwards. Will Farmer and Cole Fiene have won Downhill
races this year for the Skyhawks and they have a slew of teammates that can also be on the podium at

Male Cross-Country racers Guy Leshem and Durango local Cobe Freeburn will anchor the
strong men’s Cross-Country team with young riders Toby Hasse, Nate Colavolpe, and Kellen Caldwell,
who have also been consistently on the podium this fall. Micheala Thompson has been the Skyhawks top
female Cross-Country racer with Madelyn Roberson, Natalie Quinn, and Durango local Ruth Holcomb
coming into great form leading up to Nationals. (see Roster below.)

“It’s really exciting to race at home,” Holcomb said. “Durango has always been supportive of the sport
and to be on a home course with home fans is super special. The course has a lot of history and it’s one
of the hardest courses we’ll race this season. It has a super steep climb and feels like a level up from the
other courses we’ve been on this fall. I’ve never had a team to compete with for an omnium; I’m just so
excited to be racing for this team and I think we have a great shot at the omnium.”

Volunteers are needed at Purgatory Resort Tuesday through Sunday for set up and tear down, course
marshalling, parking, and more. Register for this online.

Follow @USACycling and the event hashtag #CollNats for updates.

About Purgatory
Purgatory is tucked away between Durango and Silverton along the San Juan Skyway, on the southern
edge of the San Juan Mountains. Purgatory’s biking roots run deep, from hosEng the first-ever World
Mountain Bike Championships World Cup in 1990 to an ever-expanding Bike Park with the Durango
area’s only lic-served mountain bike park and gravity flow trail. Purgatory’s Bike Park features podium quality terrain for all abilities and serves as the gateway to over 400 miles of high alpine singletrack and backcountry trails. One of Colorado’s most family friendly ski resorts, Purgatory features 1,605 acres of steep tree skiing and wide-open cruisers; plus year-round family friendly activities, lodging, retail, restaurants, bars, and signature events. Visit Purgatory.ski.

Dual Slalom and Downhill

Cross-country and Cross-country Short Track:

Team Relay roster will be decided the week of the championships.