Colorado SpringsColo. (February 52010)— USA Cycling announced today the fourth edition of the USA Cycling Professional Tourwhich is highlighted by an expanded calendar and two first-time UCI events.
While Garmin-Transitions’ Dave Zabriskie captured the individual title in 2009the powerful Columbia-HTC team edged fellow U.S. based Pro Tour squadGarmin for the team title.
The 2010 Pro Tour features four major multi-day stage races across the countrygiving spectators around the nation an opportunity to witness the sport at its highest level of competition. With Tours of CaliforniaNew YorkMissouri and the Univest Grand Prix (Pa.) on the calendarcycling enthusiasts from the West Coast to New England to the Midwest can see world-class athletes as they race through local communities across America.
In addition to the multi-day races on the 2010 Pro Tourroad cycling athletes will also compete in six additional single-day eventsincluding five road racesone criterium and one time trial. Collectivelythe calendar offers 28 days of racing for the world’s best on U.S. soil.
“We are excited to see the USA Cycling Professional Tour continue to expand so that our professional teams have even more opportunities to showcase their riders and sponsors and compete against some of the best teams and riders in the world,” said Sean PettyUSA Cycling chief operating officer. “We applaud and thank the communities and organizers who continue to provide the venues for these world class events.”
For the first time the calendar will begin with the self-billed “America’s Queen of the Classics,” the Tour of The Battenkill. The one-day race will kick off the calendar on SundayApril 18 featuring rolling countrysidecovered bridges and passes through the small villages of Upstate New York's Washington County. This race adds a unique element in that approximately 25% of the race is contested on sections of dirt roads.
A mainstay on the USA Cycling Professional Tourthe Amgen Tour of California is an eight-day stage race in the Golden State that has historically attracted the sport’s top international teams and athletes. The event moves from February to May 16 – 23 and will feature a much more challenging overall course and several new stagesmost notably the opening stage in Nevada City and the final stagea circuit race throughout Thousand OaksWestlake Village and Agoura Hills.
Next up will be the 26th edition of the TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship on June 6. To steal a term from the Rose Bowlthe “Granddaddy of Them All” in Philadelphia is the longest running professional race in the country. Past winners of “Philly” include the who’s who of American and international cycling over the past quarter century.
The circuit will then move to ProvidenceRI for the U.S. Open of Cycling on July 4. Moving west across New England the 2.2-rated Tour de New York will mark the second all-new event and the fifth overall event on the Pro TourAug. 7-12. The six-day stage race will begin with a shortcircuit race in Rochester on Saturdaya 10-mile individual time trial on Sunday and will continue through August 12th with three road races and one circuit race. The USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships will then take place Aug. 14 in a location still to be determined.
The previously traditional close of the calendarthe Tour of Missouri will this year serve as the seventh of 10 total eventsAug. 31- Sept. 6. Many of the world’s top international teams are expected to again return to Missouri for the world-classmultiple-day professional cycling race and rolling festival.
Another long-time eventthe Univest Grand Prix will bring the best back to Pennsylvania as riders look to accumulate late-season points towards an overall Pro Tour championship. The 2.2-rated event will consist of a circuit race on SaturdaySept. 11 and a road race in and around SoudertonPa. on Sept. 12.
For the fifth consecutive yearGreenvilleS.C. will welcome the top American road pros for the USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships. This year scheduled for Sept. 18 and 19the event will welcome America’s best as they gear up for the 2010 UCI Road World Championships set for late September in MelbourneAustralia.