2022 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships returns Oct. 13-16 to Purgatory Resort. Courtesy/Purgatory Resort
DURANGO, Colo. — The 2022 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships returns to Purgatory Resort, Oct. 13-16, in Durango, Colo.
The proving ground for many of America’s top professional cyclists, the national championships mark the finale of a season’s worth of competition for the country’s top collegiate racers.
“Purgatory is delighted to host the national championships again this year,” Purgatory General Manager Dave Rathbun said. “Our goal is to bring major races back to Durango on par with the UCI World Cup race in 2001. Many of the nation’s top professional cyclists call Durango home and we have some of the best riding and cycling culture in the U.S. We will continue to develop opportunities to bring national cycling events to the Durango area.”
National Events Director Tara McCarthy said, “USA Cycling is excited to return to Purgatory Resort for the 2022 Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships.” “This event is a steppingstone along the competitive journey for future World Champions and Olympians and we’re looking forward to highly contested races next week.”
The championships include cross-country and gravity races across five separate events, including cross-country, short-track cross-country, a team relay, dual slalom, and downhill. Athletes will compete on the 1990 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships course that local legend Ned Overend won. The entire Short Track, Cross-Country and Dual Slalom courses are visible from the base area, so spectators can cheer on friends, family and classmates.
FLC cycling has had a great conference season, using those results to determine its top six female and male riders across the four disciplines to represent the Skyhawks. In the lead-up to nationals, FLC was dominant in women’s gravity. With top results this season, gravity riders will look for podiums in the downhill races and dual slalom. The historic technical course also suits cross-country riders, who have been able to pre-ride and build their high-altitude endurance this fall.
With that confidence on the course and hype from the hometown crowd, FLC cycling director Ian Burnett said the potential is there for Skyhawks to compete for individual titles and the team national championship title.
“We had a deep team this season, and they’ve all had their turn being competitive,” Burnett said. “We’re excited to see what they can do individually and as a collective.”
The action begins Thursday, Oct. 13 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 on Saturday and the Team Relay on Sunday.
Visit this link for the full schedule. Follow @USACycling and the event hashtag #CollNats for live updates from the race.
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 hosting the first-ever World Mountain Bike Championships World Cup in 1990 to an ever-expanding Bike Park with the Durango area’s only lift-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.