USA Cycling announced its NRC calendar for the 2009 season, with some surprises in the line-up. Popular races no longer part of the season-long series include the Sequioa Classics and Sea Otter. A major boost for the women is the upgrade of the one-day criterium at the Tour of California to a three-day stage race (February 14-16).
The popular Sequioa Classic races have been scratched, which leaves Redlands (March 26-29) as opening the men's side of events. The Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix in Ojai has also been removed from the schedule and is replaced with another California race, the Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling (April 26). The Sea Otter Classic is gone as well, but decided on its own to not be part of the NRC event in 2009.
The Mount Hood Cycling Classic is going through a face lift. Two stages longer and expanding beyond the Mt. Hood area, it will be named the Oregon Pro Cycling Classic (May 11-17).
Added races include the Tour de Winghaven in St. Louis, Missouri (June 21), the Chicago Criterium (July 26) and the Tour of Elk Grove (July 31- August 3). Two races that have been removed are the Downtown Crit in Armstrong's Austin and the Cox Charities Cycling Classic in Rhode Island.
The final change is the revival of a one-day race in San Francisco, after the San Francisco Grand Prix faded away. The San Francisco Twilight Criterium will be held on September 5.
The series is made up of a total of 34 events, held throughout the continental USA over the entire season. Winners are crowned in male and female individual classifications as well as men's and women's teams.