Colorado Springs, Colo. (Jan. 5, 2010)—USA Cycling announced today the addition of a pair of races to the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour. With the inclusion of the Sea Otter Classic and the Mellow Johnny’s Classic, the Pro XCT calendar will consist of six UCI-sanctioned events throughout the United States, providing world-class athletes with a national stage on which to accumulate UCI ranking points and top prize purses.
“The 2010 Pro XCT will provide one of the best calendars of quality UCI mountain bike races we’ve had in many years,” stated USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson. “We are committed to our long-stated goals of providing athletes with consistent top-level competition opportunities, increasing exposure for mountain biking domestically and maximizing U.S. start spots at the sport’s highest stages; and the Pro XCT national calendar provides a sustainable platform to help accomplish these goals.”
Following the series kick-off at Fontana, the renowned Sea Otter Classic will serve as the second stop on the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour. Sea Otter’s elite/pro men’s and women’s mountain bike races on April 18 will operate at the UCI C1 level, offering maximum ranking points to top riders. The Pro XCT will then move south to Lance Armstrong’s renowned ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas as the Mellow Johnny’s Classic plays host to the third series’ stop. The Mellow Johnny’s Classic is set to take place on May 29. The nation’s professional cross country mountain bike series will then continue as planned with the Bump ‘N Grind in Birmingham, Ala. on June 5, the Subaru Cup in Mt. Morris, Wis. on June 26 and the series finale in Colorado Springs, Colo. on July 10.
The UCI points up for grabs at each Pro XCT event are crucial in helping the United States qualify mountain biking start spots for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, as well as determining the start order at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. The men’s and women’s overall Pro XCT champions will also automatically qualify a spot on the U.S. squad for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
In addition to providing a sequence of international-caliber events where elite cross country racers can earn UCI points, the USA Cycling Pro XCT will spotlight top American races and recognize the best cross country teams and athletes competing on U.S. soil. In order for individual riders or teams to earn points toward the overall Pro XCT titles, they must be registered as a UCI Trade Team or as a USA Cycling Mountain Bike Domestic Pro Team. The Pro XCT will provide leaders’ jerseys to the top male and female rider in the overall standings, leaders’ number plates and a guaranteed cash purse for each race.
2010 USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Tour:
March 27: US Cup Fontana – Fontana, Calif.
April 18: Sea Otter Classic – Monterey, Calif.
May 29: Mellow Johnny’s Classic – Dripping Springs, Texas
June 5: Bump ‘N Grind – Birmingham, Ala.
June 26: Subaru Cup – Mt. Morris, Wis.
July 10: Carmichael Training Systems International Classic – Colorado Springs, Colo.
About the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT)
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX, and cyclo-cross. Created in 2009 to consistently provide world-class athletes with a competitive arena on American soil, the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) consists of six UCI sanctioned events in 2010. As the top national-level cross country mountain bike calendar in the country, the Pro XCT recognizes the best professional cross country teams and athletes competing on U.S. soil by employing a season-long rankings system to identify overall men’s and women’s series leaders. Upon completion of the calendar, the overall winners are recognized as the best professional cross country athletes in the nation and will be awarded a spot on the 2010 U.S. Mountain Bike World Championship squad. For more information on the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour, visit www.usacycling.org/proxct.
Photo Credit: Wendy Booher
source: Andrea Smith, USA Cycling, Inc.