USA Cycling announced this week the creation of a new class of team dubbed the Domestic Elite Team to "better organize the top level of road cycling in the United States". Prior to this move there were two classes of team, club and UCI-registered professional, in the USA.
Teams wishing to gain points in the National Racing Calendar will now be required to register as a Domestic Elite Team by March 15 at a cost of $250. The teams must consist of category 1 men only and for women, category 1 and 2 riders.
Individuals may still compete in the NRC for points even if they are not on a registered team.
"Following discussion at the NRC event organizers summit in November, the need to organize the top tier of domestic road teams more effectively was clear and the incorporation of these Domestic Elite Teams is one way to help us get there," said Micah Rice, USA Cycling's managing director of national events.
"We also needed a way to raise the degree of consistency and fairness in the NRC Team points calculation and this will allow us to do that while bringing more value to these top tier teams and events around the U.S."
Teams may include guest riders for NRC events with a release from the rider's registered club, but guest riders can only score individual points, and will not be counted toward the team classification.
The NRC kicks off on March 30 with the Redlands Bicycle Classic in Redlands, California.
Detailed guidelines and application forms for the team registration are available on the UCI and Domestic Elite Teams page of USA Cycling's website.