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By Fred Dreier
Organizers of the new Sho Air-Specialized US Cup and USA Cycling’s Pro Cross-country Tour (ProXCT) have canceled the final race of each respective series, the Series Shootout cross-country race. The event was supposed to be held Sunday, September 26 at Bootleg Canyon, just outside of Las Vegas, the day after the Las Vegas Interbike trade show closed.
“It’s not as though the series is in financial jeopardy — we just want what is logistically the best for the teams, riders and the industry,” said Ty Kady, the series’ chief spokesperson. “I don’t see this as a setback. It shows that we are fluid enough to make a decision that is better for the whole.”
The ProXCT — the seven-race series of UCI-sanctioned races aimed at the continent’s top professionals — will now conclude at the August 15-16 Yankee Clipper race at Windham Mountain, New York. The Sho Air-Specialized US Cup Finals, which will feature competition between the winners of the regional Kenda Cup East and West series, will now conclude September 20 in San Dimas, California.
Kady said the schedule change stems from the Las Vegas race’s less-than ideal date at the tail end of Interbike. Series organizers petitioned the show to let them run the event on September 22 in conjunction with the Outdoor Demo show at Bootleg Canyon. The Outdoor Demo (Sept. 21-22) precedes the three-day indoor part of the show, which wraps up Saturday, Sept. 25. Interbike organizers balked at the idea.
“By Saturday (Interbike) is a ghost town, nobody wants to stay and hang out,” Kady said. “We didn’t want to put on a race and have no one come out to watch it.”
Kady said the proposed race presented a scheduling conflict for the nation’s top mountain bike racers who also race cyclocross. The UCI World Cup concludes the weekend before the Shootout race in Schladming, Austria. The Shootout also conflicted with the opening round of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross, held in Madison, Wisconsin.
Kady said he did not know if the US Cup would pursue holding finals in Las Vegas for 2010, but hinted that next year’s ProXCT would likely conclude August 20-21 in Mount Snow, Vermont. That would put the race one week before the UCI World Cup finals in Windham, New York, and two weeks before the UCI world championships in Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec.