Jeep King of the Mountain - PR - Dirt

Mountain Biking Magazine



Jeep King of the Mountain – PR


Brian Lopes, Tara Llanes & Other Top Contenders to Stake Claim at The Canyons Resort
in Park City for Mountain Bike Racing’s Most Prestigious Crown

PARK CITY, Utah – July 31, 2007 – It may be only the first leg of the Jeep® King of the Mountain 2007 Mountain Biking World Professional Championships, but when the Czech Republic’s Michal Prokop and Seattle’s Jill Kintner suit up on Aug. 4 at The Canyons in Park City, Utah, much more than momentum and an individual title will be on their minds.

For the past two Jeep King of the Mountain seasons, these young standouts have weathered a storm of bumps, bruises and frayed nerves inflicted by the most savvy, accomplished athletes in the sport to capture their fair share of the sport’s richest cash purse and the most coveted crown on the professional tour – World Professional Champion. Having already earned a pair of Jeep vehicles, including a 2006 Jeep Commander and 2007 Jeep Compass, Prokop and Lopes will attempt an unprecedented three-peat to protect their throne and add a 2008 Jeep Liberty to their rapidly expanding vehicle fleets.

While there’s no match for sheer talent, a good deal of luck also comes into play during the high speed, close shoulder action taking place on the Y-Cross racecourse exclusive to the Mountain Biking World Professional Championships. Not only will the young duo have to navigate a murderer’s row of elements, such as a banked turns, tabletops, step-down jumps and rollers, but they’ll have to do so within inches of any one of seven highly skilled foes just itching to break the streak and earn their own place in history.

Heading into Park City, Prokop and Kintner, the reigning UCI World Champions, have shown equal brilliance on the dirt. After stunning 2006 seasons, Prokop has added a Czech Republic BMX and Mountain Bike National Championship, as well as multiple World Cup podium finishes to his list of achievements, while Kintner has captured two World Cup titles to go along with an Australian National Championship.

There will be no shortage of challengers for the title of World Professional Championship. On the men’s side, it all starts and ends with Laguna Beach, Calif.’s Brian Lopes. The three-time World Champion, five-time World Cup Champion and nine-time National Champion has set a torrid pace in 2007, earning three World Cup titles already to stand atop the UCI points board. Right behind is Australia’s Jared Graves, a 2006 World Cup titlist, two-time NORBA Champion and Australian National Champion. Rounding out the line-up is legendary veteran Wade Bootes of Australia, the 2004 Jeep King of the Mountain World Professional Champion, 2006 Australian National Champion and former World Champion, as well as Temecula, Calif.’s Rich Houseman, a 2006 NORBA Champion and Eric Carter, a three-time NORBA Champion, World Champion, World Cup titlist, and two-time U.S. National Champion. Joining the field in Utah as open qualifiers will be Park City’s Chris Van Dine, perhaps best known as the first rider to stick a barrel roll and one of the few athletes with wins in downhill, slalom, BMX, mountain-cross and road disciplines, and Cody Warren of Alpine, Calif., a former U.S. National Champion and multiple NORBA titlist.

On the women’s side, those pursuing Kintner will include long-time friend and foe, Tara Llanes, of Corona, Calif., the 2006 USA Cycling Downhill National Champion and two-time national four-cross champion. Another athlete to watch is Denmark’s Anneke Beerten, who has earned two World Cup titles in 2007 to go along with her accolades as a two-time BMX World Champion and six-time BMX National Champion. Other top contenders include Melissa Buhl of Chandler, Ariz., a two-time U.S. National Champion, 2006 NORBA Champion and a six-time member of the U.S. National Team; Joanna Petterson of South Africa, the 2006 NORBA 4x Champion; and Fionn Griffiths of the UK, a five-time British National Champion and former NORBA Champion. The women’s open qualifiers include Kathy Pruitt of Lake Almanor, Calif., a two-time U.S. National Champion and nine-time member of the U.S. Cycling Team, and Gale Dahlinger of Park City, a two-time U.S. Cycling Team member who has won the Mountain States Cup, Rocky Mountain Dual Slalom Series and the Utah State Championship.

In addition to an elite field of pre-qualified national and international professional racers, the kick-off event in Park City will include two local racers as well as two wildcard participants based on UCI and NORBA standings. Information regarding local and wild-card entry into the Jeep King of the Mountain Series will be available at prior to each race.

The racers in Park City will compete on the innovative Y-Cross racecourse, which combines the two most dramatic and popular forms of mountain bike racing into one unique discipline. Competitors begin the race on separate sides of the course (the prongs of the Y) before converging midway into a single course (the crux of the Y). In the bottom section, racers must navigate a series of banked turns, tabletops, step-down jumps and rollers before the track climaxes with an all-out sprint to the finish. The daredevil racecourse has been described as the ultimate format for mountain bike racing, as the overall winners must have a diverse set of skills to win the coveted title of World Professional Champion. Select athletes participating in the Jeep King of the Mountain Series will be chosen to offer their expertise in the design of the racecourses in Utah, California and Colorado. The “athlete inspired” racecourse design concept proved to be a tremendous success in 2006, with legendary racers Mike King and Brian Lopes helping create some of the most demanding and exciting layouts in event history.

Following the Aug. 4 race at The Canyons, the Jeep King of the Mountain Series will head to the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, Calif., on Saturday, August 18, before hosting the season’s grand finale on Saturday, September 1 at Beaver Creek Resort in Beaver Creek, Colo.

Each race of the 2007 Mountain Biking World Professional Championships will be televised to a national broadcast audience on CBS Sports, representing the most expansive coverage of professional mountain bike racing in recent history. The race from Park City will air on CBS Sports on August 18.

PARK CITY, Utah – July 31, 2007 – It may be only the first leg of the Jeep® King of the Mountain 2007 Mountain Biking World Professional Championships, but when the Czech Republic’s Michal Prokop and Seattle’s Jill Kintner suit up on Aug. 4 at The Canyons in Park City, Utah, much more than momentum and an individual title will be on their minds.


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