USA Cycling announced the races and dates today for its 2019 Pro Road Tour, keeping most of the races from the 2018 season, with the exception of the Glencoe Grand Prix in Illinois - after organisers opted not to continue the event - the Dana Point Grand Prix and the men's Colorado Classic, which organisers nixed to put more resources into the women's race.
The 2019 Pro Road Tour will include 45 days of racing, with 16 of the 18 events offering races for both Elite women and men.
"The Pro Road Tour enters its fourth year, and we are proud to see a very strong and diverse compilation of road cycling events to leverage earning opportunities for our members," said Chuck Hodge, vice president of operations for USA Cycling. "The calendar is structured to provide a balance for travel, as well as support long-standing races that are traditions in local communities."
Dates for some of the other races on the calendar have been shuffled, with the Redlands Bicycle Classic moving back to its traditional season-opening slot in March - now running from March 13-17 and again adjacent to the nearby non-PRT San Dimas Stage Race, which takes place March 29-31.
The Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas returns as a UCI 2.2 event for men and women, taking place April 4-7, followed by the calendar's first criterium at Sunny King on April 13 in Anniston, Alabama.
The Tour of the Gila in New Mexico moves from mid-April to May 1-5, and the Rochester Criterium is one week earlier next year on May 11, followed by the Wilmington Grand Prix criterium on May 18. The Winston Salem Criterium and Winston Salem Classic UCI 1.1 one-day race remain on the last weekend of May.
For the first time since its inception, the Tulsa Tough criterium omnium in Oklahoma will not overlap with the Armed Forces Cycling Classic weekend. The Washington, D.C., races will take place on June 1 and 2, with Tulsa Tough coming the following weekend from June 7-9.
The North Star Grand Prix will return to the PRT after the 2018 race was cancelled. The Minnesota stage race will take place June 12-16, with the women's race applying for UCI status.
"Minnesota has a tremendous cycling community, and progressing the North Star Grand Prix to become a UCI Women's event represents the strength of this community," said Race Director Brendon Hale. "We are excited to provide women the opportunity to earn valuable UCI points and provide the opportunity for men to earn USA Cycling PRT points."
Boise, Idaho's Chrono Kristin Armstrong and Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium follow in July, with the latter overlapping with the Detroit Cycling Championships.
August features the only UCI 2.HC race on the calendar with the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah for the men August 12-18. The UCI Colorado Classic women's race will take place the following week, August 22-25.
The Gateway Cup criterium omnium and Thompson Criterium of Doylestown close out the 2019 PRT on August 30-September 2 and September 8, respectively.
In 2018, the PRT individual champions were Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) for Elite women and Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealthcare) for Elite men. Mannion also captured the 2017 men's individual crown.
In the team standings, UnitedHealthcare swept both titles. The UHC women scored a 211-point advantage over Rally Cycling, and the UnitedHealthcare men finished with a 275-point margin over Elevate-KHS.
2019 USA Cycling Pro Road Tour
March 13-17: Redlands Bicycle Classic (M/W) - Stage Race
April 4-7: Joe Martin Stage Race (M/W) UCI 2.2 - Stage Race
April 13: Sunny King Criterium (M/W) - Criterium
May 1-5: Tour of Gila (M/W) UCI 2.2 - Stage Race
May 11: Rochester Twilight (M/W) - Criterium
May 18: Wilmington Grand Prix (M/W) - Criterium
May 25: Winston Salem Criterium (M/W) - Criterium
May 27: Winston Salem Cycling Classic (M/W) UCI 1.1 - Road Race
June 1-2: Armed Forces Cycling Classic (M/W) - Criterium
June 7-9: Tulsa Tough (M/W) - Crit Omnium
June 12-16: North Star Grand Prix (M/W) - Stage Race
July 12: Chrono Kristin Armstrong (M/W) UCI 1.2 - TT
July 13: Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium (M/W) - Criterium
July 13: Detroit Cycling Championships (M/W) - Criterium
August 12-18: Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah (M) UCI 2.HC - Stage Race
August 22-25: Colorado Classic (W) UCI - Stage Race
Aug. 30-Sept. 2: Gateway Cup (M/W) - Crit Omnium
September 8: Thompson Criterium of Doylestown (M/W) - Criterium