The nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first professional gravity mountain bike series, the USA Cycling Pro Gravity Tour will kick-off on May 3 with the Fluidride Cup in Port Angeles, Wash. Fluidride is the first of five events making up the 2009 Pro GRT. The top national-level gravity mountain biking calendar in the country, the Pro GRT is designed to offer a regular, competitive platform to recognize the best gravity athletes on U.S. soil.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m extremely excited to see the Pro GRT underway! WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re finally in a new era of gravity racing here in the U.S.,Ã¢â‚¬Â stated Jeremiah Dylan Dean, series coordinator of the Pro GRT. Ã¢â‚¬Å“With everyone taking a mutual step in the right direction, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking at a bright future ahead. This new series reflects the desire and passion for gravity racing in the states. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s thrilling to see top national and international riders, credible venues, teams and companies alike, all support the Pro GRT. By offering a joint national series, we will be able to develop current and future mountain bike riders and champions! WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re able to redefine what it means to race here within the United States at an elite level. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be one great ride!Ã¢â‚¬Â
A stacked field of top male and female pro riders will be showcased in SundayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Pro GRT downhill races. Port Angeles local Lars Sternberg (Transition/Fox Shox) is sure to be a favorite in his hometown along with J.D. Swanguen (San Diego, Calif./Intense), Joey Schusler (Boulder, Colo./Yeti-Fox Shox) and Curtis Keene (Freemont, Calif.) Darian Harvey (Durango, Colo.) and Leana Gerrard of Lake Tapps, Wash. are two of the stars set for the womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pro downhill event. The course, maintained by Ndub Productions and the Olympic Dirt Society, offers a mix of bermed turns, lush rain forest single track and wide open lines with big jumps. Set in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains, the area coined Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dry HillÃ¢â‚¬Â receives less rain than much of the Pacific Northwest. Qualifying for the Pro GRT race is set for Saturday, May 2 at 2:30 p.m. with the finale scheduled to go off Sunday at 10:00 a.m. The May 2-3 races will also mark the second race in the Fluidride Cup series and will include various amateur events. Click here for a complete schedule of the weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s racing.
The Pro GRT series will include a leaderÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s jersey and number plates for the top 15 downhill riders as well as comprehensive series rankings. Visit the Pro GRT website, here, for complete series information. Stay tuned to www.usacycling.org for updated series rankings following each event.
“With the support of the organizers, riders, and various sponsors the Pro GRT looks to be a strong in its first year,Ã¢â‚¬Â predicts Kelli Lusk, USA CyclingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mountain Bike Events and Program Director. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I’m excited to see how the season unfolds as the top gravity racers compete for the number one pro plate and leaders jersey in both DH and 4X.”
The Pro GRT will continue with the Chile Challenge, May 23-25 in Angel Fire, N.M. Downhill and 4-cross competitions will both be a part of the series second event of the season. Visit www.racemsc.com for more information.