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December 10/08 12:50 pm - US MTB XC Series Announced for 2009


Posted by Editoress on 12/10/08
 

USA Cycling MTB XC Series Announced for 2009

Courtesy USA Cycling



Seven UCI Events Comprise Season-Long Series for Pro Off-Road Cyclists



USA Cycling announced today the creation of a new professional cross country mountain bike series designed to recognize the top off-road racers in America. The USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour presented by Sho-Air (ProXCT) will consist of seven UCI-sanctioned events throughout the United States, providing world-class athletes with a consistent stage on which to ply their trade.



Beginning in March of 2009, the ProXCT will visit six states and offer series ranking points to top finishers, resulting in overall individual and team titles for men and women. In addition, competitors will also have the opportunity to accumulate international ranking points since all seven races are inscripted on the UCI calendar.



With its support of the ProXCT, presenting sponsor Sho-Air International, an airfreight forwarder and tradeshow transportation expert, has become a significant backer of mountain biking in the U.S., also sponsoring a racing team and the U.S. Cup series. President and CEO Scott Tedro sees his investment in the ProXCT as an effective marketing venture for not only Sho-Air, but for other non-endemic companies as well.



“I’m lucky and excited to have been chosen to champion the ProXCT and honored to work with USA Cycling as a supporter of mountain bike racing in America,” commented Tedro. “The leadership that USA Cycling has demonstrated throughout the process in order to fuel excitement about pro cross country racing has been integral in developing a model which I believe represents an intelligent business decision. I’m hoping that the momentum we’re creating encourages additional non-industry dollars to follow. USA Cycling has been a great partner in this endeavor and I’m looking forward to making the pro tour something to be proud of.”



The series opens with the Fontana round of the U.S. Cup in California on March 29, then continues with the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey on April 19. The Bump N’ Grind in Birmingham, Ala. on May 31 marks the third stop before Colorado Springs hosts the fourth round on June 13 with the Carmichael Training Systems Sand Creek International Classic. Mount Snow Resort in West Dover, Vermont welcomes round five on August 8, while the Yankee Clipper at Windham Mountain in New York on August 15 provides back-to-back East Coast stops. The season then concludes with the USA Cycling ProXCT Finals in Las Vegas on September 26, one day after the conclusion of the industry’s annual gathering at the Interbike Expo.



“The new ProXCT represents a tremendous step forward for professional mountain bike racing in the U.S.,” said Steve Johnson, CEO of USA Cycling. “I am very excited by the strong support of our presenting sponsor, Sho-Air, and the fact that we have seven great venues in the inaugural year of the tour.”



The objectives of the inaugural USA Cycling ProXCT are to provide a sequence of international-caliber events for elite cross country racers, recognize the best cross country teams and athletes competing on U.S. soil, spotlight America’s top races that have made a commitment to host UCI-sanctioned events, and raise the level of competitive mountain bike racing in the U.S.



“After nearly a year of discussion and negotiations amongst our many mountain bike constituents and soliciting input from race promoters, athletes and industry representatives, we’re thankful that Sho-Air and various venues has stepped up to support pro cross country racing in the United States,” said USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike Events and Program Director Kelli Lusk. “This series ensures that our pros will have a major season-long circuit which doubles as a dedicated and focused platform on which to showcase their talents.”



The inscription of seven UCI events, along with the 2009 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships, means that competitors will now have eight opportunities to score UCI points at domestic races next season – one more compared to a season ago.



“Now that a nation’s qualification for the Olympic Games is based on a four-year cycle, it’s even more important we have UCI races in the U.S. this far in advance of London,” commented USA Cycling’s National Mountain Bike Development Director Marc Gullickson. “The ProXCT not only creates opportunity for our athletes here at home, but the consistent exposure to a highly competitive environment will raise the level of everyone’s game.”



Although the USA Cycling ProXCT will focus solely on professional cross country racing, plans to roll out a gravity-based tour are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.



2009 USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Tour presented by Sho-Air International:



March 29: U.S. Cup – Fontana, Calif.

April 19: Sea Otter Classic – Monterey, Calif.

May 31: Bump N’ Grind – Birmingham, Ala.

June 13: Carmichael Training Systems Sand Creek International Classic – Colorado Springs, Colo.

August 8: U.S. Cup – Mount Snow, West Dover, Vt.

August 15: Yankee Clipper at Windham Mountain, Windham, N.Y.

September 26: USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Tour Finals, Las Vegas, Nev.

 


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