The U.S. Cup mountain bike series announced on Tuesday that it would immediately withdraw its events from USA Cycling sanctioning. The move comes in response to the U.S. governing body’s announcement earlier this year that it would enforce a rule barring athletes from competing in independent races like the GoPro Mountain Games and Breck Epic.
“R. Scott Tedro, owner of Sho-Air International and The U.S. Cup, announces that effective immediately, the U.S. Cup will withdraw any USAC sanctioning for all future events,” the series announced in a press release. “In addition, the U.S. Cup will no longer sponsor or subsidize other promoters whose events are sanctioned with USAC. Over the last eight years, the U.S. Cup has promoted and or subsidized over 110 USAC-sanctioned Mountain Biking events, by far more than any other promoter in the U.S.”
Tedro has been among an outspoken chorus criticizing USA Cycling over its planned enforcement of UCI Rule 1.2.019. Under the rule, riders are subject to suspension if they are found to have competed in a non-UCI-sanctioned event. The rule has seen the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association and others at odds with USAC. Tedro cited USA Cycling’s interest in Olympic-level competition over amateur racing as partly responsible for pulling the U.S. Cup from the national governing body’s calendar.
“Tedro believes that this is nothing more than an attempt to force promoters to sanction with the USAC, enabling them to increase revenues and bolster their power over the sport while continuing to deliver an inferior product,” read the series’ press release. “Tedro also states that the numerous and continued inconsistencies and ever-changing priorities over the years in USAC policy and procedure, including their lack of support and management for their own series, the PRO XCT and PRO UET, while placing the sole cost on the promoter, has become counterproductive to the product which the U.S. Cup wishes to endorse.”
Tedro is also behind the Sho-Air-Cannondale team of Tinker Juarez, Jeremiah Bishop, Max Plaxton, and Pua Mata, and said he would not stop his riders from taking part in USAC events.
“We would rather concentrate our investment and our partners’ sponsorship dollars on the event itself without the burden of USAC priorities or needs, which quite often have nothing to do with the paying customer … the riders and their families,” he said. “The riders are free to choose their calendar, as they should regardless to the position taken by Tedro with USAC.”
Tedro cited a lack of promotion by USAC of his series and the federation’s two endurance mountain bike series, as well as inconsistent on-site management and USAC’s lack of funding for the events.
When contacted by VeloNews for a response to Tedro’s comments, a spokesperson for USA Cycling responded, via e-mail: “While we are disappointed to lose any events, we will continue to strive to improve the Pro XCT and Pro UET series with input from all of the stakeholders and our Mountain Bike Committee. These series feature some of the best mountain bike races in the country and provide a showcase for not only the outstanding venues of these events, but also a platform for the top riders and teams to display their talent.”