With USA Cycling’s announcement, Northwest Arkansas’ tight grip on the mountain biking world continues.
If you’re a mountain biker, chances are you’ve heard of Bentonville by now.
The once sleepy town in northwest Arkansas has exploded into a global mountain biking destination in the past decade and shows no signs of slowing down. USA Cycling has now announced that Bentonville will play home for the United States National Mountain Bike Team.
The move comes as USA Cycling sets its sights on mountain biking’s gold medal at the… 2028 Summer Olympics. To get there, the U.S. National Mountain Bike Team will use the myriad trails in northwest Arkansas for endurance and skill development camps, according to press release.
The organization will also hold small skills and talent identification camps in the area.
Bentonville has become the home of the US National Mountain Bike Team
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USA Cycling (usacycling) December 15, 2022
“Our long-term goal is for Team USA to win gold at the 2028 Olympic Games,” said USA Cycling CEO Brendan Quirk. “This investment gives us access to the infrastructure and resources we need to support our U-23 and junior riders. Developing these up-and-coming riders is a top priority for USA Cycling, now and in the future.”
Help from the Walton Family Foundation
The planned camps are the result of direct support from the Walton Family Foundation, a major player in Bentonville’s transformation into a premier mountain biking destination. Bentonville plays a major role in the headquarters of Walmart, the chain of supermarkets on which the Walton family’s fortune was built.
USA Cycling intends to make Bentonville the heart of its collegiate cycling program.
“Investing in collegiate cycling is a priority in this effort,” said Tom Walton, chair of the Walton Family Foundation’s Local Area Program. “We believe Bentonville is a natural host for this program and we are confident this will elevate the USA Cycling Championships on the world stage.”
All of which is to say, if you’re cruising around Bentonville in the next few years, chances are you’ll come across a young mountain biker who dreams of dancing Olympic gold under his helmet.
So don’t take it personally when they leave you in the dust.