Minneapolis – The 2010 edition of the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series will feature four national-caliber stage races that promise to showcase the country’s top female cycling talent.
The four events take place in four different states, beginning in March and running through to July:
- March 25-28 – Redlands Bicycle Classic (California)
- April 28-May 2 – SRAM Tour of the Gila (New Mexico)
- June 16-20 – Nature Valley Grand Prix (Minnesota)
- July 20-25 – Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic (Oregon)
The Nature Valley Grand Prix has been a part of every Women’s Prestige Cycling Series. The Redlands Classic is in the line-up for the sixth time in seven years, while this is the second year for the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic. New to the calendar is the SRAM Tour of the Gila, which replaces the Joe Martin Stage Race.
SRAM Tour of the Gila promoter Jack Brennan said inclusion in the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series takes his race to a new level in its 24th year.
“We have always felt we have a really great race in place, a great organization and great community support,” Brennan said. “Adding the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series to the equation makes this year’s race all the more competitive.”
Four separate competitions comprise the Series: top overall individual, best young rider, best sprinter and top team. Special jerseys, provided by custom clothing manufacturer Champion System, will identify the leaders in the first three classifications.
Champions of the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series in 2009 were Alison Powers of Team Type 1 (top individual), Tina Pic of Colavita-Sutter Home (best sprinter), Rebecca Much of the Webcor Builders Cycling Team (best young rider) and Team TIBCO, which was the top team.
Nicola Cranmer, manager of the Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12 team, said it is important for women to have a series they can call their own. The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series originated from input during cycling summits that Cranmer was a part of that were held in conjunction with the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
“Giana Roberge, who directed our team back then, was one of the founders of the series and a huge supporter of women’s racing,” Cranmer said. “With Kristin Armstrong at the helm, the Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12 team intends to make an impression on the races we are attending. I am a huge fan of the series. David LaPorte and his staff do a fantastic job.”
For an elite team like the TREADS.COM/DFT squad, the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series provides a target to obtain exposure and legitimacy at the national level, said team owner/director Megan Hottman.
“These four stage races really test a team’s ability to work cohesively over the entire season,” Hottman said. “I believe our team’s focus on balance will result in great placings in the overall series. We’re excited to be a part of it.”