Calendars Everywhere: A Closer Look At 2012 USA Cycling NRC and NCC

Posted on 13. Oct, 2011 by in news

As a friend said, “The USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar is out. Not to be confused with the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, the USA Cycling Professional Tour, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge or the USA CRITS series.”

Let’s try and clarify as much as possible. We knew it was coming, and yesterday USA Cycling announced its two 2012 road racing calendars, the revamped USA Cycling National Racing Calendar and the new USA Cycling National Criterium. In 2011, we also had the USA Cycling Professional Tour which included all the events on the UCI America’s Tour schedule. And of course, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is the stage race in Colorado with a confusing name.

The USA Crits Series is a private series, not managed by USA Cycling, though some of its events are actually included in the NCC. Swagger LLC also manages the USA Crits Speed Week, 6 criteriums over a one-week period, which is also on the NCC schedule.

Redlands Bicycle Classic is the traditional start to the USA pro road season

Redlands Bicycle Classic is the traditional start to the USA pro road season

The NRC contains only nine events, starting with the traditional Redlands Bicycle Classic in March and ending with the one-day Univest Grand Prix in September (for men only). Also, the Joe Martin Stage Race, a stage race well suited to power sprinters, is now earlier in the calendar – ahead of SRAM Tour of the Gila – and no longer conflicts with USA Crits Speed Week.

2012 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar
From To Class
Event Location
Mar 22 Mar 25 2.2 M/W Redlands Bicycle Classic Redlands, CA
Apr 26 Apr 29 2.3 M/W Joe Martin Stage Race p/b Nature Valley Fayetteville, AR
May 02 May 06 2.2 M/W SRAM Tour of the Gila Silver City, NM
Jun 03 Jun 03 1.HC W Liberty Classic * Philadelphia, PA
Jun 13 Jun 17 2.1 M/W Nature Valley Grand Prix Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Jul 17 Jul 22 2.2 M/W Cascade Classic Stage Race Bend, OR
Aug 03 Aug 05 2.3 W Tour of Elk Grove Elk Grove, IL
Sep 21 Sep 23 2.5.2 W Aspen/Snowmass Pro Women’s Race Aspen, CO
Sep 15 Sep 15 1.HC M Univest Grand Prix Souderton, PA
* also on UCI Elite Women’s calendar

This begs the question: with so few stage races, how can a young rider develop as a stage or one-day racer in the USA?

The new NCC contains 19 criteriums total from the new, starting with the men’s only Cigar City Brewing Criterium in March to the Boston’s TD Bank Mayor’s Cup in Boston. The Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium, aka Charlotte crit, will now be in April instead of its usual middle of summer date. And once again, the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough conflicts with the Air Force Cycling Classic in early June.

2012 USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar
From To Class
Event Location
Mar 31 Mar 31 1.4 M Cigar City Brewing Criterium Tampa, FL
Apr 14 Apr 14 1.1 M/W Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium Charlotte, NC
Apr 21 Apr 21 1.3 M/W Sunny King Criterium Anniston, AL
May 04 May 06 2.5.2 M/W USA CRITS Speed Week GA, SC
May 06 May 06 1.2 M Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling Dana Point, CA
May 12 May 12 1.2 M/W Tour de Grove St. Louis, MO
May 19 May 19 1.3 M/W Wilmington Grand Prix Wilmington, DE
May 28 May 28 1.2 M Tour of Somerville Somerville, NJ
May 31 May 31 1.3 M Base Camp Intl. p/b Verizon Wireless Basking Ridge, NJ
Jun 02 Jun 02 1.3 M/W Glencoe Grand Prix p/b AT&T Glencoe, IL
Jun 08 Jun 10 2.5.1 M/W Saint Francis Tulsa Tough Tulsa, OK
Jun 09 Jun 10 2.5.1 M/W Air Force Cycling Classic Arlington, VA
Jun 17 Jun 17 1.4 M Harlem Skyscraper Criterium Manhattan, NY
Jun 28 Jul 01 2.5.2 M/W Tour of America’s Dairyland Wisconsin
Jul 08 Jul 08 1.2 M Manhattan Beach Grand Prix Manhattan Beach, CA
Jul 14 Jul 14 1.2 M/W Exergy Twilight Criterium Boise, ID
Jul 28 Jul 28 1.2 W Herman Miller Grand Cycling Classic Grand Rapids, MI
Aug 25 Aug 26 1.2 M/W Chris Thater Memorial Binghamton, NY
Sep 23 Sep 23 1.4 M/W TD Bank Mayor’s Cup Boston, MA

Between the NRC and NCC, there are a total of 25 events. As a comparison, the 2011 NRC contained originally 30 events. Gone this year from the NRC are the Tour of Battenkill, Tour de Toona, Tour de Nez, the Labor Day Omnium and the Cap Crit.

Of note, is the appearance of the Aspen/Snowmass Pro Women’s Race on the NRC. The race was put together last year to run a few before the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and it’s great to see it returning.

Interestingly, the NRC contains more events for women than men, with five events for both, three for women only and one for men only. It is important to note that the women-only events, Liberty Classic, Tour of Elk Grove and Aspen/Snowmass race have a counterpart for men on the UCI America Tour and only the Liberty Classic is also on the UCI calendar for women. On the NCC, 12 of the events are for both men and women, while six offer up points only for the men.

2012 UCI America Tour races in USA and Canada
From To Class Event Country
May 13 May 20 2.HC Amgen Tour of California USA
May 31 Jun 03 2.Ncup Coupe des nations Ville Saguenay CAN
Jun 03 Jun 03 1.HC TD Bank International Cycling Championship USA
Jun 12 Jun 17 2.2 Tour de Beauce CAN
Aug 03 Aug 05 2.1 Tour of Elk Grove USA
Aug 07 Aug 12 2.1 Tour of Utah USA
Aug 20 Aug 26 2.HC USA Pro Cycling Challenge USA
Sep 15 Sep 15 1.2 Univest Grand Prix USA

That brings us to the for men only UCI America Tour which includes all the UCI races in North and South America, except for the two Canadian World Tour races in Quebec and Montreal. For the men, there are 6 UCI races in the USA in 2012: Amgen Tour of California, TD Bank International Cycling Championship (Philly), Tour of Elk Grove, Tour of Utah, USA Pro Cycling Challenge and Univest Grand Prix. Sadly, there is only one UCI race for women in the USA, the Liberty Classic in Philly.

2012 UCI Elite Women races in USA and Canada
From To Class Event Country
May 17 May 17 1.2 Chrono Gatineau CAN
May 19 May 19 1.2 Grand Prix cycliste de Gatineau CAN
Jun 03 Jun 03 1.1 Liberty Classic USA

For completeness, there is one UCI race for Elite Men in Canada, the Tour de Beauce which once again conflicts with the Nature Valley Grand Prix, while there two UCI Elite Women UCI races in Canada.

Event organizer had to provide a bid package to USA Cycling to be included in either of the calendars. Information required included course maps, 2011 race bible, post event media report and chief referee race report from previous years, previous results, crowd estimates, photo of start/finish banner, podium and crowd and bid fee. The bid fee for the NRC calendar was $650 plus $200 per day of racing, while the fee for NCC calendar was $950 plus $200 per day of racing.

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2 Responses to “Calendars Everywhere: A Closer Look At 2012 USA Cycling NRC and NCC”

  1. hernando

    13. Oct, 2011

    bid fees … what assholes. but luckily, wasn’t it something like only $150 kept if your event was refused NRC/NCC status? How nice of them.

  2. Norrene

    14. Oct, 2011

    My feeling on this, is that the U23 riders are going to suffer most of all, with few NRC road events, means less resources to develop and grow. They, the young riders or that cat 1-2 racer who is not a criterium racer is going to have to look outside the US for experience to development.

    On the flip side, pro riders are still banned from participating in local Oregon and Colorado races, because USA cycling refuses to work with the governing bodies.

    In this tight economy, USA cycling is feeling the pinch and they’re looking to make budget money anyway they can, but they’re charging the wrong people. You don’t over charge your repeat / loyal customers, in this case, USA members and promoters, you go out and look for new customers.

    Just my thoughts.