Emily Batty and Raphael Gagne at Bonelli in 2015

US Cup / Pro XCT – Bonelli Park, California (UCI HC)
Pro XCT cross country racing continues for a second weekend at the Bonelli Park. This classic California course has been home to a high level cross country race for years and, with UCI HC designation combined with its timing right before Sea Otter festival, always brings out a world class field. There’s a strong flock of Canadians that have migrated south for two season’s of warm early season racing, plus an array of international talent.

US Cup / Pro GRT – Port Angeles, Washington (UCI C2)

Half of the World Cup top 10 showed up for the opening Pro GRT round at Windrock. The field won’t be as stacked at Port Angeles, but the longtime PNW venue will still bring out a quality field of North America’s best downhillers. Being just south of the border in Washington, there’s a big crew of Canadians looking to get in on the action.

Goeff Kabush Yeti SB100
That’s not Utah, but it is Geoff Kabush on the new Yeti SB100

Moab Rocks – Moab, Utah
Transrockies three day stage race showcases the legendary slickrock trails winding their way around Moab, Utah. Canadian Olympian Geoff Kabush will be on the start line looking to defend his 2017 win for his new sponsor, Yeti Cycles. Along with breaking in his new Yeti SB100, Kabush will be using the Saturday’s opening stage to celebrate his 41st birthday. Check back here for more from Canada’s elder statesman of XC birthday celebration here Saturday.

X2I (Cannondale XC Marathon series) – Dufferin County Forest, Ontario
Substance Projects XCM series kicks off with the early season X2I marathon in the woods of Dufferin County Forest. Conditions are sure to be challenging, but organizers promise they’ll ease you into fitness with rolling singletrack and weather-proof trails.

Cumberland XC (Island Cup series) – Cumberland, B.C.
Cross country racing starts early on Vancouver Island, and this is already the second event in the series after last weekend’s Cobble Hill Classic. Cumberland’s reputation for great trails, atmosphere and beer has been growing steadily for years, and the XC course always delivers a selection of local classics. Locals can breathe easy, or easier, as Carter Woods and Emilly Johnston are both down in California for Bonelli Park, but there’s a ton of young talent coming out of the valley to keep the veterans on their toes.

Jolanda Neff
World champion Jolanda Neff (Credits: Michele Mondini)

Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race – Nals, Italy (UCI HC)
Elite international cross country racing has seen a battle of generations brewing over the last several seasons. Gunn-Rita Dahle, one of the elder generations most decorated racers, has won the race six times, earning her the nickname Qeen of Nals. She’ll have her hands full defending that title this year, as one of the rising generations brightest stars, world champion Jolanda Neff will be at the race and looking to take Dahle’s crown.

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