USA Cycling is rounding out its Pro Cross-Country and Gravity Tour with a ultra-endurance series for 2011.
Announced on Friday, the debut season of the Pro MTB Ultra-Endurance Tour (Pro UET) will offer various disciplines of racing for endurance athletes. Individual rider rankings will be offered for the Pro/Solo category in 6-hour, 24-hour, marathon, and ultra-marathon events around the country.
The top-10 ranked riders in the Pro/Solo category for both males and females will have the bragging rights to a top-10 number plate at each event.
The Pro UET will feature four events opening with the Spa City Extreme 6-Hour in Hot Springs, Arkansas on March 12. It will then take a break for three months before a pair of events in July – the Firecracker 50 in Breckenridge, Colorado on July 4 and the Galena Grinder –in Boise, Idaho on July 23. The Pro UET will conclude on August 21 with the Hampshire 100 in Greenfield, New Hampshire. Individual rankings will be offered to riders in the Pro/Solo category and overall male and female champions will be crowned at the end of the season.
Like the cross-country tour, the gravity series is in its third year. For 2011, the Pro GRT boasts five races and will continue to provide a consistent stage of international-caliber events for the nation’s elite gravity racers.
The downhill-only series will visit five states between April and June. For the third year in a row, the series will open with the NWCup in Port Angeles, Washington, April 9-10. The month of May will see the series move to the East Coast for a pair of races – the Highland Bike Park event in Northfield, New Hampshire, May 14-15, and the Plattekill Gravity Open at the Plattekill Bike Park in Roxbury, New York, May 21-22. In June, the Pro GRT will make its penultimate stop in California for the Northstar-at-Tahoe event in Truckee, June 18-19. The fifth and final event on the tour will be the Wildflower Rush in Crested Butte, Colorado, June 25-26. The top finishers at each of the five stops will earn series points. At the end of the season, the male and female with the most points will be named overall Pro GRT champions and will be recognized as the best gravity athletes on U.S. soil.
In addition to fighting for series points and a worlds invite, Pro GRT competitors will have two chances to earn international ranking points as two of the six races are inscripted on the UCI calendar. The Plattekill Gravity Open is a UCI C3 event while the Northstar-at-Tahoe race is a UCI C2 event.
2011 Pro GRT
April 9-10: Northwest Cup- Port Angeles, Wash.
May 14-15: Highland Bike Park – Northfield, NH
May 21-22: Plattekill Gravity Open– Plattekill Bike Park, Roxbury, NY
June 18-19: Northstar-at-Tahoe– Truckee, Calif.
June 25-26: Wildflower Rush – Crested Butte, Colo.