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US Cup East #3 - Massanutten HooHa! - NE
Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA, June 6-7, 2009
Massanutten hosting next eastern US Cup
By Sue George in Harrisonburg
Local pro racer Jeremiah Bishop (MonaVie/Cannondale) is the favorite in the men's cross country race. "It's cool that this race is part of the Kenda Cup East. It's a longstanding classic mid-Atlantic event," said Bishop to Cyclingnews.
Bishop, the current US national short track and marathon champion, is anticipating a field featuring the top East Coast pros including racers like Harlan Price (Independent Fabrication), Jeff Schalk and Chris Eatough (Trek Co-op) and perhaps also Sam Koerber (Gary Fisher 29er crew).
On the women's side, retired pro Sue Haywood, also a local, will be dusting off her racing shoes and returning to competition in the women's XXC field. Kristy Lanier is also expected to race.
The pros and experts will race two 12.5-mile laps. The new lap features a brand new one-mile uphill, singletrack section of trail built by the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition's mountain bikers.
"It's a rather technical singletrack climb that is 100% ride-able and replaces about a mile of tough fireroad that's always hot and in the sun," said Thomas Jenkins, who worked on the new trail and course development. "The club has put 1,600 hours of volunteer time into the trail since it began construction in March 2008."
The new trail takes racers up to the famous Kaylor's Knob section of the course, a very rocky, mountain laurel-lined ridge-top trail.
The race doubles as the fourth stop of the eight-race Team IMBA series. Thanks to SRAM and GT Bicycles, a select group of racers for local-IMBA affiliated clubs will raise money for both IMBA and their local club.
Sport-level cross country racers will tackle one 12.5-mile lap and beginners will get to compete on their own 9.5-mile, abbreviated lap. Double cross country racers will do 34 miles including the 12.5-mile lap and a section of the George Washington National Forest.
The race is also serving as stop number four in the GT Golden Bike series.