OGDEN -- Utah has put on its best dress for today's Xterra USA Championship.
With perfect fall weather expected for the entire weekend of racing in Ogden Valley, the buzz at Friday's Xterra Expo and Kids Zone Challenge at the city's Amphitheater Park was for cycling legend Lance Armstrong, entered in his first triathlon in 22 years.
"I get the sense that people are excited, but nobody is as excited as I am," Armstrong said Friday afternoon. "I sleep like a baby, and I woke up five times last night, so that's the strongest statement I could make. I don't ever have a problem sleeping, until last night."
The races start at 9 a.m. at Pineview Reservoir's Port Ramp Marina, concluding in the early afternoon at Snowbasin Resort.
The winners are expected just after 11 a.m.
"As much as I would like to think I could win or be a favorite I think it's irresponsible to think that way," Armstrong said. "I haven't done a triathlon in 22 or 23 years, haven't done a mass start swim like that in just as long. This sport is very different. ... I'll go out, have fun, push myself as hard as I can, and we'll see."
As many as 1,300 athletes will compete this week, including Sunday's Trail Run National Championship, a new event in 2011. The competitors come from 40 states and 10 nations, including numerous talented Utah athletes.