USA Cycling rolled out its revamped national calendars today, revealing a slimmed-down National Racing Calendar, stripped of the major criteriums, which have been assembled into a National Criterium Calendar.
In the 16th year for the NRC, men will have six and women will have eight events in a road race and stage race-only format. The series begins as usual with the Redlands Bicycle Classic in March, then moves to Arkansas for the Joe Martin Stage Race in April, Tour of the Gila in May and the women-only Liberty Classic in June.
The Nature Valley Grand Prix and Cascade Classic follow in June and July. The men's Tour of Elk Grove, a UCI 2.1 event in 2012, is not on the NRC calendar, but the women's component is, as is the women-only Aspen Snowmass Stage Race.
The men-only Univest Grand Prix in Pennsylvania closes out the NRC.
The National Criterium Calendar, in contrast, is rich with 19 events, including the multi-day USA Crits Speedweek, Tulsa Tough, Tour of Americas Dairyland, Air Force Classic and Chris Thater Memorial as well as all of the major one-day criteriums across the nation.
The decision to split the calendar into two series was announced earlier this year.
"Criterium racing is a discipline dominated by riders whose skill sets differ from those who dominate longer-format road races," said USA Cycling's Managing Director of Events, Micah Rice. "We're excited to give this uniquely American discipline, as well as its top competitors, a chance to shine on its own."
2012 National Racing Calendar
March 22-25: Redlands Bicycle Classic (2.2), Redlands, CA – men and women
April 26-29: Joe Martin Stage Race p/b Nature Valley (2.3), Fayetteville, AR – men and women
May 2-6: SRAM Tour of the Gila (2.2), Silver City, NM – men and women
June 3: Liberty Classic (1.HC) – Philadelphia, PA - women
June 13-17: Nature Valley Grand Prix (2.1), MN - men and women
July 17-22: Cascade Classic Stage Race (2.2), Bend, OR – men and women
Aug. 3-5: Tour of Elk Grove (2.3), IL – women only
Aug. 21-23: Aspen/Snowmass Pro Women's Race (2.5.2), Aspen, CO – women only
Sept. 15: Univest Grand Prix (1.HC), Souderton, PA – men only
2012 National Criterium Calendar
March 31: Cigar City Brewing Criterium (1.4), Tampa, FL – men only
April 14: Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium (1.1), Charlotte, NC - men and women
April 21: Sunny King Criterium (1.3), Anniston, AL – men and women
May 4-6: USA CRITS Speedweek (2.5.2), SC and GA – men and women
May 6: Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling (1.2), Dana Point, CA – men only
May 12: Tour de Grove (1.2), St. Louis, MO – men and women
May 19: Wilmington Grand Prix (1.3), Wilmington, DE – men and women
May 28: Tour of Somerville (1.2), Somerville, NJ – men only
May 31: Base Camp International p/b Verizon Wireless (1.3), Basking Ridge, NJ – men only
June 2: Glencoe Grand Prix (1.3), Glencoe, IL – men and women
June 8-10: Saint Francis Tulsa Tough (2.5.1), Tulsa, OK – men and women
June 9-10: Air Force Cycling Classic (2.5.1), Arlington, VA – men and women
June 17: Harlem Skyscraper Criterium (1.4), Manhattan, NY – men only
June 28-July 1: Tour of America's Dairyland (2.5.2), WI – men and women
July 8: Manhattan Beach Grand Prix (1.2), Manhattan Beach, CA – men only
July 14: Exergy Twilight Criterium (1.2), Boise, ID – men and women
July 28: Herman Miller Grand Cycling Classic (1.2), Grand Rapids, MI – women only
Aug. 25-26: Chris Thater Memorial (1.2), Binghampton, NY - men and women
Sept. 23: TD Bank Mayors Cup (1.4), Boston, MA – men and women