USGP Shifts from Portland to Bend

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We’d heard rumors of a UCI race coming to Bend, Oregon, and this release confirms it. What we didn’t realize was that it’s the USGP that’s making a move, leaving its long time home in Portland.

From USA Cycling:
Bend, Oregon, to host the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross presented by Greenware@ Season Finale  December 10-11, 2011

Officials from the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross announced today that they have accepted a bid from Visit Bend to host the final two races of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross series presented by Greenware®.

The 2011 US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP) is a four weekend, eight race series composed of the Planet Bike Cup in Madison, WI, on September 24 and 25; The New Belgium Cup in Fort Collins, CO, on October 8 and 9; The Derby City Cup in Louisville, KY, on November 12 and 13; and The Deschutes Brewery Cup in Bend, OR, on December 10 and 11. Each of these race weekends will see the deepest, strongest and fastest cyclocross fields in a series format in the United States.

The USGP races in Bend are slated for December 10-11, 2011, and will be held at Bend’s Deschutes Brewery in the heart of the Old Mill District, following a course similar to the course featured in the 2009 and 2010 USA Cyclocross National Championships. The December USGP races are the final races of the USGP’s four weekend eight race series. The December races were previously hosted in Portland.

“Bend has established itself as one of the epicenters of North American cyclocross,” said Bruce Fina with the USGP. “As a community, Bend has proven they can host world class cyclocross events and they have convinced us that they will be excellent partners for our organization, our racers and our sponsors.”

The USGP is expected to bring 800 racers and an additional 2,000 visitors to Bend for the two day event. “Cycling is a big part of Bend’s culture and has emerged as an important component of our tourism strategy,” said Doug La Placa, president/CEO of Visit Bend. “Hosting the USGP is an honor for Bend and will provide a much needed stimulus to our regional tourism industry during an otherwise slow time of year.”

More information on the 2011 US Gran Prix of Cyclocross presented by Greenware® can be found at www.usgpcyclocross.com .

 

 

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3 comments
periwinklekog
periwinklekog

I admit I'm bummed about this move personally, since PIR is practically in my back yard and racing there allows me to participate without creating a huge carbon footprint.

However, I understand that race organizers don't generally worry about the effect this has on entry-level racers like me -- their raison d'etre is to cultivate the higher echelons of the sport so that Americans can compete at the same elevated level as their European counterparts. There has also been a general professionalizing of cyclocross, which will cost the sport at least a little of its grass-roots origins and vibe. It happens. (No sour grapes on that score, just making an observation.)

It's possible that organizers are trying on purpose to shrink participation numbers -- especially among amateurs -- because of the complaints by some that the number of racers has grown too large for some US venues to handle. Moving the USGP to Bend will certainly accomplish that secondary purpose.

On the downside, Bend is simply too far away for a lot of racers from the I-5 Corridor, and adds greater time and expense; more days off from work will be needed for travel time, and then there's the added expense of hotel rooms (which cost considerably more in a resort town during ski season than they do in otherwise-ordinary, rainy Portland).

So for the higher categories of racers, this probably won't be a huge deal. But for folks like me, it will simply end my cyclocross season earlier. That's either a disappointment, or a chance to gain a fresh perspective and a few more weeks of rest and recovery time. Depends on how you look at it.

brianlawney
brianlawney

Agreed on it being strange...why mess with Portland's success? Seems kind of like nationals in Madison, WI in January! Weather.com says Madison has a mean high of 27F and mean low of 5F...pretty rough for those poor souls going off at 8am. Maybe in a few years they can shift things around and host CX nats and the Birkie (a xc ski race) together!

Realizing that a lack of venues/promoters are likely the main issue, why don't they take advantage of the fact that the US has locales with much more appealing climates that time of year?

sprintbraketurnagain
sprintbraketurnagain

I don't understand this change. Isn't it more expensive for those traveling to get to Bend than Portland?

Isn't it more likely to be bitterly cold and maybe snowy or icey in Bend? Wouldn't the usgp pull in more entry fees if they moved to Seattle or San Fran? I think they are dreaming about 800 racers. I'll predict 800 race entries over the two days.

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