It’s late June, and for a certain portion of mountain biking enthusiasts, that means one thing: it’s time for annual Missoula XC mountain bike races out at Marshall Mountain, out past East Missoula on Marshall Canyon Road.
This official USA Cycling event features the cream of the crop when it comes to elite mountain biking; former American and Canadian Olympians often turn up to compete on the 5 km course that features steep climbs, gap jumps and bermed corners. This year features a new Junior World Cup XCO race, one of two in North America this year.
Missoula is usually well-represented by local folks, and there’s a modified course option for folks who are racing for the first time. In case you haven’t been prepping to go head-to-head with Olympians, spectators can always just hang out and watch the action for free. Or catch it online: eight cameras will be mounted along the course, and you can tune in at velonews.com or missoulaxc.org when race announcers Shaun Radley and Anne Tyler begin broadcasting coverage five minutes before the elite women’s and men’s races on Saturday. —Kate Whittle