December 27, 2013 (Colorado Springs, Colo.) — USA Cycling on Thursday announced the seven races that will comprise the 2014 USA Cycling Professional Cross-Country Tour (Pro XCT) calendar. At the end of the seven races, the top five men and women riders will be awarded an equal share of USA Cycling’s $15,000 prize purse. This marks the first time USA Cycling has offered a prize purse to the winners of the Pro XCT.
The Pro XCT calendar, which enters its sixth year in 2014, will feature the premier domestic cross-country mountain bike races and crown the top professional male, female and team as calculated by season-long standings. The calendar boasts a stellar lineup of races with high level UCI categories.
The 2014 Pro XCT calendar will feature six great returning events and one new one. Returning events are Bonelli Park, Fontana City, Mellow Johnny’s Classic, that are part of the newly created — USA Cycling US Cup Series presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group, and the Missoula XC the Subaru Cup and the Specialized Catamount Classic. The Colorado Springs event is new for 2014, and also a stop on the USA Cycling US Cup Series presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group.
The Subaru of Georgetown Mellow Johnny’s Classic US Cup scheduled to be March 1 in Dripping Springs, Texas, has been on the Pro XCT calendar since 2011 and has been the first race on the calendar since 2012. This race is the first of four races on the Pro XCT calendar inscripted as C1 by the UCI. A pair of Australian riders, Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing) and Rebecca Henderson (Trek Factory Racing) claimed the top steps of the men’s and women’s podiums last year.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Bonelli Park US Cup race will be part of the Pro XCT calendar. This year’s race has been inscripted as a UCI HC category event, a first for a U.S. race. The USA Cycling US Cup race slated for March 15 in San Dimas, Calif., is a longstanding favorite among competitors. In 2013, Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Team Sho-Air-Cannondale) and Lesley Paterson (San Diego, Calif./Scott Bikes) earned the wins.
The Fontana City US Cup, which has been inscripted by the UCI as C1, race has been on the Pro XCT since the calendar’s inception. This year’s cross-country race will be held on March 23. Fontana City is home to many of the country’s best mountain bike trails. A pair of athletes who represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games, Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing) and Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Racing), bested the men’s and women’s fields in last year’s edition of the race.
Featuring a challenging course in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, inscripted by the UCI as C1, the Colorado Springs USA Cycling US Cup series race on June 14, is sure to become a favorite among participants and spectators alike as it crowns a worthy winner.
The Missoula XC, which is the fourth race inscripted C1 by the UCI, is scheduled to be on June 21, embarks on its fourth year of existence, all of which have been on the Pro XCT calendar. The 2014 edition includes a UCI Juniors World Series race. In 2013, Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing) topped the professional men’s field in Montana while Pua Mata (Yucaipa, Calif./Team Sho-Air-Cannondale) won the women’s race.
The Subaru Cup – a staple of the Wisconsin Off-Road Series (WORS) – has been a mainstay on the Pro XCT calendar since 2010. The penultimate race on the Pro XCT calendar in 2014 has been classified by the UCI as a C1 contest and is scheduled be contested on July 12. The winners of the men’s and women’s races in 2013 would use that momentum to catapult them to the top spot of the final overall standings. Wells and Davison topped the men’s and women’s fields, respectively, in 2013.
The final race of the calendar, the Specialized Catamount Classic, is a UCI C2 race that is scheduled for July 26 in Williston, Vt. The contest is held at a venue which was established in 1978 as a cross country ski center. With a race on the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX), Catamount has emerged as a burgeoning cycling locale. Hometown hero Davison used her experience riding the Vermont trails to win the women’s race this year, while Max Plaxton (CAN/Team Sho-Air-Cannondale) bested the men’s field.
As was announced previously, the four-race USA Cycling US Cup Series presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group provides four of the seven races. Those four races are Mellow Johnny’s Classic US Cup on March 1, Bonelli Park US Cup on March 15, Fontana US Cup on March 23 and the inaugural Colorado Springs US Cup on June 14.
“This year’s Pro XCT calendar is certainly the richest, in terms of UCI points and prize money, that we’ve had in the United States in a long time,” said USA Cycling President and CEO Steve Johnson. “As the Pro XCT calendar and the quality of the races on it continue to grow, North American mountain bike racers will continue to reap the benefits. Scott Tedro’s extraordinary commitment to the USA Cycling US Cup Series presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group is a tremendous development for the sport.”
In addition to Wells and Davison topping the men’s and women’s standings, respectively, the Specialized Racing team topped the Pro XCT calendar team standings following the 2013 campaign.
|March 1||Mellow Johnny’s Classic – US Cup Pro Series||Dripping Springs, TX||
|March 15||Bonelli Park – US Cup Pro Series||San Dimas, CA||
|March 23||Fontana City – US Cup Pro Series||Fontana, CA||
|June 14||Colorado Springs – US Cup Pro Series||Colorado Springs, CO||
|June 21||Missoula XC||Missoula, MT||
|July 12||Subaru Cup||Portage, WI||
|July 26||Specialized Catamount Classic||Williston, VT||