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Gallery: USA Cycling Collegiate MTB National Championships Cross-Country

Purgatory Resort is known for hosting the first-ever UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, where Ned Overend and Juli Furtado took titles in the cross-country races. On Friday, racing once again came back to the ski resort just north of Durango, Colorado in the form of the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships. 

The five-mile course mirrored the lap that was used for the 1990 Worlds with some modern additions. However, tough trail conditions caused officials to shorten the course as well as the number of laps the racers completed. 

A snowstorm earlier in the week left about 6-inches of snow on the ground, but the racing was to go on no matter the weather. The racers had to find traction amid icy bits as well as freshly thawed, slick mud. 

College and University teams from across the country traveled to Colorado to compete in cross-country, dual slalom, downhill, short track, and team relay. In Friday's cross-country races, Colorado-based teams had the advantage of being used to racing at altitude, and they certainly capitalized on that. 

Madigan Munro won the Varsity women's race for Colorado Mes University, while the U.S Air Force Academy's Mckenzie Steiner won the women's Club division. In the Varsity men's race, Tyler Orschel of Brevard College won, and Keegan Pelton won the Club men's race. 

View the photo gallery above to look back at the action and epic conditions. 

Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California, where he cultivated his love for riding all types of bikes. Ryan eventually gravitated toward enduro and downhill racing but has also been found in the occasional road and cyclo-cross events. Today, he regularly rides the trails of Durango, Colorado, and is aiming to make a career out of chronicling the sport of cycling. 


Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower, Specialized Tarmac SL4