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USA Cycling Release ProGRT Updates / Info

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4/21/2015 5:07 PM

USA Cycling released the following news and updates regarding the 2015 ProGRT.



2015 USA Cycling Pro GRT—What’s New This Year
The Pro GRT has some big changes in store for this year. Here is a quick list of what riders should be on the lookout for at our five-stop national downhill series.

COURSES: There will be 2 separate courses at every Pro GRT race based on difficulty for Pro/Cat 1 and Cat2/Cat 3. Pro/ Cat 1 will be challenging with features, while Cat 2/ Cat 3 course will be equivalent to a blue intermediate level trail. There will be appropriate go-arounds and markings for features, but the expectation is to set courses that will prepare riders for top level competition but keep it fun for all. 


POINTS: All races are sanctioned with the UCI this year as C2 events, this will award points through 10th position in the Pro men. What does this mean? It means international ranking points as well as the opportunity for elite aged riders to collect enough UCI points to directly qualify for World Cup entry. Why just race for series points when you can race for world ranking points?

Pro GRT Place and C2 UCI points
1st place = 30pts
2nd place = 20pts
3rd place = 15pts
4th place = 12pts
5th place = 10pts
6th place = 8pts
7th place = 6pts
8th place = 4pts
9th place = 2pts
10th place = 1pt

USA Cycling will be also keeping track of amateur points as well as pro points. Yes—points are not just for pros anymore.
Pro Men and Women

Cat 1: Junior Men 0-18, Men 19-29, Men 30-39, Men 40+, Women Open
Cat 2: Men 0-14, Men 15-18, Men 19-29, Men 30-39, Men 40-49, Men 50+, Women Open, Women 0-18
Cat 3: Men 0-14, Men 15-18, Men 19-39, Men 40-49, Men 50+, Women Open, Women 0-18

PURSE: Pro purses will pay out the top riders for both men and women. And the top three women will win the same amount as the top three men. And why not? Women can rip that course too (maybe faster than you).

QUALIFYING: We will have Pro qualifying at the GRT events. The goal is to have over 100 pro men at each event and qualify 60 onto the final race. In the case that there are less than 100 riders, 40 will qualify. For Pro Women, 10 women will qualify. There will be protected riders based on ranking in the Series and World cup ranking. Top 20 World Cup riders shall be protected, as well as top 10 men in the GRT, and Top 5 Women in the GRT for Sunday’s final.

- Only 10 female riders qualify to get into the final round of racing. Only 40 male riders qualify to get into the final round of racing. Any race with over 100 starters can qualify 60 if they choose.

- Top 5 women and top 10 men in the current Pro GRT rankings as well as the top 10 women and top 20 men in the World Cup rankings are “protected”. If they have a mishap in qualifying round, they will be placed as an additional starter in the final.

Minimum standards for course markings, medical support, and media plans. Let’s make sure we are all playing it safe and our sport is being publicized in the best possible way.

Qualification for World Championships and entry into World Cups. Yep, both elite and junior riders will have opportunities to qualify for the Mountain Bike World Championships at Pro GRT events. In addition to automatic qualification, important selection decisions will be based off of Pro GRT results.

Please review the official Mountain Bike World Championship Athlete Selection Document for full selection information: https://s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/forms/selection/2015%20UCI%20Mountain%20Bike%20World%20Championships%20-%20Downhill%20(Elites%20Juniors).pdf
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4/21/2015 5:50 PM

I'll be impressed if 100 people are racing Pro in any of the races except for Port Angeles. National Champs had less than 75 Pro men last year and only 55 the year before.

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4/21/2015 6:09 PM

Those points represent a big difference for this year. Those pros that might not bother have the option to gather points towards racing World Cups. That's some incentive. I dream of/beg for the return of proper world class racing in the United States. Racing at the kind of level where the World Cup riders actually come over here for National races like they used to. On that note, I haven't seen the schedule. Is there a Big Bear race like there should be? I did that race for years right up until the end.

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4/21/2015 7:20 PM

schedule
http://www.usacycling.org/pro-grt-calendar-announced-for-2015.htm

Apr 24-26 NW Cup Port Angeles, WA
May 31 Mountain Creek Spring Classic 2015 Vernon, NJ
Jun 19-21 Chile Challenge Angel Fire, NM
Jul 26 Snowshoe Wild Hare Snowshoe, WV
Sep 26 Kamikaze Bike Games Mammoth Lakes, CA

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4/22/2015 7:54 AM

This represents progress for US downhill racing, kudos to those making it happen. Next, the West Coast needs a World Cup stop. Would be a perfect place to do something this time of year, right around (or instead of) Sea Otter.

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