USA Cycling ranks Tour of Elk Grove top

Many people enjoy the Elk Grove races

Many people enjoy the Elk Grove races (Image credit: Mark Zalewski)

USA Cycling, the national governing body for bicycle racing in the United States, has ranked the annual Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove as the top multi-day cycling event in the U.S. among the 35-plus races in its National Racing Calendar (NRC).

The rankings of the top NRC races were determined on grading based on input from, among others, riders, cycling teams and team directors. Judged categories included: Management Experience, Timing/Scoring, Venue Quality, Quality of Course, Community Involvement, Sponsorship, Media, Bid Presentation and Prize List.

Tour of Elk Grove ranked first among the multi-day NRC races that were scored including the Tour of California and the Tour of Utah.

"For a relatively young cycling event, we're extremely proud to receive this accolade from USA Cycling and the nation's cycling community," says Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson.

The four-year-old Tour of Elk Grove will be held in 2009 between July 31 and August 1 in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village. Total prize money for its 15 pro/am events this summer is nearly $200,000. This includes the largest prize money purse for a men's three-day, three-stage pro race in the world. In 2008, nearly 800 cyclists competed over the weekend. The overall winner of the men's three-stage pro race was Canadian David Veilleux.

USA Cycling created the NRC in 1997 to spotlight top U.S. pro-level road cycling events. NRC-designated races feature a ranking system and point structure that attracts top domestic and international athletes including professional cyclists and those in the Olympics.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).