Colorado Springs, Colo.– The final round of the USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) is headed to Colorado Springs this weekend. The nation’s top professional cross country riders will battle for the Pro XCT title at the Carmichael Training Systems International Classic at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, July 9-11.
The men’s and women’s overall Pro XCT winners will be determined this weekend and with a spot on the USA Cycling squad that will compete in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on the line, the racing is sure to be top-notch. The Carmichael race carries 655 UCI points for both the pro men and pro women, representing 47 percent of the UCI points available on U.S. soil this year – a major factor in determining start order for the world championships coming up in September in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec.
The internationally-sanctioned race will be the last of five legs on the USA Cycling Pro XCT which began with the U.S. Cup Fontana event on March 27. The three-day stage race is also the top event of the seven-stop Carmichael Training Systems Summer of Cycling series and offers a $10,000 prize purse.
The most technical riders will have the advantage Friday during a 4.4-mile time trial, to be contested on the legendary “medicine wheel” trail. A 4.9-mile cross country course Saturday includes the “cougars shadow” trail, featuring a twisting single track lined with boulders as large as compact cars. A 1.4-mile short track cross country course is on tap for Sunday’s finale.
Two-time Olympian and current Pro XCT leader Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized) will wrap-up the Pro XCT men’s title if he finishes in the top seven on the weekend. The battle for second looks to be between Canadians Geoff Kabush (CAN/Maxxis) and Max Plaxton (CAN/Sho-air-Specialized) as well as the reigning champ and USA Cycling cross country mountain bike national champion Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) with former Colorado Springs resident and winner of the Pro XCT’s last event, the Subaru Cup, Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek) in the mix.
On the women’s side, a top-10 finish would give another Olympian, Georgia Gould (Ketchum, Idaho/Luna), the Pro XCT title, as last year’s world championship bronze medalist Willow Koerber (Durango, Colo./Subaru-Trek) looks to secure second in the overall standings with a top 10. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) seems a lock for third as Colorado Springs resident Kelli Emmett (Colorado Springs, Colo./Giant Bicycles) is not on the start list nor is Canadian Lene Byberg (CAN).
Securing UCI points can go a long way in helping the U.S. attempt to send the maximum of three men and two women to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The CTS International Classic is also one of the final qualifying events before the upcoming USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships set for July 15-18 in Granby, Colo.
Heading into the final event the current USA Cycling Pro XCT leaders are:
1. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized) – 435
2. Geoff Kabush (CAN/Maxxis) – 350
3. Max Plaxton (CAN/Sho-air-Specialized) – 310
4. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek)—300
5. Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek) – 280
1. Georgia Gould (Ketchum, Idaho/Luna)—510
2. Willow Koerber (Durango, Colo./Subaru-Trek)—395
3. Kelli Emmett (Colorado Springs, Colo./Giant Bicycles)—335
4. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) – 275
5. Lene Byberg (CAN) – 270
*To view the full 2010 USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour standings and leaders board, please visit USA Cycling’s Pro XCT webpage.
*Rights free photo courtesy USA Cycling/Dave McElwaine.
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 will be also awarded a spot on the 2010 U.S. Mountain Bike World Championship squad. For more information on the USA Cycling Pro XCT, visit www.usacycling.org/proxct.
About USA Cycling
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. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 66,500+ licensees; 2,200 clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,650 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.
Sourc: Andrea Smith
Director of Communication
USA Cycling www.usacycling.org