On December 9th, 2009 Dirt Rag received the following statement from Ty Kady, US Cup, Marketing Director:
The US Cup is withdrawing as the official management organizer for the 2010 Pro XCT series, due to unforeseen changes and requests beyond the US Cupâ€™s control.
â€œWe have extended an offer to USA Cycling to host two Pro XCT events for 2010 however at this time they would not be inscripted events and that may or may not meet with USAC approval,” says Tedro.
â€œThe US Cup supports the efforts of USA Cycling and is proud to have USA Cycling sanction their events, however at this time; The US Cup will not commit to inscripting them with the UCI, which USA Cycling is requiring for a Pro XCT event,” continues US Cup Chairman Scott Tedro.
â€œIt was a hard choice for us, as we really wanted to support USA Cycling, however do to the changes being imposed on us; it became disruptive to our US Cup business model to operate within the frame work requested,â€ elaborates Scott.
â€œItâ€™s unfortunate that we couldnâ€™t make things come together for 2010, says Ty Kady, US Cup marketing director. â€œI know there are a lot of rumors floating around, but this was strictly a business decision to move forward in a new direction for 2010. We donâ€™t want to make this a â€œThem vs.â€œUsâ€ issue, because we will still be sanctioning our events with USA Cycling;â€ continues Kady, â€œThe only thing that has changed is we will not be funding the races for UCI inscriptionâ€
â€œAs a mountain bike events management company, we have to carefully budget where our resources are allocated. In that context, we felt that our sponsorâ€™s funds and our efforts were better spent on increasing the Pro prize money so elite, regional and local riders can at least have a chance at earning a living racing their bikes. The way current UCI inscripted races are structured, only a select few are benefiting, while the rest are left in anonymity struggling to make ends meet,â€ elaborates Kady.
â€œAlso, we want to invest heavily in the amateurs. Money spent on providing better swag, awards, and ultimately giving them a better racing experience, is a top priority for the US Cup. We hope the US Cup and its network of races will develop the next generation of Olympic mountain bikers. But if we donâ€™t try and make professional mountain bike racing a sustainable living, I think a lot of our youth will move onto other sports, where they see high dollar athletes riding snow boards, surfing, motocross etc.â€
â€œThe US Cup is now working on the soon to be released MBRL, â€œThe Mountain Bike Racing Leagueâ€ where we have over 20 events committed to being a part of the US Cup MBRL and we are very excited about that!â€ says Scott Tedro.
Look for a fully detailed announcement on the US Cup MBRL with full event venue and dates later this week.
The following statement comes from Keri S. Kahnm USA Cycling, Communication Manager:
Colorado Springs, Colo. (December 9, 2009) â€“ USA Cycling was surprised to learn earlier in the week that despite a signed letter of agreement, the US Cup Mountain Bike Management company will not direct the Pro XCT for 2010.Â Despite this set-back for both the series and promoters late in the season, USA Cycling is committed to managing the USA Cycling Pro XCT upon the philosophy the series was built.
The 2010 USA Cycling Pro XCT will move forward with the nation’s three remaining UCI inscripted events: the Bump ‘N Grind in Birmingham, Ala. on June 5, The Subaru Cup, slated for June 26 in Wautoma, Wis. And the Carmichael Training Systems International Classic, in Colorado Springs, Colo. on July 10.Â These events have a proven track record and look to be a solid foundation for the nation’s premier race series. In addition, USA Cycling will continue to explore the possibilities of adding quality events to the Pro XCT.
“We are committed to buildingÂ a solid international mountain bike calendar in the United States,” said USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson. “Ensuring the Pro XCT adds incremental value to both the riders and the promoters in terms of providing a platform of qualification opportunities for the riders and help toward meeting the international requirements for the U.S.”
Pro XCT events will continue to be the only U.S. events factored into World Championship selection, help riders garner points to improve start spots at world championships and offer the nation ranking points crucial in determining our country’s number of Olympic start spots. UCI-level events also institute a minimum prize for elite men and women helping ensure a standard cash payout for top riders.
The Pro XCT was born in 2009 on consensual feedback from mountain promoters, teams, riders and sponsors. The philosophy has remained consistent throughout; to put forward a manageable series that works logistically within the international mountain bike calendar allowing top teams and riders to attend both top domestic racing events along with World Cup races, to offer a consistent stage on which to qualify, train and help athletes garner points to qualify start spots for international competition, and to offer a consistent top-level racing platform therefore increasing overall exposure for mountain biking domestically.
USA Cycling looks forward to continuing to cultivate the Pro XCT in 2010 and the years ahead.
Dirt Rag is digging into the story.Â Look for additional information in print and online, as it becomes available.