It’s not often that a national caliber event (of any sport) takes place in Montana, so when they do it creates quite a stir. Last spring when some core Missoula mountain bikers told us they we’re putting on a brand new mountain bike race, and that it was part of the US Pro XCT, our reactions included a range between “Really?!” and “Awesome!”. We sponsored the event site unseen with Hammer Gel, HEED and Recoverite last summer and the race blew away all expectations. Over a thousand spectators came out to watch the main event, and celebrate the sport of mountain biking in Missoula, Montana, which sits only a couple hours . So a couple weeks ago when the opportunity presented itself for Hammer Nutrition to become the title sponsor of the Missoula XC, we just couldn’t say no! We’re happy to help bring national level mountain biking to Montana, and showcase our great products alongside the sports elite. Here’s a few words from the Missoula XC technical director, Ben Horan, about just how special this race is becoming:
Inspired by the success of the internationally acclaimed Missoula Marathon, the Hammer Nutrition Missoula Pro XCT was conceived of and implemented by a passionate core of cycling and community activists who share a love of cycling and of the community. The race is an event that provides a super venue for pros, rallies amateurs from the region, and brings a great event to a great town. It’s about having fun and involving as many different people as possible.
The Hammer Nutrition Missoula XC race course received rave reviews from professional racers and amateurs alike, and was designed and constructed specifically for this event. It reflects the contemporary World Cup course philosophy. Steep, technical climbs and descents alternate between single track, double track, and infrequent dirt road sections. Frequent and sudden rhythm changes challenge racers, but several sequences of fast and fun sections are included as well. The course features over 850 feet of climbing per lap; while it is not at extremely high altitude, multiple long, steep climbs per lap test racers’ fitness limits.
In 2011, hometown favorite Sam Schultz snagged the win over teammate Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Pro XCT Series winner, Max Plaxton, while Lea Davidson put on a clinic to win her first Pro XCT race ahead of Heather Irmiger and Katerina Nash. With this race as the final domestic test before the Olympics in London, and newly donning UCI C1 credentials all of the heavy hitters are sure to turn up with guns blazing. Come on out to test your mettle on the same tread as Olympians, or just have a cold Kettlehouse beer and cheer on your friends on July 14, 2012 at the Hammer Nutrition Missoula XC.
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