Posted by Editor on 11/28/06
USA Cycling Updates 2007 Professional Tour
Courtesy USA Cycling
USA Cycling announced today several changes and category upgrades it had secured for events on the USA Cycling Professional Tour that were confirmed at the UCI Road Commission Meeting in Montreux, Switzerland earlier this month. The 15-race series of international-caliber events connected by a season-long points system will make its debut in 2007 and feature some of the top world-class athletes and teams from around the globe.
The most significant changes since the calendar was announced include upgrades for two of the three inaugural events. Originally designated as category 2 races by the UCI, both the U.S. Open in Richmond, Va. and the Tour of Missouri have been granted category 1 status. As a single-day event, the U.S. Open is now categorized as a 1.1 event, while the multi-day Tour of Missouri holds a 2.1 ranking. Along with the already 1.1-ranked Austin Men's International, all three first-year events now carry category 1 status.
The upgrades are significant as they allow for race promoters of those events to invite UCI ProTour teams and offer more international ranking points for competitors.
"These upgrades are an extremely significant sign of the UCI's confidence in professional racing in the United States," commented Steve Johnson, chief executive officer of USA Cycling. "They also illustrate the quality of the organizations that promote each event and the commitment of the respective states and cities, which is critical to hosting world class events."
Of the 15 races on the USA Cycling Professional Tour, three are categorized as "Hors Categorie" - the AMGEN Tour of California (2.HC), the Tour de Georgia (2.HC) and the Commerce Bank International Championship in Philadelphia (1.HC). Two others also carry category 1 status as the single-day Commerce Bank Lancaster Classic (1.1) and the Commerce Bank Reading Classic (1.1) in Pennsylvania join the events in Richmond, Missouri and Austin. Category two events include the Saturn Rochester Twilight Crit (1.2), the Univest Grand Prix (1. 2), the Tour de Leelanau (1.2) and the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah (2. 2).
The three remaining events on the calendar, the USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial Championships in Greenville, S.C. and the USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships in Downers Grove, Ill., will also feature world-class athletes. Although not technically sanctioned by the UCI, the professional road and time trial championships will offer UCI points as national championship events recognized by the international governing body. As criterium racing is not currently a UCI discipline, no UCI points are available in Downers Grove.
The only other category 1 event in North America is Le Tour Montreal-Boston, an eight-day stage race scheduled for August 5-12.
Another change to the original announcement moves the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah to an earlier date. Originally scheduled for August 12-19, the Tour of Utah is now scheduled for June 30-July 7 and avoids conflict with the USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships and the first-year Le Tour Montreal-Boston.
2007 USA Cycling Professional Tour
Feb. 18-25: AMGEN Tour of California - California (2.HC)
Apr. 7: U.S. Cycling Open - Richmond, Va. (1.1)
Apr. 16-22: Tour de Georgia - Georgia (2.HC)
June 3: Commerce Bank Lancaster Classic - Lancaster, Pa. (1.1)
June 7: Commerce Bank Reading Classic - Reading, Pa. (1.1)
June 10: Commerce Bank International Championship - Philadelphia, Pa. (1.HC)
June 17: Austin Men's Invitational - Austin, Texas (1.1)
June 23: Saturn Rochester Twilight Criterium - Rochester, N.Y. (1.2)
June 30-July 7: Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah - Utah (2.2)
Aug. 19: USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships - Downer's Grove, Ill.
Sept. 1: The Cliffs USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championships - Greenville, S.C.
Sept. 3: The Cliffs USA Cycling Professional Road Championships - Greenville, S.C.
Sept. 8: Univest Grand Prix - Souderton, Pa. (1.2)
Sept. 11-16: Tour of Missouri - Missouri (2.1)
Sept. 15: Tour de Leelanau - Traverse City, Mich. (1.2)
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