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USA Cycling Pro Tour - 2008
 
By Staff
Date: 1/13/2008
USA Cycling Pro Tour - 2008
 

USA Cycling Pro Tour - 2008
The 2nd year of the Pro Tour expands it's the first year success to a total of 5 stage races including the new U-25 Tour of Pennsylvania and 10 one day races.

Sixteen Pro Men’s Races Featured on the Second-Annual, Season-Long Calendar
After Levi Leipheimer and his Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team claimed overall titles in the inaugural USA Cycling Professional Tour, the national governing body announced the second-annual, season-long professional road cycling calendar.

With 16 races on tap for 2008, this season’s USA Cycling Professional Tour features three more races than its predecessor, including a pair of brand new events, several traditional incumbents and some recently revamped or renamed properties.

2008 USA Cycling Professional Tour
Feb. 17-24: Amgen Tour of California
Apr. 13: U.S. Cycling Open - Richmond, Va.*
Apr. 21-27: Tour de Georgia
May 4: U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic - Virginia
May 24: Tour de Leelanau - Traverse City, Mich.
June 3: Commerce Bank Allentown Classic - Pennsylvania
June 5: Commerce Bank Reading Classic - Pennsylvania
June 8: Commerce Bank International Championship - Philadelphia, Pa.
June 24-29: American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania - U-25
Aug. 8-10: Rochester Omnium - New York
Aug. 17: USA Cycling Pro Criterium Championships - Downers Grove, Ill.
Aug. 22-24: The Colorado Stage Race
Aug. 30: USA Cycling Pro Time Trial National Championships - Greenville, S.C.
Aug. 31: USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships - Greenville, S.C.
Sept. 6: Univest Grand Prix - Souderton, Pa.
Sept. 8-14: Tour of Missouri
*Date Tentative, Subject to Change

5 Stage Races
The 2008 Pro Tour features five major multi-day stage races across the country, giving spectators around the nation an opportunity to witness the sport at its highest level of competition. With Tours of California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Missouri on the calendar, cycling enthusiasts from the West Coast, the Deep South, the East Coast, the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest can follow world-class athletes as they race through local communities across America.

10 Single Day Races
In addition to the five stage races on the 2008 Pro Tour, road cycling athletes will also compete in 10 single-day events, including seven road races, one circuit race, one criterium and one time trial. Additionally, one omnium-style event will be included on this season’s calendar. Collectively, the calendar offers 44 race days compared to 32 days of racing in 2007.

“This season’s Pro Tour calendar epitomizes the continued growth of professional cycling in America,” commented Sean Petty, USA Cycling Chief Operating Officer. “After a record number of internationally-sanctioned events in the United States last season, the expansion in 2008 in terms of events and race days provides affirmation that world-class cycling is continuing to make significant strides in this country.”

The calendar will once again begin with the Amgen Tour of California - an eight-day stage race in the Golden State which has historically attracted the sport’s top international teams and athletes. Scheduled for Feb. 17-24, the 2008 Amgen Tour of California will feature several new stages, most notably the opening prologue in Palo Alto and the final stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena.

After the U.S. Cycling Open, which is tentatively scheduled for April 13, multi-day racing resumes with the sixth-annual Tour de Georgia, April 21-27. Billed as a tune-up for the Tour de France, the seven-stage race welcomes five first-time host cities as riders from around the world are expected to return to the U.S. for America’s longest-running UCI-sanctioned stage race.

The following weekend, the U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic in Arlington, Va. (formerly the Crystal City Classic) will challenge the nation’s best sprinters in a single-day circuit race. Set for May 4, the U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic offers one of the most spectator-friendly courses.

After its debut on the international calendar last September, the Tour de Leelanau in Traverse City, Michigan moves to the earlier date of May 24. The 109-mile race marks the first of four consecutive single-day events before the international peloton heads back East.

Commerce Bank Triple Crown & Philly Classics
The traditional early June series of one-day races in Eastern Pennsylvania will feature the Commerce Bank Allentown Classic on June 3, the Commerce Bank Reading Classic on June 5 and the Philadelphia International Championship on June 8. Collectively, the races represent some of the most prestigious on the North American calendar given the history of racing in and around Philadelphia and a long list of winners which includes a who’s who of American cycling over the past 23 years.

Following the Philadelphia International Championship, the younger riders of the international peloton will remain in Pennsylvania for the inaugural American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania. Set for June 24-29, the six-day U-25 race will cater to competitors under the age of 25.

Expanding upon its traditional single-day format, the Rochester Omnium (formerly the Rochester Twilight Criterium) in upstate New York will feature three days of racing tied together by an overall points classification. Scheduled for August 8-10, riders will contest a time trial, a criterium and a road race as a final tune-up for the following week’s Pro Tour event - the USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championships. Returning to Downers Grove, Ill. on August 17, Americans will once again compete for a Stars-and-Stripes jersey and the title of national champion on the streets of suburban Chicago.

Colorado Stage Race
Next, the three-day Colorado Stage Race brings Pro Tour racing to the Rocky Mountains and the Vail Valley area August 22-24.

National Championships
For the third consecutive year, Greenville, S.C. will welcome the nation’s top road pros over Labor Day Weekend for the USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships. Scheduled for August 30-31, the event will welcome home several Americans following the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing as they next look to add a national title to their résumé.

Univest Grand Prix
Another long-time, one-day race, the Univest Grand Prix in Souderton, Pa., will offer 107 miles of racing on Sept. 6 as riders look to accumulate late-season points towards an overall Pro Tour championship.

Tour of Missouri Closes Season Calendar
Finally, after a successful debut in 2007, the Tour of Missouri will again close the calendar, Sept. 8-14, as many of the world’s top international teams are expected to return to America for the season finale. After racing from Kansas City to St. Louis in the inaugural edition, riders will again pass through many of the state’s major communities while hoping to secure the final points necessary for an overall USA Cycling Professional Tour title.

The USA Cycling Professional Tour was created in 2007 as Leipheimer and the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team claimed overall individual and team titles respectively. Leipheimer finished the season with 381 points over teammate George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.), Germany’s Bernard Eisel, Juan Jose Haedo of Argentina and Slovenia’s Janez Brajkovic. The now-defunct Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team earned the team title with 810 points over Team CSC (DEN), Team Slipstream-Chipotle (USA), T-Mobile (GER) and Navigator’s Insurance (USA).

About USA Cycling
Recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling promotes American cycling through its 60,000 members and 2,500 annual events. USA Cycling associations include the BMX Association (BMX), National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), U.S. Cycling Federation (road/track), the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the U.S. Professional Racing Organization (professional men’s road). For more information, visit www.usacycling.org

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