Following successful 2021 event, USA Cycling announces return date for 2022 Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships in Frederick, Maryland

Challenging course at Gambrill State Park and Frederick Watershed will welcome top mountain bikers for second year in a row

Competitors chat ahead of the 2021 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike Championship in Frederick, Maryland (Photo: USA Cycling Instagram).

(FREDERICK, Maryland)  – The USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championship will return to Gambrill State Park and the Frederick Watershed on Sunday, October 23rd.  The announcement was part of a press release that was issued on February 11th, which also included the dates and locations for several other events scheduled for 2022.  

“USA Cycling is thrilled to return to Gambrill State Park in Frederick, Maryland with our 2022 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championship. Our racers loved the course and are looking forward to returning to chase the title of National Champion,” said Tara McCarthy, Senior National Events Manager for USA Cycling

“Frederick is a cycling city and we are excited to once again host the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National Championship Race up in the Catoctin Mountains at the Frederick City Watershed,” said Michael O’Connor, Mayor, The City of Frederick. “The Frederick Watershed is one of the top east coast destinations for technical  mountain biking and last year it proved both beautiful and challenging.   It is terrific to see the riders, their support crews, and fans taking time to enjoy the many offerings in the City in the days leading up to and following the race.”

“On behalf of Visit Frederick, we are certainly very excited to once again be partnering with USA Cycling and the Maryland Sports Commission to bring this unique and dynamic event to Frederick for the second consecutive year,” said Dave Ziedelis, Executive Director of Visit Frederick. “We look forward to welcoming and hosting all the event participants again along with an entourage of family, friends, and fans that will be traveling to Frederick.”

“We’re excited to welcome the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike Championship back to Maryland for a second year in a row.  The 2021 event not only had fantastic competition in the park and Watershed, but it was also an opportunity for a number of partners and businesses in the Frederick community to engage with competitors from all across the United States,” said Terry Hasseltine, Executive Director of the Maryland Sports Commission. 

Competitors wait at starting line in Gambrill State Park in Frederick, Maryland (Photo: USA Cycling Instagram)

USA Cycling and Maryland Sports have a long-standing relationship when it comes to hosting major events in the state.  Most recently, Maryland Sports, along with TEAM Maryland partner Visit Hagerstown, hosted the USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships in 2018 and 2019, while Visit Annapolis is set to host a USA BMX championship this summer.  Hasseltine said that its the state’s track record of hosting successful events that led to Frederick securing this event the last two years,

“When we got word that USA Cycling was looking for a new location to host this particular event in 2021, we knew we had everything that they and their competitors were looking for.  Visit Frederick, a longtime TEAM Maryland partner, has so much to offer, both for the outdoor sports enthusiasts, and their families and friends who come out to support them.”

While Maryland Sports spearheaded the efforts to secure the event, Hasseltine gives credit to all of the partners involved, including a number of local mountain biking groups and enthusiasts who continue to volunteer their time to help organize and run the competition,

“Marylanders really take pride in their state and local community.  But I’d be hard pressed to find another community that takes the pride in their course, the way the Frederick mountain bike community does.  And it’s not just folks who live in and around Frederick, last year, we had volunteers who came from neighboring states like Pennsylvania just to be course marshalls or to help with set up and break down.”

A competitor takes on the sometimes grueling terrain of the Frederick Watershed (Staff Photo)

Gambrill State Park is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, overseen by a tireless group of park rangers, led by Ranger Mark Spurrier.  Maintenance of the Frederick Watershed is overseen by the City of Frederick, while the bike trails are frequently kept up by the non-profit MORE, The Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, a grassroots organization which, according to their website, “aims to expand riding opportunities and increase trail access throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.”

“Hosting hundreds of mountain bike riders, crews, and fans in Frederick for this national championship race is a great opportunity to not only share Frederick with the country but to generate significant returns for the community,” said Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development for The City of Frederick. Griffin, who is deeply involved in the local mountain biking community, played a major role in event execution in 2021, expects a repeat in terms of the positive impact the competition had for local businesses, “From bike shops to breweries and from gas stations to hotels all see the positive financial impact of this race on our local trails and the awards ceremony in Downtown Frederick. It is also a great opportunity for Frederick residents to volunteer in support of USAC, Maryland Sports Commission, and Frederick.”

For the 2021 Championships, Visit Frederick leveraged its relationship with the Frederick Keys (collegiate summer baseball-MLB Draft League) to use their stadium, Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium, for rider packet pickup, and Smoketown Creekside for the awards and closing ceremony.  Incorporating and promoting locally-owned businesses in and around Downtown Frederick has been a major priority for Maryland Sports and its partners, as towns across Maryland continue to rebound from the pandemic.  

Hasseltine said that incorporating local businesses, organizations, and attractions into the overall execution of sport tourism events is something that his team is looking at – both at the Maryland Sports Commission, and its non-profit arm, The Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.),

“Whether it’s this event or the upcoming, inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic supported by UnitedHealthcare, we know we’re going to reach the respective cycling community.  But how are we going to get them to bring their families to Maryland for a total immersive experience within our destination?  We know the state of Maryland is a world-class destination for hosting sport tourism events, but we also know that our partners like Visit Frederick, who just won an award for the work they’ve done promoting the C&O Canal National Historical Park and Trail, have something for every member of the ‘sports family’.  So while the parents might come for the grueling race at Gambrill and the Watershed, the whole family can load up their bikes and explore the deep history of Maryland’s mountain region, at a more modest pace.”

Crossing the finish line of the 2021 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championship (Photo: USA Cycling Instagram)

For more information about USA Cycling, the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States, visit their website: https://usacycling.org/

WHAT: 2022 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike Championships

WHERE: Gambrill State Park/ Frederick Watershed (Frederick, Maryland)

WHEN: Sunday October 23, 2022

Mentioned in this release:  USA Cycling, Maryland Sports Commission & TEAM MarylandVisit Frederick, City of Frederick, Frederick County, Gambrill State Park and the Frederick Watershed, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, MORE

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About Maryland Sports:

Maryland Sports’ mission is to enhance Maryland’s economy, image and quality of life through the attraction, promotion, retention and development of regional, national and international sporting events. Maryland Sports is the go-to resource for the sports events and sport tourism industry in the State of Maryland.

About USA Cycling

USA Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States and oversees the disciplines of road, track, mountain bike, cyclocross, and BMX.  With a mission to develop the sport of cycling in the United States at all levels and to achieve sustained international racing success, USA Cycling supports cyclists from enthusiasts just beginning in the sport to seasoned professionals.  We may be best known for the identification, development, and selection of cyclists to represent the United States in international competition, but equally important is our support of amateur bike racing through grassroots development programs and the provision of critical infrastructure to run organized racing.  Recently, we have broadened our mission to support enthusiasts and the events in which they participate like gran fondos and fun rides.

About Visit Frederick:

Located less than one hour from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Gettysburg, the city of Frederick, Maryland is surrounded by mountain views, wineries, orchards and vibrant Main Street communities. Visitors can hike the Appalachian Trail, visit Maryland’s largest brewery, and tour a battlefield all in one day.

Frederick County, where hip meets historic every day.

About TEAM Maryland:

A statewide initiative designed to collectively market Maryland to the entire sports industry by creating a synergistic approach to the way we market ALL of Maryland as a sports destination.

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