Earlier this week, USA Cycling announced the 2009 National Racing Calendar (NRC) topping off at 34 events, one more than last year, which includes 27 women’s races and 29 men’s races.
Gone from this year’s calendar are 8 races including Sequoia Cycling Classic, Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix, Sea Otter Classic, Tour de Nez, ATT Austin Downtown Crit, the Cox Charities Cycling Classic and the Louisville Metro Police Foundation Crit.
The good news is that the calendar includes 8 new events starting off with the $25,000 Amgen Tour of California Women’s Stage Race held at the same time as the UCI Men’s race. Other new races include the Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling, the Tour de Windhaven, the Chicago Criterium, the Tour of Elk Grove, the Marion Classic Riverwalk, the ING Direct Capital Criterium powered by CycleLife , the San Francisco Twilight Criterium and the Priority Health Ann Arbor Cycling Classic p/b Saint Joseph Mercy Medical System.
The 27 events on the women’s calendar include 10 stage races, 2 more than last year which combined with the one-day races provide 76 days of racing as opposed to 54 in 2008. On the men’s side, 11 stage races are included in the 29 events providing a total of 70 days of racing compared to 71 last year. As a reminder, the men also have the UCI America’s Tour which include events such as the Amgen Tour of California, the Tour of Leelanau, the Tour of Missouri and more.
Still same disparity in the prize money. The overall prize list for the 2009 NRC is $1,378,660, with the overall purse for women coming to $424,330 compared to $954,330 for the men. Of note, with $57,330 up for grabs, the International tour de ‘Toona offers the largest women’s prize purse.
While some problems with the calendar have been fixed, there are still some eyebrow raising decisions. The two big money races, the Tour of Elk Grove and the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational are no longer going to head to head and are on different weekends.
But there is still a big gap of 6 weeks between the first race of the calendar, the Amgen Tour of California and the next race, the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Another big problem is the 3-day gap between the 7-day stage race the International Tour de ‘Toona in Pennsylvania and the 5-day Cascade Cycling Classic in Oregon.
Add to the WTF file is the just announced first-annual National Racing Calendar (NRC) Promoters Summit in Colorado Springs Nov. 14-16, 2008. A great idea except that the three-day event will be open to all and only the 2009 NRC race promoters. As Olaf pointed out:
“what about all the previous NRC promoters and the wealth of experience they could bring to such a summit? What about potential NRC promoters who could benefit from attending such a summit? Shouldn’t they all be invited to a 3-day event of such importance?”
|2009 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar|
|14-16 Feb||2.4||W||Amgen Tour of California Women’s Stage Race, California|
|26-29 Mar||2.2||M/W||Redlands Bicycle Classic, Redlands CA|
|26 Apr||1.5||M/W||Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling, Dana Point CA|
|29 Apr–3 May||2.3||M/W||Tour of the Gila,Silver City, NM|
|2 May||1.4||M/W||Sunny King Criterium, Anniston, AL|
|3 May||1.4||M/W||Nalley Historic Roswell Criterium, Roswell GA|
|7-10 May||2.2||M/W||Joe Martin Stage Race, Fayetteville AR|
|11-17 May||2.1||M/W (*)||Oregon Pro Cycling Classic, Portland OR|
|16 May||1.4||M/W||Bank of America Wilmington Grand Prix, Wilmington DE|
|17 May||1.4||M||Kelly Cup, Baltimore MD|
|24 May||1.1||W (*)||Tour de Leelanau, Leelanau MI|
|25 May||1.4||M/W||Tour of Somerville, Somerville NJ|
|29-31 May||2.6.2||M/W||Tulsa Tough, Tulsa OK|
|30 May||1.2||M/W||CSC Invitational, Arlington VA|
|7 Jun||1.1||W (*)||Liberty Classic (Women), Philadelphia PA|
|10-14 Jun||2.1||M/W||Nature Valley Grand Prix, Minnesota|
|21 Jun||1.5||M||Tour de Winghaven, St Louis MO|
|28 Jun||1.3||M/W||Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, Manhattan Beach CA|
|2-5 Jul||2.3||M/W||Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, Fitchburg MA|
|13-19 Jul||2.4||M/W||The International Tour de Toona, Pennsylvania|
|18 Jul||1.3||M||Boise Twilight Criterium, Boise ID|
|22-26 Jul||2.3||M/W||Cascade Cycling Classic, Bend OR|
|26 Jul||1.4||M||Chicago Criterium, Chicago IL|
|31 Jul-2 Aug||2.2||M||Tour of Elk Grove, Elk Grove Village IL|
|8 Aug||1.1||M/W||Presbyterian Hospital Invitational, Charlotte NC|
|9 Aug||1.4||M/W||Hanes Park Classic, Winston Salem NC|
|18-23 Aug||2.4||M||Tour of Utah, Utah|
|22 Aug||1.5||M/W||Marion Classic Riverwalk Criterium, Marion IN|
|23 Aug||1.4||M||ING Direct Capital Criterium Powered by Cyclelife, Washington DC|
|30 Aug||1.2||M/W||Chris Thater Memorial, Binghamton NY|
|5 Sep||1.5||M/W||San Francisco Twilight Criterium, San Francisco CA|
|7 Sep||1.3||M/W||US 100K Classic, Atlanta GA|
|12 Sep||1.5||W||Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic p/b Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids MI|
|13 Sep||1.5||W||Priority Health Ann Arbor Cycling Classic p/b Saint Joseph Mercy Medical System, Ann Arbor MI|
*: Women’s races are also on the UCI International Calendar