HAGERSTOWN, MD – The Twelfth Annual “Greenbrier Challenge, Presented by the Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau” Mountain Bike Race is scheduled for May 17, 2015 at Greenbrier State Park. The race has been the top cycling event in the Mid-Atlantic region for several years. Past participants have come from across the United States, D.C., and Canada.
The Greenbrier Challenge, sponsored again by the Visit Hagerstown & Washington County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) and organized by Potomac Velo Club, will feature over $10,000 in cash and prizes. The Greenbrier Challenge is the AMBC/Maryland State Championship Race, a National Junior Development Series Race, and a single-race Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, all in one exciting day of mountain bike racing. This year, for the third time, it is also a race in the Mid-Atlantic Super Series (MASS).
This race is an event well-known as the premier USA Cycling (USAC) sanctioned mountain bike race in the Mid-Atlantic Region. USA Cycling is the organization which oversees the entry of US cyclists to the Olympics, to the World Championships, and to World class events throughout the globe. The race’s venue and organization have made an impression throughout the continent. The Greenbrier Challenge is part of USA Cycling’s American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) level of racing and awards high levels of National Points to participating racers.
Of special interest to Junior (18 year old and younger) racers this year is that the Greenbrier Challenge is the only race east of the Mississippi that has been designated as a Junior Mountainbike Development Race Series race. Junior boys and girls of ages 14 through 18 in the mid-level race (Category 2) will receive invitations to special 5-day Regional Talent ID Camps by placing in the top 5 in their category 2 racing groups at Greenbrier. The Camps, organized by USA Cycling, provide training by professional certified coaches, mechanics and trainers that cover mountain biking skills, positioning, nutrition, training plan design, race preparation, injury prevention, mechanics, and other skills needed by up-and-coming racers. One of the camps will be nearby in McHenry, MD and one in Colorado Springs, CO.
The Greenbrier Challenge is one of the few eastern United States races where riders can qualify for invitations to the US National Championships. The event also serves as the official Maryland State Championships. The top three USAC Licensed riders in each class and from Maryland will be awarded Maryland State Championship titles and medals. Additionally this year, the top three USAC Licensed riders in each class from any state will be awarded Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship titles and medals.
Dan Spedden, President of the Hagerstown and Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau stated, “The Convention and Visitors Bureau is thrilled to once again be the presenting sponsor for this marquee event. Having the Maryland Championship and Regional Championship in Washington County gives us the chance to really show off our many stellar attractions -- historical, cultural, recreational and retail. The CVB is happy to have coordinated with local hotels for special rates for the racers. We are welcoming hundreds of competitors, plus supporters, families and fans to our county for this terrific event.”
The event is officially called: The Greenbrier Challenge, Presented by the Visit Hagerstown and Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information, see: http://greenbrier.potomacvelo.com/
The Greenbrier course is challenging for professional cyclists yet ride-able and fun for racers new to the sport. The setting makes for the perfect day-long or weekend family getaway at Greenbrier State Park. There are plenty of recreational activities to choose from including hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail, boating and fishing on Greenbrier’s beautiful lake, and enjoying the park’s top-notch camping, picnicking, and recreational facilities.
While creating a significant local economic impact, the CVB also noted that to have the mountain-bike championship race at a state park located in Washington County is a great example of the partnership between Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources and the Visit Hagerstown and Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Best Western Grand Venice Hotel is the headquarters hotel for the Greenbrier Challenge. There are several other official host hotels.
With two disciplines (cross country and endurance) and 47 classes competing for 108 podiums and over $10,000 of cash and merchandise prizes, it takes a skilled and organized promoting organization to keep things running like clockwork year after year. The Potomac Velo Club has made its reputation by organizing some of the finest races on the East Coast, including the Greenbrier Challenge AMBC mountain bike race, the Wednesdays-at-Wakefield Training Race series, and the Capital Cross Classic season-ending cyclo-cross race.
“Greenbrier is a race for the racers,” said Jim Carlson, Race Director for the Greenbrier race. “We made it a National Calendar event so that the racers get narrower age categories where they can achieve more against those in their own age group, many more USA Cycling points for each placing, and more in cash prizes. We try to balance it so that almost everything goes back to the racers. We’ve also designed it to be a competition stepping stone between the local race series level and the national and world level for our Mid Atlantic racers.”
For additional information about the Greenbrier Challenge, go to the Potomac Velo Club website at http://www.potomacvelo.com.
The Hagerstown and Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry.