Competition Guide

[The 2016 race season is all wrapped up, but below is a left over synoposis of the key competitions along the way]

Jan 30-Feb 7 - Pioneer Stage Race - South Island, New Zealand - A 7-day, 530km mountain bike stage race through the Southern Alps to kick off the season! Follow it at www.thepioneer.co.nz

Mar 5 - Canada Cup #1, Bear Mtn - Victoria, BC, Canada - The first UCI-sanctioned Olympic format XC race in North America, Round 1 of of the Canada Cup will have the American and Canadian usual suspects coming out of the woodwork for the first time in 2016 - Follow it at www.cyclingcanada.ca

Mar 12 - ProXCT #1 - Bonelli Park, California - Opening round of the USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Tour (ProXCT), the premier "Olympic Format" XC race series in the US - another early season opportunity to test before things get serious.  Follow at www.usacycling.org/proxct

Apr 2 - American Continental Championships - Catamarca, Argentina - (pending selection) - The first "closed" (i.e. selected National Team Members only) event of the 2016 season, the Continental Championships take place every year in the spring, typically in the southern hemisphere.  While not a critical qualification race per se, Continental Champs is an opportunity to earn valuable UCI points which help for World Cup rankings and starting positions later in the season.

Apr 9 - US Cup #1 (ProXCT #3) - Bonelli, California - Game on! Same location as the race in March, but this time around it's a much more serious atmosphere. This is the first high-ranking domestic event of the season (means lots of UCI points are on the line), and the Olympic qualification campaign will be in full gear.

Apr 16 - US Cup #2 (ProXCT #4), Sea Otter Classic - Monterey, California - For this wild show at Laguna Seca Raceway in California, the sun is always shining, the poison oak is everywhere, and the bike racing is a sideshow to the event itself - the whole industry is out and about to show off the latest and greatest for the season ahead.

Apr 24 - UCI World Cup #1 - Cairns, Australia - The opening round of the perennial UCI MTB World Cup Series, the highest level of mountain bike racing in the world (seems like everyone says that these days, but it's largely true). This race, along with Rounds 2 and 3 (see below) will be the real deciding events for Olympic team selection.  Apart from that, this will be a great adventure to the Great Barrier Reef area.

May 1 - Whiskey Off Road - Prescott, AZ (tentative) - The opener of the burgeoning Epic Rides series events, replete with absorbing festival atmosphere, legendary courses, and big cash prizes on the line to create the gravitas that a good bike race ought to have.  The multi-day format involves a fat-tire crit in front of the crowd on Friday night, followed by a 50-mile marathon format race on Sunday.  

May 22 - UCI World Cup #2 - Albstadt, Germany - Back to Eurloand for Round 2 of the World Cup, where it seems like everyone is fast as hell and wears white socks and puts sprinkles on their nutella.  

May 29 - UCI World Cup #3 - La Bresse, FranceBaguette vending machines and fine cheeses galore, and the final qualifying event for the US Olympic Team.  Pressure is on!!

Jun 18 - US Cup #3 (ProXCT #5), Missoula XC - Missoula, Montana - A mainstay on the North American scene for the past 4 years, the crew in Missoula knows how to put on a top-notch weekend of mountain bike racing while maintaining that quintessential grass-roots feel.  And a good beer garden.

Jun 19 - Carson City Off Road - Carson City, Nevada - The dramatic finale to the Epic Rides trilogy, 4,000' of climbing right out of the gate up to 8,000 feet AMSL...and motivating views of Lake Tahoe at the top before the dash for big cash at the finish line.

Jul 3 - UCI XC World Championships, Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic (pending selection) - Word on the street is that some 50,000 tickets have been sold for this event, hosted at the world famous Vysocina Ski Biathlon arena just 2 hours outside of Prague.

Jul 10 - UCI World Cup #4, Lenzerheide, Switzerland -  (tentative) - a mid-altitude World Cup in the mountainous heart of Switzerland...if there's enough gas left in the tank after World Champs...

July 16-18 - US XC National Championships - Mammoth, California - Returning for the second year in a row, the Stars and Stripes will be decided by whomever can ride the fastest in the low oxygen environment at 9,000 ft.  A day for the altitude crew to lose, and the sea level crew to cruise.

July 31 - ProXCT #8, Boston Rebellion - Walpole, Massachusetts - (tentative) - A newcomer on the North American race scene.

Aug 7 - UCI World Cup #5 - Mt. St. Anne, Quebec (tentative) - The penultimate World Cup of 2016, and the final big showdown before the Games.

Aug 14 - ProXCT Finals - Windham, New York - (tentative) - The domestic cross-country scene wraps up for 2016.

Aug 20 - Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (pending selection) - The big one - only 50 men and 30 women will qualify to race at the Olympics.










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