Friday, November 03, 2006

USA Cycling Plans New National MTB Race Calendar

Interesting news out of USA Cycling. Apparently they are actually going to create a clear racing series of MTB events. Let's hope the calendar has better proof reading than their press release:
Beginning with the 2007 competitive cycling season, USA Cycling is introducing a new mountain bike calendar designed to recognize and support top-level regional, national and international events through a season-long calendar similar to the National Racing Calendar model that is currently utilized in road cycling. The new USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Calendar is specifically designed to provide a more open access opportunity for those top-level events that have, for one reason or another, not participated in the traditional “NORBA National Series” model.
So the interesting bits are actually deeper in the release. Interesting bit one:
All events added to the calendar must meet pro prize purse requirements specific to each calendar tier set by either the UCI or USA Cycling.
Hmmm . . . prize money ? At national events ? Really. Interesting bit two is:
Please note that the “National Mountain Bike Series” (NMBS), which has not been a property of USA Cycling for three years, will continue to operate under the independent ownership and organization of Team Big Bear and Blue Wolf Productions and fit within the framework of the USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Calendar.
Wow, that is one huge step away from NORBA. In the past two years, NORBA was really the entire MTB National events (although AMBC held some good smaller events) and USA Cycling made it seem like they sponsored it. Of course, USA Cycling is also the organization staged this year's US MTB Nationals so I would take anything they say with a grain of salt.

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