Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 7, 2011) — USA Cycling’s 2011 Professional Gravity Mountain Bike Tour (Pro GRT) starts this weekend with the NW Cup in Port Angeles, Wash., on April 9-10. The two-day event opens a five-event Pro GRTProPcalendar culminating with the Wildflower Rush in Crested Butte, Colo., on June 25-26.
Among the many riders expected to compete in this weekend’s NW Cup are: Logan Binggeli, Jared Graves, Jason Memmelaar and Duncan Riffle.
To view a video preview of the NW Cup, here.
The men to watch out for this year are last year’s champion Bryn Atkinson (Townsville, Queensland, Australia/Transition Bicycles), Andrew Neethling (Somerset West, South Africa/Trek World Racing), Justin Leov (Dunedin, New Zealand/Trek World Racing) and the top returning American rider is Waylon Smith (Valencia, Calif./Santa Clarita Velo). Smith finished fifth in 2010 with 117 points.
At Pro GRT events in 2010, Atkinson, who is expected to attend this weekend’s NW Cup, earned three podium finishes, including winning the NW Cup and a pair of runner-up results at Plattekill and Northstar.
In 2010, the women were paced by American rider, Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./Red Bull/Transition Racing), Tracy Moseley (Worcester, England/Trek World Racing), Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS Bicycles), Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz./Vixen Racing) and Darian Harvey (Durango, Colo./Vixen Racing).
Kintner, a BMX bronze medalist in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, is expected to begin the defense of her Pro GRT overall championship this weekend at the NW Cup.
Harmony is looking strong heading into the Pro GRT opener as she won at the Pan American Mountain Bike Continental Championships.
The Pro GRT Tour has the Highland Bike Park in Northfield, N.H., on May 14-15 before going to the Plattekill (UCI C3) in Roxbury, N.Y., on May 21-22 and Northstar (UCI 2) on June 18-19 in Truckee, Calif.
The complete Pro GRT schedule is available here.
At the conclusion of the entire Pro GRT calendar, a male and female winner will be crowned the series winner based on a season-long rankings system.
About the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT)
Created in 2009 to consistently provide world-class athletes with a competitive arena on American soil, the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT) recognizes the best professional gravity 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. For more information on the USA Cycling Pro GRT, visit www.progrt.com. 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.