November 8/07 12:51 pm - 2008 US National Racing Calendar (NRC) Announced
Posted by Editoress on 11/8/07
2008 National Racing Calendar (NRC) Announced
Courtesy USA Cycling
35 Races Featured on Season-Long Pro-Am Calendar
More than $1.2 million is again up for grabs to elite-level cyclists as USA Cycling announced its 2008 National Racing Calendar (NRC) on Wednesday. Entering its 12th season, next year's NRC features 35 events across 23 states and will again crown the nation's top domestic individuals and teams. Of those 35 races, 31 of them will feature women's events while 28 will include men's racing.
Beginning February 19 with the Santa Rosa Women's Grand Prix in California, the 2008 NRC lasts seven months before concluding with the Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic in Grand Rapids, Mich., Sept. 6-7. The season-long calendar will once again feature the top Pro-Am races in the nation as both professional and club-level teams will compete in all disciplines of road racing including criteriums, multi-day stage races, circuit races, road races, time trials and omniums.
"Once again, the NRC represents the most prestigious collection of competitive Pro-Am road cycling events in the United States," commented USA Cycling chief executive officer Steve Johnson. "As promised, we have continued to raise the bar with respect to the quality of the events on this calendar for 2008. As a result, clubs and teams are presented with the opportunity to compete for overall titles throughout the course of the season in some of the best organized and richest events in the United States."
Seven events are new to the NRC including three women's-only events - the Santa Rosa Women's Grand Prix, the Susan G. Komens Cycle for the Cure and the Tulsa Tough Ride and Race. Men will see one new race on the NRC in 2008 with the addition of the Cox Charities Cycling Classic. Other new additions which will feature both men's and women's fields include the AT&T Austin Downtown Criterium, the Louisville Metro Police Foundation Criterium and the Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic.
Also included on the 2008 calendar are four past NRC events that weren't a part of the calendar last season including the Tour of Utah and the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic. Two events that were a part of the USA Crits SE Series in 2007 - the Sunny King Criterium and the Nalley Historic Roswell Criterium - return to the NRC as stand-alone events for 2008.
Of the 35 races on the 2008 NRC, 18 are criteriums. The calendar also features 10 stage races, four circuit races, one women's road race, one women's time trial and one omnium.
A total of $688,000 is on the line for the men, while the women will be competing for a combined prize list of $523,000.
The 2008 NRC also includes three internationally-sanctioned women's events by the UCI - the Tour de Leelanau in Traverse City, Mich. on May 24, the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in Oregon, May 13-18 and the Commerce Bank Liberty Classic in Philadelphia on June 8. The men's portion of the Tour de Leelanau is also sanctioned by the UCI and therefore will again be part of the USA Cycling Professional Tour.
The three UCI women's events, as well as the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the International Tour de 'Toona and the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium, have been designated as Category-1 events - the highest ranking a race can receive from USA Cycling.
With a $50,000 prize list for men and $25,000 on the line for women, the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium offers the richest single-day purses. The richest men's stage race is the $75,000 Tour of Utah, while the International Tour de 'Toona tops all women's stage races with a $57,000+ prize list.
One noticeable change to the NRC model is the absence of six USA Cycling Elite National Championship events. Removed from the NRC for 2008 are the men's and women's road, time trial and criterium national championships - a decision made primarily because of the advantage given to clubs and teams with a greater number of American riders on their rosters.
Once again, all of the nation's top men's international events will be a part of the second-annual USA Cycling Professional Tour.
The 2007 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar concluded with Australian Rory Sutherland (Health Net presented by Maxxis) and Laura Van Gilder (Pocono Pines, Calif./Cheerwine) taking individual honors while the Health Net presented by Maxxis team and the Webcor Builders squad claimed overall men's and women's team titles respectively.
2008 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar:
*For a complete calendar, including rankings, event websites and contact information, visit www.usacycling.org/nrc.
2/19: Santa Rosa Women's Grand Prix - Santa Rosa Calif. (Circuit Race)*
3/15: Sequoia Cycling Classic Time Trial - Visalia, Calif. (Time Trial)*
3/16: Sequoia Cycling Classic Criterium - Visalia, Calif. (Criterium)*
3/29: Susan G. Komens Cycle for the Cure - Macon, Ga. (Criterium)*
4/3-6: Redlands Bicycle Classic - Redlands, Calif. (Stage Race)
4/13: Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix - Ojai, Calif. (Criterium)
4/19: Sea Otter Classic - Monterey, Calif. (Circuit Race)
4/30-5/4: Tour of the Gila - Silver City, N.M. (Stage Race)
5/3: Sunny King Criterium - Anniston, Ala. (Criterium)
5/4: Nalley Historic Roswell Criterium - Roswell, Ga. (Criterium)
5/8-11: Joe Martin Stage Race - Fayetteville, Ark. (Stage Race)
5/13-18: Mt. Hood Cycling Classic - Hood River, Ore. (Stage Race)
5/17: Bank of America Wilmington Grand Prix - Wilmington, Del. (Criterium)
5/24: Kelly Cup - Baltimore, Md. (Criterium)
5/24: Tour de Leelanau - Traverse City, Mich. (Circuit Race)*
5/26: Tour of Somerville - Somerville, N.J. (Criterium)
5/31-6/1: Tulsa Tough Ride and Race - Tulsa, Ok. (Omnium)*
6/1: CSC Classic - Arlington, Va. (Criterium)
6/8: Commerce Bank Liberty Classic - Philadelphia, Pa. (Road Race)*
6/11-15: Nature Valley Grand Prix - Minnesota (Stage Race)
6/18-21: Tour de Nez - Reno, Nev. (Stage Race)**
6/21: AT&T Austin Downtown Criterium - Austin, Texas (Criterium)
6/28: Cox Charities Cycling Classic - Providence, R.I. (Criterium) **
6/29: Manhattan Beach Grand Prix - Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Criterium)
7/3-6: Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic - Fitchburg, Mass. (Stage Race)
7/19: Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium - Boise, Idaho (Criterium) **
7/21-27: The International Tour de 'Toona - Pennsylvania (Stage Race)
7/30-8/3: Cascade Classic - Bend, Ore. (Stage Race)
8/2: Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium - Charlotte, N.C. (Criterium)
8/3: Hanes Park Classic - Winston-Salem, N.C. (Circuit Race)
8/13-17: Tour of Utah - Utah (Stage Race)**
8/16: Louisville Metro Police Foundation Criterium - Louisville, Ky. (Criterium)
8/24: Chris Thater Memorial - Binghamton, N.Y. (Criterium)
9/1: US 100K Classic - Atlanta, Ga. (Criterium)
9/6-7: Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic - Grand Rapids, Mich. (Criterium)