Preview: ProXCT comes to Colorado Springs on Saturday

The fourth race of the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (ProXCT), presented by Sho-Air, will hit the dirt on Saturday, June 13, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Carmichael Training Systems Sand Creek International Classic, to be held in the Cheyenne Mountain State Park, is the middle of the seven-stop tour, and the men's' race is expected to feature stiff competition between the tour's top three riders.

The event will pit local Coloradoan Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski against the overall tour leader, Canadian Max Plaxton, and Australian Sid Taberlay, who is currently tied in second with Horgan-Kobelski. Only five points in the overall tour standing separate the three, which puts the leader's jersey up for grabs at the series' halfway mark.

On the women’s side, Colorado rider Georgia Gould will look to defend her lead against second-place rider Catherine Pendrel of Canada, and Colorado Springs local Kelli Emmett, who sits in third.

This weekend will also be the second stop in the ProXCT's Short Track Series, which is currently led by American Todd Wells and Canadian Emily Batty.

The ProXCT, which features seven UCI-sanctioned events across the country, was introduced this year to help strengthen United States racing and award top racing plates to the fastest pros. It also rewards athletes with consistent cash purses and gives racers the chance to gain qualifying points ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.