After four years of split calendars, USAC will go back to one single calendar for professional road races, but it will be criterium-heavy.
After only four years of organizing two separate pro road calendars — the National Racing Calendar (NRC) and the National Criterium Calendar (NCC) — USA Cycling (USAC) announced in November that the two will be merged to form a single calendar of domestic professional road events for 2016, the Pro Road Tour.
In 2012, USAC split the old National Racing Calendar, which once had more than 50 events, to create a separate crit calendar. When that happened, the NCC instantly outpaced the NRC. In 2013, there were 24 crit dates and merely eight NRC events. For 2016, 17 of the 24 events will be criteriums or criterium omniums. This reflects an overall declining trend for traditional road race events and stage races.
“Combining the NRC and NCC into a single calendar is an positive move heading into next year,” said Micah Rice, USA Cycling vice president of national events. “This change, decided from feedback given by race directors and U.S.-based teams at October’s National Symposium, will allow us to tighten up the schedule and regularly showcase our top domestic road talent.”
USAC announced the points table for the Pro Road tour in early February.
April 2: Sunny King Criterium, Anniston, Alabama, criterium
April 3: Anniston Fort McClellan Road Race, Anniston, Alabama, road race
April 6-10: Redlands Bicycle Classic, Redlands, California, stage race
April 21-24: Joe Martin Stage Race, Fayetteville, Arkansas, stage race (UCI 2.2)
April 30: Charlotte Criterium, Charlotte, North Carolina, criterium
April 30: 10th Annual Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling, Dana Point, California, criterium
May 4-8: Tour of the Gila, Silver City, New Mexico, stage race (UCI 2.2)
May 14: Wilmington Grand Prix, Wilmington, Delaware, criterium
May 29: Winston-Salem Classic Criterium, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, criterium
May 30: Winston-Salem Classic Road race, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, road race
June 3: The Oklahoma City Pro-Am Classic, Oklahoma City, criterium
June 5: Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, Philadelphia, road race
June 10-12: Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, Tulsa, Oklahoma, criterium omnium
June 11-12: Air Force Association Cycling Classic, Arlington, Virginia, criterium omnium
June 15-19: North Star Grand Prix, Minneapolis, Minnesota, stage race
June 25-26: Tour of America’s Dairyland, Milwaukee & Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, criterium omnium
July 16: Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium, Boise, Idaho, criterium
July 21-24: Cascade Cycling Classic, Bend, Oregon, stage race (UCI 2.2 women)
July 23-24: Intelligentsia Cup, Lake Bluff, Illinois, criterium
August 6: Littleton Criterium, Littleton, Colorado, criterium
August 13: Rochester Twilight Criterium, Rochester, New York, criterium
August 27: Chris Thater Memorial, Binghamton, New York, criterium
September 2-5: The TSG Realty Gateway Cup, St. Louis, Missouri, criterium omnium
September 10: Reading 120, Reading, Pennsylvania, road race (UCI 1.2)
September 11: Thompson Criterium of Doylestown, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, criterium
September 17: TD Bank Mayor’s Cup, Boston, criterium