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The elite men at the start of the US Pro XCT #4 at the Mellow Johnny's Classic
National cross country mountain bike series grows to nine rounds
Elite cross country mountain bikers will have more opportunities to race in the US national mountain bike series in 2013. USA Cycling unveiled a schedule featuring nine rounds in seven states for its 2013 US Pro XCT. Six of the rounds will be UCI categorized races while the remaining three will not be.
The bigger series covers more ground geographically than in recent years by adding stops in the northeast and the southeast, and it expands beyond UCI categorized races to include some non-UCI categorized rounds. The Catamount Classic XC in Vermont is the only completely new race venue for the national series; all the other events have previously been part of the national series at some point.
The national series will kick off in Dripping Springs, Texas with the first stop of the US Pro XCT at the Mellow Johnny's Classic, a UCI category 1 event, on March 2.
Next up will be a pair of US Cup Triple Crown races in California. After a successful first appearance on the US Pro XCT in 2011, Bonelli Park will be a UCI category 2 event on March 16-17. Fontana will follow two weeks later with its fifth time in the US Pro XCT, on March 30-31.
The series will continue with a third California round at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey on April 18-21.
One month later, the calendar will shift to the southeastern United States to contest the Bump 'N Grind in Birmingham, Alabama on June 2.
The calendar will conclude with four UCI-inscripted events. On June 22, Missoula will host the Missoula XC in Montana. The following week, the action will happen in the northeast when former World Cup venue Windham, New York, hosts the Windham XC on June 29.
The penultimate event on the US Pro XCT will be the ever-popular Subaru Cup, part of the well-established Wisconsin Off-Road Series (WORS), on July 13 in Mt. Morris, Wisconsin. The race will again operate at the UCI C1 level.
The new series finale, the Catamount Classic XC in Catamount, Vermont on August 3, will happen as a UCI level 2 category event. Catamount has previously hosted UCI categorized cyclo-cross races.
Top elite male and female riders will be ranking in overall US Pro XCT standings. Teams which are registered as a UCI Trade Team or as a USA Cycling Mountain Bike Domestic Pro Team are eligible for the team standings.
Defending US Pro XCT champions Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) and Monique "Pua" Mata (Sho-Air/Cannondale) will ride in defense of their overall Pro XCT wins from the 2012 season.
The US Pro XCT will also likely influence nominations to the American team for the 2013 UCI.Mountain Bike World Championships.
For more information about the Pro XCT, visit www.usacycling.org/proxct.
2013 USA Cycling US Pro XCT
March 2: Mellow Johnny's Classic - Dripping Springs, Texas (UCI C1)
March 16-17: Bonelli Park US Cup - San Dimas, California (UCI C2)
March 30-31: Fontana City US Cup - Fontana, California (not a UCI categorized race)
April 18-21: Sea Otter Classic- Monterey, California (not a UCI categorized race)
June 2: Bump 'N Grind - Birmingham, Alabama (not a UCI categorized race)
June 22: Missoula XC - Missoula, Montana (UCI C1)
June 29: Windham XC - Windham, New York (UCI C2)
July 13: Subaru Cup - Mt. Morris, Wisconsin (UCI C1)
August 3: Catamount Classic XC - Catamount, Vermont (UCI C2)