The runup at Portland in 2008. Photo: Courtesy USGP
National Series Finale Features the Battle of East and West Coast Superstars
Portland, OR – The U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross STANLEY Portland Cup returns this weekend to it’s traditional series finale home, the Portland International Raceway, setting up an epic battle of cyclocross superstars from the east and west coasts.
“We love having the series finale in Portland, ” said Bruce Fina, Executive Director, US Gran Prix of Cyclocross. “The racing here is always dramatic, epic even and the crowds are phenomenal.” Fina continued, “Portland is the hotbed of ‘cross in the US and each year weʼve seen bigger fields, bigger crowds and we expect more of the same in 2009. Everybody brings their A Game to race this weekend. There is simply no phoning it in here – even from spectators – which we love.”
The USGP final weekend features two days of top level professional menʼs and womenʼs racing and will determine the overall USGP Series Champions. All of the sportʼs top competitors will be vying for victory and a last chance to test themselves against each other before heading to the National Championships in Bend, OR, next weekend. Setting up a battle of east vs west, defending ʼ08 USGP Champion Tim Johnson will take on the always-tough defending ʼ08 National Champion Ryan Trebon. Johnson will be joined by teammates, and cyclocross superstars in their own rights, Jeremy Powers and Jamey Driscoll. Trebon will be flanked by his teammate Barry Wicks. Rounding out the top end of the men’s race will be a very on-form Todd Wells, Jesse Anthony, Troy Wells, Chris Jones, Adam Craig, Canadian National Champion Geoff Kabush and emerging star Nicholas Weighall . The pro womenʼs fields are equally stacked with the powerhouse LUNA squad brining defending ʼ08 USGP Champion Katerina Nash and the recently un-retired former Mountain Bike World Champion Alison Dunlap. The stacked women’s field will also feature Canadian National Champion Alyson Sydor, Meredith Miller, Amy Dombrowski, local hero Sue Butler, Kristin Wentworth and in a battle of emerging youthful superstars, Planet Bike’s Kaitlin Antonneau vs ProMan’s Coryn Rivera in a rivalry that will be sure to entertain fans for years to come.
Another very important race will be decided this weekend as well. The STANLEY Portland Cup is the second of two National Team selection races for Junior Men 17/18 and and U23 athletes hoping to compete at the World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic. These selection races, sponsored by EuroCross Camp, are of vital importance to those hoping for their season to continue into a European campaign after Nationals. Geoff Proctor, EuroCross Camp Director and National Team Coach says, “I was very happy with the breadth and depth of the junior and U23 fields at the USGP Mercer Cup and EuroCrossCamp is proud to be supporting the upcoming junior races again at USGP Portland. These races are special. The riders are so full of determination. They are racing for UCI points that will directly benefit them at the upcoming EuroCrossCamp, Team USA selection, and prize money. “Development” doesn’t get much better than this.”
Friday afternoon features the annual Clif Bar Kidsʼ Clinic with Troy Wells and Brady Kappius. The Kidsʼ Clinic is free for all participants aged 10-16 . The fun continues Friday evening from 6-8pm with a Number Presentation Party at Hopworks Brewery. The event is open to the public and athletes wishing to pick up their number for Saturdayʼs race, register to race on Saturday or rub elbows with the pros can do so while enjoying a tasty beer or two.
Racing begins on Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 am with the amateur categories and builds throughout the day until the Pro Women take to the course at 1:45pm. The Pro Men’s race begins at 3:00pm.
The 2009 USGP is sponsored by nationally by SRAM, STANLEY, Bob’s Red Mill, Selle Italia, Challange Tires, Clif Bar, FUJI Bikes, EuroCross Camp, Schlamm Clothing, VeloNews, BikeClicks.com, BikeReg and ActionWipes. Local Sponsors of the STANLEY Portland Cup include Hopworks Urban Brewery, Bike n Hike, BicycleAttorney.com and MyLaps.
The USGP kicked off September 26 and 27 with the Planet Bike Cup in Madison, WI, followed by the Derby City Cup presented by Papa Johnʼs on October 24 – 25 in Louisville, Kentucky. The Series then continued with the Mercer Cup presented by MyLaps in Mercer County, NJ on November 14 and 15 before returning to Portland, Oregon this weekend for the for the traditional series finale The Stanley Portland Cup – just one week before the US National Cyclocross Championships in Bend, OR.
For more information on the USGP, visit www.usgpcyclocross.com