Here, Tim Johnson had the ride of the season at USGP Deschutes Brewery Day 2. © Cyclocross Magazine
You may have read the first installment of our “What’s Happening to the USGP Races?” Series last week, and as promised, we’re running the interviews that we had with each of the individual race promoters of the four race weekends formerly associated with the series. First up is Brad Ross of the USGP in Bend at the Deschutes Brewery.
by Mat Shimoko
The first promoter who we spoke with was Brad Ross, the USGP Deschutes Brewery Cup race promoter out in Bend, Oregon. Ross is the series director for the well-known Oregon series, the Cross Crusades, and is one of the driving forces behind Oregon’s governing body for cycling, OBRA. He’s also started to push to get a more national governing body, NABRA, off the ground, and we’ll have more on that later as well.
We asked if he was surprised by the news that the USGP wouldn’t continue as a series, and we were surprised when Ross told us that the discontinuation of the series didn’t come as a shock. He told us that funding was tight, but more importantly, the initial goal of the USGP was to one day bring the World Championships to the US. With the Louisville race, that goal was met so they didn’t attempt to revive the series.
Those nervous about missing out on the C1 weekend in Bend can stop worrying though: Ross will still be hosting it because the licensing and fees were already paid and race plans were put together before the series was cancelled. The races will simply go back to what they were pre-USGP. They were all individually funded/promoted. He was essentially contracted to put on the USGP races so he was paid regardless and didn’t have to worry too much about profits.
He’s been in touch with the other race promoters from the series, and is hearing similar accounts from them: the majority were independent races pre-USGP as well, and they will all revert.
However, even though the show will go on, Ross does believe that not having a national series will hurt the pros, though it won’t effect the sport’s growth overall. He doesn’t think the lack of a national series will last though, adding that it’s very likely another series will eventually emerge. “A national series is great for manufacturers and sponsors to showcase their athletes. It puts their riders and products on the podium for the nation to see and follow. Helps them sell bikes, and its for amateur racers to be able to see their favorite riders.”
Lastly, we wanted to know: was it all worth it? It was, Ross says, adding that it was very rewarding because he got to see the entire process from start to finish, especially because the World Championships were hosted here.
Stay tuned, next up is Joe Czerwonka from the race formerly known as the Derby City Cup!