Saratoga Springs, NY – The series that stoked the exponential growth of cyclocross in the United States – the 2008 US Gran Prix of Cyclocross presented by Crank Brothers — returns this fall for a fifth year of racing excitement. Registration is now open for all six days of racing including the Papa John’s Derby City Cup in Louisville, KY, The Mercer Cup presented by Knapp’s Cyclery in Mercer Co., NJ and the Portland Cup presented by Stanley in Portland, OR.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have such strong partner relationships in place for the 2008 Series – all of whom who have seen the tremendous value in partnering with the USGP,” said Bruce Fina, Executive Director, US Gran Prix of Cyclocross. “Returning to the same World Class venues in 2008 has created great event equity – cyclocross will not be a mystery in our newer markets this year. Combined with the strong support of our sponsors and a start-list of top elite athletes we are expecting that the USGP will maintain its distinction as the premier cyclocross series on this side of the Atlantic,” added Fina.
The 2008 USGP once again sees Crankbrothers’ returning as the Series Presenting Sponsor. Crankbrothers’ has supported the USGP since its inception five years ago. Christina Orlandella, Crankbrothers’ Marketing Director said, “Crankbrothers’ dedication to cyclocross runs deep. We sponsor the USGP because the series is committed to providing a high level of support to the racers. As the official sanctioned US National Selection Races for Juniors on the US National Team, the USGP is very important series to the development of the racers. We feel this is the best way we could give back to the sport.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to have Crank Brothers return as our series presenting sponsor,” said Fina. “As a property we could not ask for a better sponsor – Crank Brothers has understood the vision of the Series and has been with us every step of the way.” With a style and look that has come to define both the Crank Brothers brand and the Series, Crank Brothers will be onsite exhibiting their very distinctive product lines at all of the races.
New to the USGP this year, Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods has signed on as the Official Whole Grain Sponsor of the USGP. Bob’s Red Mill produces more than 300 natural, whole grain products. Matthew Cox, Marketing Manager at Bob’s Red Mill says, “The USGP is such an organic fit for us because our whole grains are a simple but effective source of sustainable athletic energy. One day while a few of use were training for the cyclocross races here in Oregon, we realized that we could have a lot of fun, share our whole grains and connect with the nationwide race community by participating in the USGP.” Bob’s Red Mill will be featuring its hot oatmeal at each venue – perfect for a cold day of ‘cross racing!
SRAM returns to the USGP as the Official Neutral Support Provider and Sponsor of the SRAM Most Aggressive Rider competition. The Most Aggressive Rider competition – a race within a race – will be named at each event in the Elite Men and Elite Women races based upon the vote of a panel of experts from SRAM and the USGP. The judges will select the winner of the contest based on such possible criteria as which rider overcomes adversity to be a factor in the race, exhibits tenacity and sportsmanship, animates the race, stages a comeback or generally makes the race a better competition.
Also returning in 2008 is Clif Bar. Part of their “How Do You Play” program – Clif Bar will once again be presenting the Clif Bar Kid’s ‘Cross Clinics at each venue. The clinics are free for kids aged 10-16 and pre-registration is available online at BikeReg.com. Held the Friday prior to each weekend series, the Clif Bar Kid’s clinics will feature an all-star line up with the Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team; Danny Summerhill, 2007 UCI Cyclocross World Championship silver medalist; Luna Chix Georgia Gould and Katerina Nash.
THULE, the Official Roof Rack Sponsor of the USGP, returns with it’s popular Working Class Hero competition – an award given each weekend to the best overall placed amateur Category 2 male rider and the best overall Category 4 female rider. THULE’s Eric Wallace says, “What’s exciting for us at THULE is that through the USGP we can award the regular athlete – the men and women who work a full time job, balance the demands of everyday life and still find the time to get out and race on the weekends for the sheer love of the sport and love of competition.”
Returning as Official Saddle of the USGP, Selle Italia is looking to have an even greater presence at the USGP in 2008. Not only will each course feature a Selle Italia run up but this year the Italian saddle maker will make its presence known in the Expo as well.
VeloNews returns as Official Media Partner of the USGP and will once again publishing the comprehensive US Gran Prix Series Guide in Issue 19 hitting newsstands on October 1.
Other US Gran Prix of Cyclocross series sponsors include Challenge Tires (Official Tires), Craft (Official Clothing), CyclocrossWorld.com, Bike Clicks and BikeReg.com.
The 2008 USGP schedule again features six days of racing. The USGP kicks off October 25 – 26 in Louisville, Kentucky. The second stop will be held just outside of Trenton in West Windsor, NJ on November 15-16. The series will then return to Portland, Oregon for the for the series finale on December 6-7.
Registration on BikeReg.com is open now for all categories. Pre-registration is mandatory for Elite Men / U23 race and the Elite Women.
For more information on the USGP, visit www.usgpcyclocross.com or contact Joan Hanscom at [email protected].