US PRO CUP P/B OZARK FOUNDATION COMES TO FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS, AHEAD OF THE PARIS SUMMER OLYMPICS

Racers will be arriving this Wednesday, April 4, 2024

Press Release

More than thirteen countries from as far away as New Zealand and Switzerland will descend upon Northwest Arkansas starting Wednesday, April 3rd, for four days of racing at Centennial Park.

Christopher Blevins, shown here, is aiming to make his second Olympic appearance this summer. Says Blevins, “These US Cup events are critical for riders like me vying for Olympic spots or World Cup start positions.”

Saturday’s Hors Catégorie* XCO race, the only one in North America for 2024, will offer riders and countries valuable UCI qualification points leading into the summer games.

In addition, more than forty-one US states will be represented on the start line between pros and amateurs, making this the largest cross-country-specific race in North America.

This marks the fourth year that the US Pro Cup returns to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and rider participation continues to grow.

“We have a hundred and thirty-eight junior men on Saturday and over eighty elite men as well, ” said race director Ty Kady. “Our series has established itself as the place where Olympians and amateurs come to race at the highest level in the US, and that is something our partners and we are very proud of.”

Northwest Arkansas has planted its flag on the ground as one of the premier venues in North America for cross-country and short-track racing, with the development of a UCI purpose-built cross-country course built to Olympic and World Cup standards. The course features rock gardens, double jumps, berm corners, and drops at Centennial Park in Fayetteville that will challenge and prepare riders for racing abroad.

Many of the globe’s top riders will use this week of racing to sharpen up their fitness and pick up critical UCI points as they vie for a spot on the start line in Paris later this summer.

Former short track world champion and US Olympian Christopher Blevins is among many top riders slated to compete in the scheduled events. Blevins is looking to make his second Olympic roster and uses the US Cup races to prepare before heading down to Brazil later this month to try and qualify for Paris.

“It’s so great to race at home in the States,” comments former world short track champion and current US national cross-country champion Christophe Blevins. “The US Cup is the premiere cross-country series in the US, and it allows me to race against some world-class competition in my backyard before heading off to Europe for the better part of the season. These US Cup events are critical for riders like me vying for Olympic spots or World Cup start positions. Still, they are critical to our junior rider development for that next generation of athletes.”

Spectating is free, and the park offers a bike valet for people to commute in and secure their equipment close to the start and finish lines.

The first UCI XCO race kicks off on April 3rd, and Saturday, April 5th, is for all the marbles with a UCI HC-level event. Friday will host short-track racing, a fast and furious 1-mile loop that will see racers going bar-to-bar for twenty minutes.

The event is also open to amateur racers, with an entire dedicated day of racing capping off the week’s events on Sunday, April 7th.

For more event information, visit USCUPMTB.com or follow us on social media @USCUPMTB.

*Hors catégorie (HC) is a French term used in bicycle races to designate a climb that is “beyond categorization”. The term was originally used for those mountain roads where cars were not expected to be able to pass.

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