RIDERWOOD, MD — For two years now, Orienteering USA (OUSA) has been in the Mountain Bike Orienteering business. First up was an all-women team of three young ladies who proved that America was (at least in a small part) interested in competiting in World MTBO competitions. Next was a rematch of the women’s team joined by the very first men’s team. Both years represented another chapter in sports history. However, both years also saw American athletes get dominated by European riders. The OUSA 2014 MTBO Review Panel, Chaired by Greg Lennon, hopes to change all that. This year the panel is reaching out to more than just orienteers. According to the lastest OUSA “Call for Riders”, this year’s US MTBO Team is very interested in USA Cycling licensed mountain bike and cyclocross riders, and experienced elite-level adventure racers. Could the inclusion of more competitive mountain bike centric riders be the difference that puts American’s on the World MTBO Championship podium for the first time? Third time’s the charm!

The following is the OUSA 2014 MTBO Review Panel’s MTBO Team USA application process:

Orienteering USA is pleased to once again announce the formation of an elite bike team to represent the US in this summer’s 12th MTBO World Orienteering Championships, held in Bialystok, Poland from August 24 – 31. All competition details, including rules (but most importantly Race Bulletins).

We will name individuals to the OUSA 2014 MTBO team based on self-nomination and decisions by the OUSA 2014 MTBO Review Panel (Greg Lennon, Chair). We intend to potentially name qualified men and women to participate in the World Champs (elite; “ME” and “WE”) competition, and if there are qualified candidates, in the World Junior competition.

The Panel recognizes that although MTBO in the US is growing it is still at an early stage, with the first full teams with both genders competing only last year. More importantly, there is clearly sufficient interest in the US cycling, orienteering and adventure racing community to support MTBO and to give motivated MTB-orienteers a chance to compete on a world stage, with a significant fraction of racing expenses supported by OUSA and multiple donors.

Therefore, please consider applying to be named to the OUSA Elite MTBO team based on being at least 21 years of age (unless you are a junior) and being a US citizen (with a passport), and, meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  • Participation at an advanced level in MTBO events, nationally or internationally; please submit at least a URL to the event, map & course details and competitors results where possible;
  • Participation in and results from other bike related competitions and rankings, including but not limited to mountain bike (trail) races, cyclocross races, adventure races including biking, and USA Cycling sanctioned races including MTB cross-country and Super D; USA Cycling license holders should indicate their racing categories;
  • Membership and participation in bike-affiliated organizations such as USA Cycling, IMBA, and regional clubs and organizations;
  • Membership in Orienteering USA;
  • Familiarity with the IOF MTB Orienteering Competition rules 2010 http://orienteering.org/mtb-orienteering/rules/, and the International Specification for MTB Orienteering Maps 2010 http://orienteering.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/International-Specification-for-MTB-Orienteering-Maps-2010_2.pdf;
  • Access to, via ownership or loan, a competition-quality 26 or 29 inch front or full suspension mountain bike, suitably equipped for the World Championships as outlined in the event bulletins, including puncture protection;
  • Photos and videos of particularly competitive races and rides, including headcam videos;
  • A level of physical fitness and body composition commensurate with elite performance;
  • Ability to potentially attend one or more training camps prior to the WMTBOC;
  • If known at this time, an indication of which races (Sprint, Middle, Long, Relay) are of highest interest for you to compete in; and,
  • Sufficient independent financial support to underwrite a significant fraction of your competition, travel, equipment and related expenses.

We look forward to hearing from you. Nominations must be received by email to Greg Lennon before April 7th, 2013; please make sure to include full contact information, including telephone number(s). Review Panel decisions will be final and there will be no appeal or grievance process. Team members will be notified and named as soon as possible; accepted individuals will need to sign an Athlete Agreement with OUSA regarding their participation in this program.

About MTBO America
It is the mission of MTBO America to bring Mountain Bike Orienteering to the forefront of American orienteering competitions and build a competitive environment that will allow athletes to compete in the sport both regionally, nationally, and internationally. Learn what you can do by visiting MTBO America today!