The USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) for women gained a significant boost with the news of the addition of a women's field to the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove.
A three-stage race for women, held from August 5-7 in Elk Grove Village on the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois will be held in conjunction with the professional men’s four-stage event that is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
"I think it is great that another organizer is putting on a stage race for women, especially alongside a high profile men’s race," said Colavita-Forno D’Asolo directeur Rachel Heal, who won the Tour of Elk Grove Criterium in 2006. "I think the women’s peloton really appreciate it and it is going to be a great race. I’ll be sending a team."
Race organizers have traditionally hosted a double-header criterium for the women’s field. This year, the women will compete in a time-calculated stage race that will kick off with a 7.2-kilometre individual time trial on Friday. The race will continue at the stage two 50-minute timed criterium on Saturday. The event will conclude at the stage three 115-kilometre circuit race on Sunday.
The prize list for the entire event including all categories is $150,000. The amount designated for the women’s competitors will be announced at a later date.
The NRC will kick off at the Redlands Bicycle Classic held from March 30 to April 3 in California. Other NRC stage races include the SRAM Tour of the Gila, Joe Martin Stage Race, Nature Valley Grand Prix, Tour de Toona, Cascade Cycling Classic and the Tour de Nez.