Colorado Springs, Colo. (Feb. 25, 2009)—USA Cycling announced today the creation of a new professional gravity mountain bike series designed to recognize the top gravity racers in America. The USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (ProGRT) will consist of five events, including three UCI-sanctioned races, throughout the United States. Together, these races will provide world-class athletes with a consistent stage to showcase their downhill and 4-Cross skills.
Beginning in May of 2009, the ProGRT will visit four states and offer series ranking points to top finishers, resulting in overall individual titles for men and women. In addition, competitors will also have the opportunity to accumulate international ranking points as three of the five races are inscripted on the UCI calendar.
The series opens with the downhill contest at the Fluidride Cup in Port Angeles, Wash., May 1-3 and then heads south to the Chile Challenge in New Mexico where both the downhill and 4-Cross contests will be a part of the ProGRT. The tour then picks back up on Aug. 8 with both the downhill and 4-Cross at the Blast the Mass in Snowmass, Colo. The following weekend, the ProGRT moves east to the Yankee Clipper at Windham Mountain, the only race on both the Pro Cross Country Tour (ProXCT) and ProGRT. Wrapping up the tour will be the Whiteface 5K Downhill in Wilmington, N.Y. on Aug. 29.
“The Whiteface Mountain Bike Park is honored to be part of the Pro Gravity Tour. Five of the premier venues in the U.S. have been chosen for this historical series that will surely last for generations,” said Downhill Mike, promoter of the Whiteface 5K Downhill. “It is only fitting to be the last race on the tour with our eight-minute downhill track as racers should be=2 0in their best condition of the season by late August. The Lake Placid/Whiteface region has hosted two Winter Olympics (1932 & 1980) and has attracted numerous top athletes of all kinds ever since. The time has now come to bring a new breed of world class athletes to Whiteface Mountain and Lake Placid. Welcome Pro Gravity Tour.”
The objectives of the inaugural USA Cycling Pro GRT are to provide a sequence of international-caliber events for elite gravity racers, to recognize the best gravity athletes competing on U.S. soil, to spotlight America’s top races that have made a commitment to host high-level events and ultimately to raise the level of competitive gravity racing in the U.S.
“With the development of the ProGRT we were looking to showcase the country’s strongest gravity venues,” said USA Cycling Mountain Bike Events and Program Director Kelli Lusk. “We want to bring the elite riders together to compete against the best on the country’s top courses and ultimately crown the season’s preeminent gravity riders.”
2009 USA Cycling Pro Gravity MTB Tour (Pro GRT):
May 1-3: Fluidride Cup – Port Angeles, Wash. (DH $5,000 purse)
May 23-25: Chile Challenge – Angel Fire, N.M. (DH and 4-Cross UCI category 2)
Aug. 8-9: Blast the Mass – Snowmass, Colo. (DH and 4-Cross UCI category 2)
August 15-16: Yankee Clipper at Windham Mountain – Windham, N.Y. (DH and 4-Cross UCI category 1)
August 29: Whiteface 5K (DH) – Wilmington, N.Y. (DH $5,000 purse)
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 and sanctioning body, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ members, including 57,000 competitive cyclists, 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 350 professional cyclists, and 200 certified mechanics. USA Cycling also sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive organized cycling events throughout the United States20annually, as well as 1,800 clubs and teams. Associations of USA Cycling include the United States Cycling Federation (road, track & cyclo-cross), the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), the BMX Association, the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the United States Professional Racing Organization. USA Cycling is also responsible for the identification, development, support and promotion of American cyclists through various athletic initiatives and programs including the USA Cycling National Development Team, the USA Cycling Women’s National Team, the USA Cycling Junior Development Team, Talent Identification and Regional Development Camps, domestic and international race calendars, direct athlete funding and support programs, and educational camps and seminars. USA Cycling also fields and supports U.S. National Teams for various international events, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, Continental Championship and World Cups across all levels and disciplines of competitive cycling. USA cycling further supports grass roots and locally-based initiatives through its 32 Local Associations and comprehensive network of licensed and certified coaches and officials. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts National Championship events for amateur and professional cyclists, awarding more than 600 national titles annually to men and women in junior, U23, masters, elite, professional and paralympic categories throughout the various disciplines of competitive cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org. For media-related or general inquiries, please contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867 or firstname.lastname@example.org.