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McClellan to host mountain bike state championship

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Melee at McClellan Mountain Bike Race BW 07.JPG

The Melee at McClellan mountain bike race on March 23, 2021, at McClellan. Over 3,000 people including riders, parents, coaches and others attended the event. The race was the second race of the season for the Alabama High School Mountain Bike Association which is part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). Photo by Bill Wilson / The Anniston Star

The mountain bike trails at McClellan will host the 2022 state championship race for the Alabama Cycling Association’s high-school mountain biking league, the McClellan Development Authority announced Tuesday.

“It has been the goal to have a venue and trails that would accommodate all the elements needed to hold the state championship,” Julie Moss, MDA director, said in a statement.

The McClellan Bike Trails opened in 2019 and were specifically designed to meet the needs of the Alabama Cycling League. Part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, the Alabama League holds a series of races each year around the state for students in grades 6-12.

This year’s race in March drew around 3,000 people, with nearly 30 teams from around the state competing. Local teams in the league include Cheaha, Donoho, Jacksonville and Oxford.

Phase I of the McClellan Bike Trails is designed for those new to mountain biking. Phase II of the trails is more challenging. Another seven miles of trails, Phase III, is under construction and will provide steeper grades and longer climbs and descents. It is expected to be completed this fall.

In 2022, the Alabama League will hold five races around the state — in Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, McCalla, Pelham and Huntsville — before concluding with the championship race at McClellan May 7-8.

In addition, the MDA announced it will be working with the North East Alabama Bike Association for maintenance of the McClellan Bike Trails. People can notify the MDA of any downed trees or other issues on the trails, and volunteers with NEABA will be dispatched for clean-up.

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.