Windrock Bike Park Hosts First Pro GRT Event March 9-11
Spectators Treated to International Mountain Bike Talent for Three-Day Event
OLIVER SPRINGS, TENN. - March 2, 2018 — Windrock Bike Park will host the 2018 Windrock Pro GRT presented by Fox March 9-11. It is the first stop of USA Cycling’s Pro Gravity Tour (Pro GRT) and is a Category 1 event sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), international governing body for cycling.
For a second consecutive year, the Windrock Pro GRT presented by Fox will bring the best riders in the world to Tennessee. This race is known as the early-season event for elite riders and teams to test and prepare for the seven-month Pro GRT season.
Part of the expansive 72,000-acre Windrock Park in eastern Tennessee, the Windrock Bike Park was created two years ago by professional mountain bike racers Neko Mulally, of Pisgah Forest, N.C., and Sean Leader, of Knoxville, Tenn. With a shuttle service and bicycle rentals, the Downhill Mountain Bike Trails consist of 550 acres and nine trails with more than 2,100 feet of vertical drop. The bike park crew built a new rhythm section, where spectators can watch several big features from the shuttle road. This year's track will feature all of the raw, natural terrain that makes Windrock unique, along with new, high speed jumps and berms.
This year’s start list for men will feature:
- Greg Minnaar, age 37, South Africa - two 2017 World Cup wins in Men’s Elite Downhill
- Loris Vergier, age 21, France - 3rd in 2017 French Men’s Elite Downhill National Championships
- Luca Shaw, age 22, Hendersonville, N.C. - 2nd in 2017 U.S. Pro Men’s Downhill National Championships
- Danny Hart, age 26, Great Britain - 3rd in 2017 British Men’s Elite Downhill National Championships
- Alex Marin, age 20, Spain - 2nd at 2017 Spanish Men’s Elite Downhill National Championships
- Matt Walker, age 18, Great Britain - 2017 Junior Downhill World Champion
- Charlie Harrison, age 21, Trabuco Canyon, Calif. - 3rd in 2017 U.S. Pro Men’s Downhill National Championships
- Isak Leivsson, age 25, Norway - 2017 Norwegian Men’s Elite Downhill National Champion; 3rd at 2017 Windrock Pro GRT (Men)
- Dakotah Norton, age 26, Atlas, Mich. - 4th in 2017 U.S. Pro Men’s Downhill National Championships
- Neko Mulally, age 25, Pisgah Forest, N.C. - 2nd at 2017 Windrock Pro GRT (Men)
There are four race categories for women and nine categories for men. Men's age groups range from 14 years and under for Junior Men to 50 years and over for Masters Men. Semi Pro races for men and women return so that riders who hold a professional license can participate without an international license, which also saves $30. In addition to UCI points, Elite Women and Elite men will share equally in a prize purse of more than $8,500.
Access for spectators to Windrock Bike Park is $10 per person, with passes available at the Windrock General Store, 912 Windrock Road in Oliver Springs. Food is available on site at the Windrock Grill.
Online registration is $99 to $129 per person and is available online at the Downhill Southeast website. Event sponsors include Fox, Industry Nine, Adventure Anderson County, Explore Oak Ridge, Worldwide Cyclery, and Carolina Pro Flooring.
Event Schedule (all times Eastern Time)
Thursday, March 8
12-5p.m. Registration / Track Walk
Friday, March 9
10a.m.-2p.m. Pro Practice
2-6p.m. Amateur Practice
Saturday, March 10
9a.m.-12:30p.m. Pro Practice
12:30-3:30p.m. Amateur Practice 4 Pro Seeding Run
Sunday March 11
9-11a.m. Amateur Practice
11a.m.-12p.m. Pro Practice
12:30p.m. Race Start with awards to follow
Pro Practice: Elite Men/Women, Semi-Pro Men, Junior Expert Men
Amateur Practice: All other categories
Follow The Event
Photo credit: 2017 Winner Greg Williamson; photo by Sean Leader
About USA Cycling Pro GRT
The Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT), which features downhill and some gated events, will launch the professional mountain bike season for a second year at the Windrock Pro GRT in Oliver Springs, Tenn. on March 8-11. The Pro GRT will feature six events in six states, spanning March to September. Follow the series at www.usacycling.org/find-event/national-calendars/pro-grt.
Windrock Launches Start of ProGRTVIEW ARTICLE