The series that stoked the exponential growth of cyclo-cross in the United States - the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross - has announced its dates for the upcoming season. The 2009 Series returns for a third year to Louisville, Kentucky, Mercer Co., New Jersey and Portland, Oregon. The USGP has also announced its expansion to a fourth weekend of racing with the addition of the Planet Bike Cup in Madison, Wisconsin to its lineup.
"We are incredibly happy with how the 2009 season of the USGP is shaping up," said Bruce Fina, Executive Director, US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross. "The addition of the Planet Bike Cup is tremendous for the Series. Madison has a great cycling community and the Planet Bike Cup was already a wonderful event. We are thrilled to have added such a strong early season weekend of racing to our schedule.
"Besides adding [to the series], we strongly believe that returning to the same three world class venues in 2009 enables the series and the sport to grow," continued Fina. "Last year, our second in these same venues, we saw bigger fields, bigger crowds and we expect more of the same in 2009. Combined with the continued strong support of our sponsors and a start list of top elite athletes we are expecting that the USGP will maintain its distinction as the premier cyclo-cross series on this side of the Atlantic."
Renee Callaway and John Ericsson, the founders of the Planet Bike Cup share Fina's enthusiasm, "We're excited to have this opportunity to partner with the USGP. It's an exciting opportunity to highlight Wisconsin cyclo-cross and bring the best possible racing to the Midwest. We're excited that the Midwest's elite racers have the opportunity to showcase how they stack up with the best in the country in front of the home crowd."
2009 US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross schedule:
September 26-27: Planet Bike Cup, Madison, WI
October 25-26: Derby City Cup, Louisville, KY
November 14-15: Mercer Cup, Mercer County, NJ
December 5-6: Portland Cup, Portland, OR