2018 USA Cycling Pro GRT Race Schedule

We've heard rumors of the 2018 Pro GRT race calendar for the last couple weeks and breathed a sigh of relief when an official link to the list of races popped up on USACycling.org. The confirmation of the series lets us exhale as we'd caught rumblings of the struggling national downhill series nearing extinction. Extinct the Pro GRT is not. In fact, there are some new and exciting venues on the list to back up some quality existing venues.

The races generally cover every major DH region of the United States, but geography is ultimately the biggest hurdle for those wanting to compete in the full series. The U.S. is a large piece of land without much in the middle and the series ping-pongs back and forth across the country. The good news is that in 2018 there are month-long gaps between races on each side of America and we won't have to wait long to see the dirt fly because the first race is in early March.

Vital's take on the 2018 Pro GRT schedule

March 8-11 - Windrock, Tennessee

Hell yeah! Neko Mulally and crew (and all those riders who have left shovel marks or tire tracks at Windrock centuries prior to Neko's birth) have done a great job prepping the venue and working within the system to create a high-quality event that now, in 2018 will grant World Cup points. That's right, Windrock is a UCI Category 1-classified event. All you hopefuls better get your training on because this race is over a month before the World Cup opener in Croatia. #noexcuses

See Vital's 2017 Windrock Pro GRT Feature (looks like more fun than one of them there rock crawlery type thingies)

 

April 14-15 - Port Angeles, Washington

PNW pride persists with another polished Pro GRT in Port Angeles in 2018. It's no surprise to see that the fast, potentially grease venue has hit the calendar again because the race hosts of NW Cup know how to put on a DH race. The squishy bike riders flock like the local salmon through a fish ladder to get stuffed in box trucks as they shuttle to the top, and they couldn't be happier about it. With Evil, Kona and Transition all in the local vicinity, not to mention nearby Canadian talent, it's a race for bragging rights and something actually fun to do for those planning on Sea Otter the following weekend. Those seriously prepping for a World Cup bid may find this race attendance tough with round one in Croatia (aka halfway across the globe) also just a few days later.

Get Greasy - Vital's 2017 Pro GRT Race Day Feature from Port Angeles

 

May 25-27 - Mountain Creek, New Jersey

The Mountain Creek Memorial Day DH torch has been passed from the U.S. Open to the Pro GRT. The U.S. Open (not affiliated with USAC or the Pro GRT) moves to Killington, Vermont, in August with the Pro GRT finding a new home in Jersey on America's official start of summer. We all know Mountain Creek can deliver the terrain and there's a gaggle of regional race talent, so success seems a given. Schedule-wise, the World Cup hasn't raced for a month and the following weekend is Fort William, so here's to hoping some Elite riders show up for some #USDH, hot dogs and dirty Jersey good times.

Don't sleep on Jersey.

July 27-29 - Tamarack, Idaho

Tamarack, Idaho is a new venue for the Pro GRT. Aside from some kick-ass footage of Voreis shredding Tamarack in NWD 5 or 8 or something, we don't know a whole lot about the venue as it correlates to mountain bike racing. The relatively remote Idaho destination a few hours from Boise or Spokane, has been host to NW Cup downhill races, so we ain't scared. Deity and Fly Racing aren't too far away and our memories of Schweitzer national races from a decade ago give us warm, fuzzy feelings about what the terrain can deliver (dust, rocks and a beating to bike and body).

Looks fun to us!

September 1-3 - Durango, Colorado

The ski resort outside of Durango, Colorado, was called Purgatory for years. Then the name was changed to Durango Mountain Resort and recently it's been changed back to Purgatory...or something like that. No matter what you call the place, you should call it FUN because the mountain has some really fun, diverse terrain and we're thrilled to see the venue back on the DH calendar. The resort (not to mention the town) has a great history of MTB racing. World Cup in 2001, Norba Nationals for a couple years and now an expanding bike park. Unless you're from the Four Corners region, you're going to pay a hefty pricetag in travel time to get there, but it'll be worth it, especially given the time of year. With World Champs hot on this event's heels in Lenzerheide, we won't be reliving the glory days of 2001, but maybe Wentz will show up to huck again. We're also thinking of starting a petition to get Myles, Herbold, O.D. and Tomac to drop in on race day too.

There may not be Dual anymore but the DH track is always a treat. Circa 2001 via gordo and Alpha Project


September 15-16 - Mammoth, California

The 2018 Pro GRT wraps up as it has the last few years in dry, sunny Mammoth, California. The tracks are proven, the drama with USAC seems to be nicely sorted and autumn on the eastern slope of the Sierra is as nice a place as any. Part of the Kamikaze Bike Games, the Pro GRT is just one of a host of cycling-related events at the resort that weekend and with Interbike in Reno next year, just a few hours away a few days later, there's plenty of reasons for anyone not from the region to make their way out west.

 

Props to everyone involved in keeping National level DH racing alive in the U.S. The schedule and venues look fun this coming year! #USDH

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