Organizers of the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross presented by Crankbrothers, (USGP) have announced and the establishment of the a junior race series will host four junior and under-23 UCI races. The races will be used by USA Cycling to qualify riders for the world championships in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands in January 2009.
The two-race Mercer Cup and Portland Cups have been named the official U23 and Junior Worlds qualifying races, and are the only sanctioned UCI Junior races on the US 'cross calendar.
USA Cycling's Cyclo-cross director, Marc Gullickson said, "The four selection races will be used to pick the best riders (using their best three out of four results) on the two weekends, and to do this we attempted to use the most appropriate and well run events that fit into a very specific criteria. Both these race weekends will run two UCI Junior races as the selection races so the 17-18 Juniors will be the only riders on the course for their events and will receive appropriate UCI prize payout."
Hanscom continued, "We've shown our commitment to the development of junior riders through ongoing programs such as the Clif Bar Kids' clinics and last season's sponsorship of an additional junior rider for the Worlds team. Running dedicated UCI Junior fields seemed like the next step in our natural progression and we are really pleased to provide a quality competitive environment for these young athletes to compete against each other."
About the USGP The US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross presented by Crankbrothers takes place October 25th and 26th in Louisville, KY, November 15th and 16th in Mercer Co., NJ and concludes in Portland, OR on December 6th and 7th. For more information visit www.usgpcyclocross.com.
(Editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)