After a successful 2017 relaunch, the US Open of Mountain Biking has announced the event will be hosted at Killington Resort in 2018. The iconic event will be held Aug. 1 – 5, the week leading up to the UCI World Cup at Mount Saint Anne. The USO Downhill will take place on a newly built race course coming directly off Killington’s 4,241-foot peak. 2018 will also be the first year to see a US Open Enduro event.
“Killington has invested heavily in their bike program over the past few years and we are very excited about the opportunity we have to grow the US Open with Killington Bike Park. In addition to the resort itself, the entire Killington Valley is working hard to establish themselves as a major mountain bike destination and it shows,” said Clay Harper, US Open of Mountain Biking event director.
The 2017 US Open downhill winner, Neko Mulally of the YT Mob race team, recently visited Killington to walk the newly proposed race course at Killington Peak and sneak in some riding. “Having the US Open back on the schedule brings an atmosphere for racing that is a highlight of the year for riders. It’s an awesome downhill race and also features the fun events like whip-off and kids’ racing that bring us all together. The terrain and bike park at Killington are incredible and I can’t wait to race there,” said Mulally.
The US Open was first held in 2003 with a simple two category format: Open Class and Amateur Class. Anyone can enter the Open Class and compete amongst the pros for the large cash purse and a chance to prove their rank. Amateurs compete for bragging rights and some of the best prizes in racing. Always a favorite among racers and fans alike, the USO regularly attracts an international field of athletes. Past winners of the downhill race include Sam Hill, Steve Smith, Tracey Mosely, Bryn Atkinson, Miranda Miller, Aaron Gwin, Jill Kinter and Neko Mulally.
“We are happy there is another big event on the calendar in North America. It reminds me of the days when NORBA races were as big as World Cups,” said Mathieu Dupelle, Kona Bikes Gravity Team manager. “Our riders had a great time racing the 2017 US Open and we are looking forward to bringing the whole team to Killington in 2018.”
In 2017, the event expanded to include the USO Best Whip Comp, an Adaptive MTB race and the US Kids Open, featuring the Grom Bomb Downhill race. Looking ahead to 2018 at Killington, fans will see these new segments of the festival continue to grow along with the addition of a USO Enduro race. Historically, Killington Resort is known for developing and hosting large events. Killington’s 2016 FIS Ski World Cup race is widely regarded as one of the best ever to be produced in the U.S. “The US Open of Mountain Biking is an amazing opportunity for Killington to show off the immense progress we’ve made expanding our mountain bike park over the past four seasons. This summer, we reached 20,000 mountain bike visitors,” said Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort, “Aside from the race, unique dining experiences, lodging and events mean there will be something for everyone during an action-packed weekend at Killington.”
The good times go well beyond the race course at the US Open of Mountain Biking, with a focus on being one of the most fun and fan-friendly events of the season. From the DJ blasting tunes on the race course, to eccentric guests in costume, to the Best Whip Comp and after parties, the US Open is always full of energy and excitement on either side of the tape.