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Kenda Presents New US Mountain Bike Race Series

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Just announced over the weekend, Kenda will be presenting an all-new series called the Mountain Bike U.S. Cup, a bi-coastal series of MTB races culminating in a single national championship event. The goal is to promote cycling on a regional level and develop stateside talent, all while providing a national-caliber point ranking and prize system. 

This series replaces the NMBS (National Mountain Bike Series) and NORBA Nationals of years past.  It’ll have two regional series, Kenda Cups East and West, with a final race at Interbike in Las Vegas to determine the overall series winners.  If you want the same old press release as everyone else, there’s a link after the break.  If you want some nice little tidbits from our inside sources that no one else has, read on.

For example, the cup will have a Pro and Amateur classifications, with different points/attendance credits for each.  Pro winners will receive a “WWF”-style championship belt, Amateurs will receive a series jersey.  Special prizes will be awarded by Hayes, Kenda and Specialized, including limited free entries for Under-18 racers at each event.  We also know why all the West Coast events are in CA for 2009.  Hmmmm…

Read “more” for details on all this and the race calendar…

Even though all of the events in the series will be run by individual promoters, the U.S. Cup will post all results from all events online, so you can keep track of your rankings against others in your category.  While the East Coast series has a relatively diverse geographic representation, all of the West Coast events are in California for 2009. This is due mainly to the speed with which the U.S. Cup organizers needed to put together the inaugural series and the fact that CA race promoters quickly stepped up with commitments to meet the Cup’s requirements.

Scott Tedro, of Sho-Air, a transportation company and title sponsor of a CA-based mountain bike team, will be Chairman of the new organization.  He stepped up to create the series after seeing many top teams and events really struggling to stay afloat in recent years.  The MTB U.S. Cup will provide promoters with a little financial relief by taking on some of the marketing efforts as well as providing them with some of the basic line-item killers like shirts, water bottles, signage, etc.  In exchange, event promoters must guarantee minimum cash payouts, starting around $1,500 and going up depending on the event, and meet other basic operational guidelines.


Here’s what the race classifications and requirements will look like.  The U.S. Cup is working with USA Cycling to establish an “Elite Pro Tour” within the series, having them compete in 5-6 events, choosing either the East or West series.  The catch is, they’ll likely have to race at least one event in the opposite series during the year…the final details are still being worked out.

For the amateurs, this series will compete with the AMBC calendar, however, the AMBC doesn’t really have an official “Championship” event or crown an overall winner.  The upside to the AMBC’s is they tend to have more disciplines (downhill, marathon, super-d, short track, etc.) at each event. Initially, this is what’s on the table:

US Cup Pro Structure:
  • Create East Coast Champ/West Coast Champ for Kenda Cup Series
  • Best 5 of 6 events, for Pro East Coast Champ/West Coast Champ
  • Final race shootout in Las Vegas at Interbike to crown “Unified Pro US Cup Champ”
  • Equal Cash Payout to Men and Women at final
Amateur Structure:
  • Best 4 of 6 events for East Coast Champ/West Coast Champ for Kenda Cup Series
  • USAC Categories/Classes Cat #1, #2, #3
  • US Cup Council sets points structure, tracks points, issues invitations to Final
  • Final race in Las Vegas at Interbike to crown “Amateur Unified Class Champions”


There are also a lot of special prizes and bonuses for racing well and registering early:

Hayes Bicycle Group Rider Reward: One finisher (amateur classes 18 and older) at each race will be randomly selected to receive a package to bring him/her to the final in Las Vegas:Airfare, two nights’ hotel stay, badge to attend Interbike, registration for the East/West US Cup Cup Unification race, $250 spending money, Hayes/Kenda photo opportunity and race kit.
Kenda Podium Payback: Kenda will randomly select a class category at each race, and if the male and female finishing (Editor: winning?) are riding Kenda tires, they will receive a check from Kenda refunding the cost of registration for that race.
Specialized Youth Movement: The first 10 U-18 racers to register for each race online at sportsbase.com will have their registration fee comp’ed.



Kenda Cup West

Kenda Cup East

The basic press release is on VeloNews, and Cycling News has a good interview with Scott Tedro. You can see the letter that apparently started it all here.

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15 years ago

This is exciting.

15 years ago

Specialized Youth Movement – comp’d entry fees , how does this work ? do you register and then get reimbursed ? or is there a special promo code ?

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