GT is looking for the fastest amateur at its new, seven-race cross country series called the GT Golden Bike Series in 2009. At each round, the winner will be crowned and awarded a Golden Bike, but there's a catch; the winner must defend his title by racing it at the next event in the series - or he forfeits the prize package worth more than US$10,000 to the second-place finisher.
"The only way to get the Golden Bike is to crush the competition," said Jenni Cathcart, Director of Marketing for GT Bicycles. "There's no silver or bronze in this competition...it's all about the gold."
Each Golden Bike winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to the next race in the series, a commemorative GT Golden Bike, a $250 Sugoi gift certificate and a swag bag of cycling gear. At the race, the Golden Bike Winner will be supported by a professional bike mechanic and a personal cheerleading squad known as The Gold Diggers.
To defend his title, the winner will select one of two Golden race machines: the Zaskar hardtail or the full suspension Marathon. Both models will of course be gold-colored and feature top-of-the-line components.
If the winner secures another victory, then he is flown to the next race in the series to defend the title again. If he loses, then the official Golden bike, the Golden Jersey, the Gold Diggers cheerleading squad, and the professional mechanic are awarded to the newly crowned winner.
The series is explicitly not for pros. "Any rider who gets paid to race, got their bike from a sponsor or holds a professional cycling license is not eligible for the Golden Bike," said a statement from GT. Participants must also be 18 or older.
The series will kick off April 19 at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, and end in Hingham, Massachusetts, in September. A complete schedule follows.
2009 GT Golden Bike Series
April 19: Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, California
May 2: GHORBA Big Ring Challenge, Coldspring, Texas
May 17: Spring Thaw Mountain Bike Festival, Ashland, Oregon
June 7: Massanutten Hoo-Ha!, Harrisonburg, Virginia
July 4: Firecracker 50, Breckenridge, Colorado
August 8: Ore to Shore, Marquette, Michigan
September 13: Landmine Classic, Hingham, Massachusetts