COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The National Off-Road Bicycle Association announced the 1998 American Mountain Bike Challenge schedule today, setting the schedule for an exciting and challenging 1998 season for mountain bike competitors in the United States and Canada.
The 1998 season marks the expansion of the AMBC with the addition of a new Central Circuit. Growing from 27 events in 1996 and 1997 to 31 events in 1998, the AMBC will have three circuits of ten events each plus the National Finals. Spanning two countries and 27 states, the AMBC is the largest developmental circuit of mountain bike events in the world. Appealing to riders ranging from first-time participants to experienced expert and professional riders, the many events of the AMBC complements the NORBA National Championship Series and World Cup events in both the United States and Canada.
As in 1997, annual NORBA members competing in AMBC events will earn double and triple regional ranking points for top-20 finishes. Regular season events will earn double regional ranking points in the region where they were earned, while circuit and national finals will earn triple regional ranking points. Plus, expert-level men and women riders will be eligible for special AMBC series points for cross-country competition.
Utah's Dixie - home to the majestic red sandstone beauty of Zion National Park - is considered by knowledgeable bicyclists to be the undiscovered slick rock mecca for mountain bike enthusiasts. On November 7-8, 1998, the third annual American Mountain Bike Challenge National Finals will help spread the news nationwide. Only 35 miles from the towering sandstone cliffs and canyons of Zion National Park, the Red Rock Fall Rampage at the desert resort city of St. George will conclude the third season of NORBA's newest national series. Located only 90 minutes from the neon glitter and glamour of Las Vegas, Nevada, St. George has hosted a popular stop on the regional Cannondale Cup championship mountain bike circuit, as well as the Huntsman Senior Games, a multi- sport festival attracting thousands of senior-aged participants each October. With early November weather in St. George is commonly warm and sunny, the AMBC National Finals are certain to bring a large competitive field to the red rock desert north of the Grand Canyon.
Elsewhere, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic in the San Juan Mountains outside Durango, Colorado rejoins the Western Circuit after a one year absence. In Idaho, the Bogus Bomber event, at Bogus Basin Resort 15 miles northeast of Boise, joins the circuit after several years as a favored stop on the Wild Rockies Regional Championship Series. The Mount Hood Ski Bowl, east of Portland, Oregon, will host the Western Circuit Finals October 3-4.