By Alex Strickland — SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Sept. 4, 2013) — The Utah High School Cycling League launches its second season next week with more teams, more riders, more races and a new State Championship venue in the mountain biking mecca of Moab. The league, one of the largest and fastest-growing in the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), was launched in 2012.
The season opens on Sept. 14 at Corner Canyon in Draper, where more than 450 riders are expected to line up across nearly a dozen classes from freshman to varsity. Approximately 600 total student athletes are registered for the 2013 season, though not all riders participate in every event.
“I’m continually shocked by the enthusiasm for mountain biking among Utah’s student athletes,” said Utah High School Cycling League Director Lori Harward. “We’re building off an amazing first year and our student athletes are chomping at the bit to get out and race this season at some incredible venues.”
With the league’s rapid growth, organizers expanded off-season offerings to make sure student athletes and the adult volunteers who coach them had access to resources to improve riding, conditioning and coaching though skills clinics and a winter riding camp.
“We have an amazing group of volunteers who have been working hard to get our racers ready for the season and we’ve watched 75 racers come together as mountain bikers and friends,” said Whitney Pogue, coach of the new Corner Canyon High School team – the league’s largest with 75 riders.
This season’s five-race schedule returns to two courses from last year at Round Valley in Park City and the 2002 Olympic venue at Soldier Hollow near Heber. The 2013 season kicks off on a new course at Corner Canyon, hits the mid-point at Snowbasin in Odgen and closes out with the state championship in Moab.
The full schedule is:
Sept 14 – Corner Canyon, Draper
Sept 28 – Round Valley Round Up
Oct 12 – Snowbasin, Odgen
Oct 26 – Soldier Hollow, Midway
Nov 9 – Moab, Utah
For more information about the Utah High School Cycling Association, visit www.utahmtb.org.