New sponsor for Charlotte Criterium

Novant Health sponsors Charlotte-Belmont Omnium opener

The state of North Carolina will play host to two rounds of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar next month, when the April 12 Charlotte Criterium, with new sponsor Novant Health, is joined by the Belmont Criterium the following day to create the Charlotte-Belmont omnium.

Professional men and women will share the stage on Saturday in Charlotte with a new race for amateurs, the Amateur Shootout. Riders can qualify to compete on the same course as the pros during the morning's Dilworth Criterium, also in Charlotte. The top finishers will compete at 5:00 PM before the pro women's race.

The women will compete over 25 miles for $20,000 in prizes, while the men race twice as long for double the money.

2013 defending champions Lauren Stephens and Hilton Clarke are expected to return this year to race.

Those racers who run out of luck in Charlotte will now have a second chance for glory at Sunday's Belmont Criterium, just west of Charlotte, where men and women will each race for $7500. An additional $1000 will go to the men and women with the most points collected in the two races.

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