World cup of ultracycling announced

The UltraMarathon Cycling Association (UMCA) announced a new world cup series for 2007. The series includes 16 races with seven in Europe, eight in North America, and one in South America, and it will be used to determine the world champions.

"We are excited to take this next step in supporting ultracycling internationally," said John Hughes, director of the UMCA. The world cup is a challenging mix of 24-hour, 500-mile and longer races. By the end of the series, the world champions will have proved themselves masters of the sport."

Races in the series range from 24-hours to 3,000 miles. Each race will be assigned a difficulty rating based on the distance and climbing. Each racer's points will be calculated as the difficulty rating for a race multiplied by the rider's average speed for the event.

To be eligible for a world championship title, a rider must race on two of three continents and must complete at least one race of 800 km or more. Riders will compete in 10 divisions defined by age and gender.

The UMCA's two European representatives, Fabio Biasiolo (I) and Chris Hopkinson (UK) participated in the design the series and selection of events. After testing and refining the World Cup format, the series will be extended to other continents.

Some highlights include:

February 17 - Sebring 24-Hour
March 30 - Heart of the South 500, Alabama, US
May 11 - Race Around Slovenia, Solvenia (also the 2007 European Ultracycling Championships)
July 7 - North American 24-Hour championships, New York, US
July 21 - European 24-Hour championships, United Kingdom
October 6 - Furnace Creek 508, US

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