The guys and gals of Lehigh have been promoting a series of really fantastic events for quite some time now. Many of the courses truly are ‘classics’ in every sense of the word. This year Lehigh is hosting the only non-New England race in the series and represents an opportunity for a different type of trail and for some heightened attendance by the southern schools.
The XC course starts and finishes at the highest elevation on the course. From the gun riders are descending almost continuously, except for a few short rises for over two miles. From there a rolling traverse is made to the bottom of a long continuous climb back to the start finish. Unlike many of the XC courses in the ECCC this course has more than its fair share of rocks. The ride requires intense concentration and skills to ensure maximum speed.
Sadly this author has no personal knowledge of the DH courses at Lehigh, but will pass on second-hand reports. The trails here tend to be a little shallower than some of the steep declines which are experienced at the lift serve mountains. This doesn’t seriously detract from the quality of the racing as the trails are expertly designed and maintained. Each trail has several unique features that are sure to provide great spectating.
The STXC and Team relay courses are often considered the best in the conference. The course is fairly smooth throughout with a gradual climb. Racers are treated to a swooping high-speed descent every lap and a climb that is comfortable to tackle while still seated. The course generally yields tight contests as it balances the skills and strengths of most riders very equitably. Only a complete rider is able to truly distance the rest of the field.