Posted by Editoress on 09/26/14
After a successful first season in its new format, the USA Cycling U.S. Cup Pro Series presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group will go into its second year with four familiar venues and one exciting, classic addition, as the Sea Otter Classic will join as the fourth of five rounds. The series will be bolstered by the full support of the UCI, as the Fontana, Bonelli and Colorado Springs events have been awarded HC status.
"The Bonelli, Fontana and Colorado Springs events will be modern UCI cross-country formats," said Scott Tedro, owner of the Sho-Air Cycling Group. "While Sea Otter is a throwback to the classic cross-country courses that today are closer to the marathon style of racing. We are so excited to add this legendary event and I want to personally thank Jeff "Frosty" Frost and Frank Yohannan for their continued contributions to the sport of mountain biking. I would also like to thank both Cannondale and Kenda for their generous contribution and belief in American cross country racing. This would not have been possible without their backing."
The addition of Sea Otter further enhances the international profile of the event, as many international mountain bike stars are looking forward to participating in this legendary event and taking advantage of the abundant supply of UCI points available in the U.S. CUP.
"I'm looking forward to starting my season under the Californian sun," said three-time World Champion Nino Schurter. "The feedback in the racing scene of last year's U.S. Cup was excellent. I was at Sea Otter when I was a young under-23 rider and it's great to be back."
Nino's team manager and mountain bike legend Thomas Frischknecht had similar thoughts on the announcement: "I'm delighted cross country racing in the US is coming back so strongly. It is so important for the sport of mountain biking to have races in the country where the sport was born. As I did all of the Sea Otter Classic in the early days, I'm looking forward to come back."
The series kicks off on March 14th, with the Bonelli Park C1 event. This is followed up the next weekend at Fontana City for an HC event on March 21st. Three weeks later on April 11th, Bonelli Park returns to the schedule with its HC event being held one week before the Sea Otter Classic (a UCI C3 event) on April 18th. The overall champions will once again be crowned in Colorado Springs on June 27th at the UCI HC-rated finale near the USA Cycling headquarters.
"I would like to thank Scott and his team at Sho-Air for their extraordinary support of the series," said USA Cycling CEO and President Steve Johnson. "We are thrilled to see the U.S. Cup Series grow in both stature and number as we head into the second year of competition. To have three of the events awarded HC status adds even more prestige to the series and we look forward to hosting the final race once again in the hometown of USA Cycling's headquarters, Colorado Springs."
"The Bonelli HC and Colorado Springs races will now run UCI Junior categories," explained Tedro. "We see this as an important addition to provide a step for those young athletes who are looking to make that bold move towards a professional career."
Sho-Air Cycling Group also announced the continuation of the popular eight-round Kenda Cup West series, along with the exciting addition of the new five-race Kenda Cup East series.
"We've heard the cries from the East Coast mountain bike community," explains Tedro. "And I'm proud to announce this series. It will feature five races in New England, one of which will be a USA Cycling Pro XCT and UCI category C1 event. More details to come, but we're excited to bring this level of racing to a new audience."
The 2015 USA Cycling U.S. Cup schedule is as follows:
Round 1: March 14 - Bonelli Park, San Dimas Calif. (UCI Category C1)
Round 2: March 21 - Fontana, Fontana City, Calif. (UCI Category HC)
Round 3: April 11 - Bonelli Park, San Dimas, Calif. (UCI Category HC)
Round 4: April 18 - Sea Otter, Monterrey, Calif. (UCI Category C3)
Round 5: June 27 - Colorado Springs, Colo. (UCI Category HC)
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