A pioneer in developing components for cyclocross, Shimano America announced today its sponsorship of the UCI sanctioned New England Professional Cyclocross Series.
“Shimano prides itself on the values of culture and history,” said Penina Bush, senior manager at Shimano America. Having long sponsored the UCI World Cup, the World Championships, and regional series in America, Shimano recognized the heritage of New England cyclocross. “Shimano places great values on culture and history. We are honored to be aligned with the NEPCX to help strengthen the ‘cross scene. New England’s culture, history and passionate followers are something we identify with as a company and as passionate cyclists. We look forward to our involvement for years to come.”
The Shimano New England Pro Cyclocross Series Presented by Verge will include eight races with considerable heritage in a region famous for cyclocross, the steeplechase of competitive cycling. Those venues will include Gloucester, Mass.; Providence, R.I.; Northampton, Mass.; and Warwick, R.I.
“Shimano recognized the power of the New England market in cyclocross,” said Richard Fries, marketing and communications director of the Shimano Series. “We are known for the quality of our riders, our venues, and our market. In looking to launch a cyclocross-specific component group, Shimano selected New England as the ultimate proving ground.”
The eight-race series is one of just three American cyclocross series sanctioned by the UCI. All events have UCI status with two, Gloucester and Providence, featuring Category 1 races. With Shimano’s backing, the series will offer more than $50,000 in prize money, including more than $10,000 for the overall series payout. Shimano has committed to the series for three years.
“We have thousands of ‘cross racers within a few hours’ drive of these venues,” said Paul Boudreau, promoter of the series opener in Gloucester, one of the most fabled UCI events in America. “With gasoline around $4 a gallon, we’re happy to offer so many competitors – and spectators – a chance to see world class competition that does not break the bank.”
The Shimano Series sprung from the Verge New England Cyclocross Series, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious series. Verge will remain committed to the series as presenting sponsor.
“This is like watching your baby graduate,” said Michael Magur, president of Verge and long time supporter of cyclocross. “These races, these venues, these promoters are going to take American ‘cross to new heights.”
The 2011 Shimano Series includes eight races in four venues:
- Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester, Oct. 1 & 2 at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Mass.
- Providence Cyclocross Festival Presented by Interbike, Oct. 8 & 9 at Roger Williams Park in Providence, R.I.
- Cycle-Smart International, Nov. 5 & 6 at Look Park in Northampton, Mass.
- NBX Grand Prix of Cyclocross Dec. 3 & 4 in Goddard Park in Warwick, R.I.