Palo Duro Canyon State Park will host USA Cycling’s 2019 Marathon Mountain Bike National Championship on Saturday, with event organizers expecting 450 cyclists from across the nation to compete.
“We were awarded this event this year and next year,” Karie Mueller, a member of the local organizing committee, said. “We submitted a bid and the U.S. Cycling representative visited the area in November. We’re excited about our area hosting such an outstanding event.”
Officials said racing will begin at 10 a.m., with competition slated as follows:
19+ Elite/Open Men
19+ Elite/Open Women
Single Speed Men
50-54 Men, 17-18 Men
60-64 Men, 40-44 Women
45-49, 35-39 & 19-29 Women
65-69 Men, 17-18, 30-34 Women
Single Speed Women, 50-54, 55-59 Women
60+ Women, 70+ Men
According to the organization’s website, USA Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States and oversees the disciplines of road, track, mountain bike, cyclocross and BMX. The mission of USA Cycling is to develop the sport of cycling in the United States at all levels and achieve sustained international racing success while fostering a shared commitment to safety, integrity and the joy of cycling.
Officials said Palo Duro Canyon is the home of 24 Hours in the Canyon, the PD 50 trail run and TMBRA Palo Duro Canyon Mountain Bike Marathon, adding the trail system has a bit of everything – from technical climbing, sweeping corners, creek side flowing trails and punchy climbs.
“I’m really excited about a big time cycling event like this being right in my back yard,” Amarillo resident Justin Avila said. “It’s a feather in our cap to be sure. And when you factor in there are people here from all over the country, it’s another shot in the arm for the local economy. It’s a win all the way around and I’m really stoked about it.”