Posted by Editor on 01/4/08
USA Cycling Announces Pro Calendar and Teams
Courtesy USA Cycling
2008 U.S. Professional Tour Calendar Released
After Levi Leipheimer (Santa Rosa, Calif.) and his Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team claimed overall titles in the inaugural USA Cycling Professional Tour, the national governing body announced today its second-annual, season-long professional road cycling calendar.
With 16 races on tap for 2008, this season's USA Cycling Professional Tour features three more races than its predecessor, including a pair of brand new events, several traditional incumbents and some recently revamped or renamed properties.
The 2008 Pro Tour features five major multi-day stage races across the country, giving spectators around the nation an opportunity to witness the sport at its highest level of competition. With Tours of California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Missouri on the calendar, cycling enthusiasts from the West Coast, the Deep South, the East Coast, the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest can follow world-class athletes as they race through local communities across America.
In addition to the five stage races on the 2008 Pro Tour, road cycling athletes will also compete in 10 single-day events, including seven road races, one circuit race, one criterium and one time trial. Additionally, one omnium-style event will be included on this season's calendar. Collectively, the calendar offers 44 race days compared to 32 days of racing in 2007.
The USA Cycling Professional Tour was created in 2007 as Leipheimer and the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team claimed overall individual and team titles respectively. Leipheimer finished the season with 381 points over teammate George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.), Germany's Bernard Eisel, Juan Jose Haedo of Argentina and Slovenia's Janez Brajkovic. The now-defunct Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team earned the team title with 810 points over Team CSC (DEN), Team Slipstream-Chipotle (USA), T-Mobile (GER) and Navigator's Insurance (USA).
2008 USA Cycling Professional Tour:
February 17-24: Amgen Tour of California
April 13: U.S. Cycling Open - Richmond, Va.*
April 21-27: Tour de Georgia
May 4: U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic - Virginia
May 24: Tour de Leelanau - Traverse City, Mich.
June 3: Commerce Bank Allentown Classic - Pennsylvania
June 5: Commerce Bank Reading Classic - Pennsylvania
June 8: Commerce Bank International Championship - Philadelphia, Pa.
June 24-29: American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania
August 8-10: Rochester Omnium - New York
August 17: USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships - Downers Grove, Ill.
August 22-24: The Colorado Stage Race
August 30: USA Cycling Professional Time Trial National Championships - Greenville, S.C.
August 31: USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships - Greenville, S.C.
September 6: Univest Grand Prix - Souderton, Pa.
September 8-14: Tour of Missouri
*Date Tentative, Subject to Change
17 American UCI Teams Registered for 2008
Following earlier announcements of the 2008 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) and the 2008 USA Cycling Professional Tour, the list of U.S.-based, internationally-sanctioned teams that will comprise much of the two circuits' fields has also been revealed by the National Governing Body.
The 2008 professional road cycling season will see 16 men's teams sanctioned by the UCI. That list includes 14 Continental squads and a pair of Professional Continental outfits.
The two Professional Continental teams that are set to compete throughout United States, European and other international markets this season include the BMC Racing Team and Slipstream/Chipotle presented by H30.
The Continental squads that will primarily compete on the NRC circuit and the USA Cycling Professional Tour include 2007 National Racing Calendar champion Team Health Net presented by Maxxis, The Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team, Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, The Bissell Pro Cycling Team, The Jittery Joe's Professional Cycling Team, The Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Pro Cycling Team, The Time Pro Cycling Team, The Successful Living Pro Cycling Team, Rock Racing, The DLP Professional Cycling Team, The Rite Aid Pro Cycling Team, Team Type 1, and the AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork Professional Cycling Team.
With the discontinuation of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team following the 2007 racing season, the United States will be without a UCI ProTour squad for the 2008 season.
The U.S. will also field one UCI-sanctioned women's team this season. After claiming an overall NRC title in 2007, the Webcor Builders Women's Professional Cycling Team will be the lone UCI-sanctioned squad in 2008.
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