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Sea Otter is out, new Colorado Springs event is in
USA Cycling announced today the 2012 edition of its Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (US Pro XCT). In its fourth year, the Pro XCT will feature six events at which world-class athletes will race for UCI ranking points and prize purses.
The series will kick off at Lance Armstrong's ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas as the Pro XCT makes its first stop with a UCI C1 event, The Mellow Johnny's Classic on March 3.
It will continue with a pair of US Cup Triple Crown races. After a successful first appearance on the US Pro XCT in 2011, the US Cup Triple Crown - Bonelli Park has been upgraded to a UCI C1 level event and will again be an important stop on March 10. It will be followed up by UCI C1 and fourth-year Pro XCT event, the US Cup Triple Crown - Fontana on March 24.
After a two-month hiatus, the tour will stop in Southern Colorado. Making its Pro XCT debut will be the brand new UCI C2 Ute Valley Pro XCT in Colorado Springs on June 16.
The penultimate event on the Pro XCT will be the ever-popular Subaru Cup, part of the well-established Wisconsin Off-Road Series (WORS), on July 14 in Mt. Morris, Wisconsin. This fan favorite will again operate at the UCI C1 level.
For the second year in a row, the Missoula Montana XC will close out the season-long calendar as a UCI C2-level event near downtown Missoula on August 4.
The Pro XCT will rank the top male and female riders in the overall standings, provide leaders' number plates, Pro XCT medals, and a guaranteed cash purse for each race. In order for teams to earn points toward the overall Pro XCT team title, they must be registered as a UCI Trade Team or as a USA Cycling Mountain Bike Domestic Pro Team.
Notably absent from the calendar is the 2012 Sea Otter Classic, which served as round 3 in 2011.
"Sea Otter decided not to take part this year. They may be back next year," said Andrea Smith of USA Cycling.
As in previous years, there are also no East Coast or Pacific Northwest events in the national series.
In 2012, pro riders Max Plaxton (Specialized USA Factory Racing) of Canada and Lea Davison (Specialized) of the US will ride in defense of their overall Pro XCT wins from the 2011 season.
In addition to providing a sequence of international-caliber events where elite cross country racers can fight for end-of-season titles and earn UCI points, the USA Cycling Pro XCT will likely influence nominations to the American squad for the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
For more information about the Pro XCT, visit www.usacycling.org/proxct.
2012 US Pro XCT
March 3 - Mellow Johnny's Classic, Dripping Springs, Texas (C1)
March 10 - US Cup Triple Crown - Bonelli Park, California (C1)
March 24 - US Cup Triple Crown - Fontana, California (C1)
June 16 - Ute Valley Pro XCT, Colorado Springs, Colorado (C2)
July 14 - Wisconsin Off-Road Series (WORS) - Mt. Morris, Wisconsin (C1)
August 4 - Missoula Montana XC, Montana (C2)