The World’s Top Racers Take Aim at 2009 U.S. Open of Mountain Biking

The World’s Top Racers Take Aim at 2009 U.S. Open of Mountain Biking

Vernon, New Jersey (May 15, 2009) – The seventh annual U.S. Open of Mountain Biking, which will kick-off on May 22nd, has become a national benchmark for U.S. mountain bike events boasting attendance by many of the world’s top racers. Against the backdrop of nearly 50 custom built mountain bike trails, the U.S. Open of Mountain Biking plays host to amateur and professional racers from across the globe all looking to capture the most prestigious title in American gravity racing.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Steve Smith will be looking to defend his title against a stacked field of international contenders. "I'm really looking forward to coming back to Diablo and defending my 2008 U.S. Open title,” said Smith of Team Evil Bikes/MS-Racing. “The U.S. Open track is sick and so are all of the other trails that I've ridden there.  It's always a really good time."


After narrowly being edged-out by Steve Smith in 2008, former World Champion Sam Hill is gunning to dethrone Smith and claim the 2009 U.S. Open title.  “I am really excited about attending the U.S Open this year. It is always a really fun track to ride and the atmosphere is more relaxed than the world cups. I'm also looking forward to riding my new Specialized at Diablo and seeing how it handles the rough terrain.”


Fresh off of a strong 4th place finish at the La Bresse, France World Cup, British Downhill phenom Brendan Fairclough states: “This will be my second U.S. Open and it is an event that I have been looking forward to.” To earn a top spot at the U.S. Open, Fairclough will need a strong showing to fend off top world cup rivals including teammate Sam Hill, Gee Atherton, Dan Atherton, Bryn Atkinson, Brian Lopes, Jared Rando and Kyle Strait to name a few.


Returning in 2009 to capture the title that eluded her in 2008, is highly decorated pro racer Kathy Pruitt (Jamis Bicycles). Pruitt will be trying to outpace a talented women’s field that includes Olympic bronze medalist Jill Kintner, Melissa Buhl, Katrina Strand, among many others as she attempts to capture the women’s title.


To complement the highly contested downhill discipline, the U.S. Open of Mountain Biking is introducing a new Giant Slalom discipline featuring a $7,500 pro-purse and nearly $15,000 in amateur prizes. Designed by the Diablo Parklogic Team, the new Giant Slalom course features a series of huge banked turns careening down the lower mountain of Diablo Freeride Park. 

In addition to high-stakes racing, the U.S. Open is an excellent opportunity to witness the world’s top racers performing in action. Spectating is free of charge and there are many vantage points to view fast-paced racing including the popular JBL Sound Garden.  During the final competition rounds, the JBL Sound Garden located at the infamous Rock Garden section will feature a JBL Audio system, where guest announcer MC Splϋgie will be providing the play-by-play.  


The weekend’s festivities also include product demo’s and exhibitions by top companies including: Jamis Bicycles, Kenda USA, ethirteen components, Fox Riders Co., Shimano, Red Bull, JBL Audio, Intense Cycles, Turner Bicycles, FiveTen, GT Bicycles, ClifBar, Honest Tea and the Santa Cruz Allride Academy, among others. On Sunday, trials legend Jeff Lenosky will be onsite performing his Mountain Bike Trials Stunt Show. At 4:30pm, watch Jeff jump, spin, and perform random acts of kindness as he entertains the crowd.


Athletes interested in competing in the 2009 U.S. Open of Mountain Biking are encouraged to register online immediately to reserve their spot in the event. Online registration will close Wednesday, May 20th!


For more information about the 2009 U.S. Open of Mountain Biking, please visit .


Official Diablo Freeride Park Sponsors and Partners include: Jamis Bicycles, Shimano, JBL Audio, Freelap USA, Kenda, ethirteen, , RedBull, Fox Riders Co.,, BOS Suspension, Scott USA, Skull Candy, Dakine, VholdR, Lizard Skins, Atomlab, ClifBar, Five Ten, WTB and Mountain Creek Resort.