March signals start of Pro Cross-Country and Pro Gravity Tours


And they're off! Mellow Johnny's Classic kicks off the 2013 Pro XCT calendar on March 2 (photo by Dave McElwaine)
And they're off! Mellow Johnny's Classic kicks off the 2013 Pro XCT calendar on March 2 (photo by Dave McElwaine)
Colorado Springs, Colo. (February 28, 2013) –
The calendar page turning to March means that things will be heating up for the mountain bikers as both the 2013 Pro Cross-Country Tour (XCT) and the 2013 Pro Gravity Tour (GRT) begin competition.
In its fifth year, the Pro XCT will feature nine events and a new points system at which world-class athletes will race for Pro XCT ranking points and prize purses. The description of how points are awarded can be found online.

Mountain bike season will unofficially kick off in the U.S. in Dripping Springs, Texas, as the Pro XCT makes its first stop with UCI C1 event, Mellow Johnny’s Classic on March 2.

Top-level mountain bike cross-country racing will continue in March with a pair of US Cup Triple Crown races. After a successful first appearance on the Pro XCT in 2011, the US Cup Triple Crown – Bonelli Park is now a UCI C2 level event and will again be an important stop on the tour on March 16. It will be followed up by a fifth-year Pro XCT event, the US Cup Triple Crown – Fontana on March 30.
The Pro XCT remains in California for the Volkswagen Sea Otter Classic in Monterey on April 20.

One month later, the calendar shifts to the southeastern United States to contest the Bump ‘N Grind in Birmingham, Ala., on June 2.
The calendar concludes with four UCI-inscripted events. The Hammer Nutrition Missoula Montana XC is scheduled for June 22 in Missoula, Mont. The following week the action shifts to the northeast as riders will toe the line in Windham, N.Y., on June 29 for the Windham XC.
The penultimate event on the Pro XCT will be the ever-popular Subaru Cup on July 13 in Mt. Morris, Wis. This fan favorite will again operate at the UCI C1 level.

The new closer for the Pro XCT is the UCI C2 Catamount Classic XC in Williston, Vt., on Aug. 3.

The Pro XCT will rank the top male and female riders in the overall standings, award Pro XCT medals, and a guaranteed cash purse for each race. In order for teams to earn points toward the overall Pro XCT team title, they must be registered as either a UCI Trade Team or a USA Cycling Mountain Bike Domestic Pro Team.

In 2013, pro riders Todd Wells (Durango, N.Y./Specialized Racing) and Monique “Pua” Mata (Westminster, Calif./Sho-air-Specialized), as well as team champion Subaru-Trek, will ride in defense of their overall Pro XCT wins from the 2012 season.

In addition to providing a sequence of international-caliber events where elite cross-country racers can fight for end-of-season titles and earn UCI points, the Pro XCT will likely influence nominations to the U.S. squad for the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
For more information about the Pro XCT, please visit its webpage.

Also racing into its fifth year, USA Cycling’s Pro GRT will feature 10 events from coast to coast, an increase over the six events that made up the 2012 calendar.

The tour kicks off in March with three new additions. Reaper Madness Downhill & Super D leads things off in Boulder City, Nev., March 15-17. Riders will then head west for the Fontana City – California Golden State competition March 30-31. On April 21, the popular Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, Calif., will host the Pro GRT’s third stop.

Racing resumes in May with two east coast favorites: the Mountain Creek Spring Classic 2013 in Vernon, N.J., on May 19, followed by the 2013 Plattekill Gravity Open in Roxbury, N.Y., on May 26. Both events are also part of the POC Eastern States Cup.

Another race familiar to Pro GRT riders, the Chile Challenge, marks the start of the second half of the calendar. The June 7-9 event takes place in Angel Fire, N.M., less than two months before the venue will host the 2013 USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships.

Riders will then head to the China Peak Ski Resort for the California Golden State event on June 22-23 before crossing the country for the Windham Downhill in Windham, N.Y. on June 30, which is a UCI C2-inscribed race. July’s sole event is the Snowshoe Mountain Pro GRT in West Virginia, July 13-14. The Pro GRT concludes Sept. 4-8 at the Mammoth Kamikaze Bike Games in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Series points are given to top finishers at each event and used to determine the individual men’s and women’s standings that rank the best downhillers competing in the U.S. The 2012 men’s top-ranked rider was Logan Binggeli (Saint George, Utah/KHS Factory Racing), while Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz./IXS-510-Smith Optics) finished first in the women’s standings. The 2013 point distribution explanation can be found here.

For more information about the Pro GRT, please visit its webpage.

This Article Updated March 1, 2013 @ 04:13 PM For more information contact: