USA Cycling announced on Thursday the 2012 USA Cycling Professional Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (US Pro GRT) for 2012. In its fourth year, the series has expanded to six races and aims to provide a consistent stage of international-caliber events for elite gravity racers to showcase their downhill skills.
The nation's top gravity racers will be looking to dethrone 2011 champions Cody Warren (DRD X-Fusion Intense) and Jill Kintner (Transition Racing) as the downhill-only series visits five states from April to August.
The calendar will begin with a visit to Port Angeles, Washington, for the fourth consecutive year as the NW Cup will once again kick things off, this year on April 26-29. The Mountain Creek Bike Park will play host to the calendar's newest event, the Eastern States Cup in Mountain Creek, New Jersey, on May 20. The series will then head just up the road to Roxbury, New York, for Plattekill Mountain's stop on the Eastern States Cup on May 27.
Things again heat up out west on June 9-10, when the Mountain States Cup - Chile Challenge offers riders a preview of the 2013-2014 USA Cycling Gravity National Championships venue in Angel Fire, New Mexico. The nation's top gravity riders will head back to New York the following weekend for the US Pro GRT’s fifth stop, the Whiteface Pro GRT 5K Downhill in Wilmington, New York. The only UCI category 2 event on this year's Pro GRT schedule, the Northstar Pro GRT will wrap things up in Truckee, California on August 3-5.
Each of the six stops will offer series ranking points to top finishers, resulting in overall individual titles for professional men and women. The racers with the most points throughout the six-race series will be recognized as the best gravity athletes competing on American soil.
The highest ranked Americans in the US Pro GRT overall rankings (provided he/she are in the top three) as of July 30, 2012, will also be an automatic selection to the United States' world championship team. In addition, Pro/Category 1 junior male athletes, racing age 17 or 18, with the fastest finishing time in each round of the USA Cycling Pro GRT Downhill series prior to July 30 will be placed into a world championship selection pool.
For more information on the series, including current standings once the series gets underway, visit www.uacycling.org/progrt.
2012 USA Cycling Pro Gravity Tour (US Pro GRT)
April 26-29: NW Cup, Port Angeles, Washington (NE)
May 20: Eastern States Cup - Mountain Creek, Mountain Creek, New Jersey (NE)
May 27: Eastern States Cup - Plattekill, Roxbury, New York (NE)
June 9-10: Mountain States Cup - Chile Challenge, Angel Fire, New Mexico (NE)
June 16-17: Whiteface Pro GRT 5K Downhill, Wilmington, New York (NE)
August 3-5: Northstar Pro GRT, Truckee, California (UCI Cat. 2)