Dylan Racing Development has announced the U.S. Grand Prix of Mountain Biking (MTB GP), a new national race series focused initially on gravity riding.
Open to any rider worldwide, the series will recognize athletes through a season of racing. If this sounds familiar to the Pro XCT and Pro GRT series from USA Cycling, well, it is. Except it isn’t.
A little background: When whole NMBS series died out a few years back, Dylan Dean proposed the Pro GRT downhill racing series and it became part of USA Cycling’s national calendar, along with the Pro XCT. So why create an entirely new series?
“Basically what it was is we were headed in a different direction,” said Dean, founder of the new U.S. MTB GP. “USA Cycling was putting a lot of emphasis on the cross country. There’s going to be a lot of similar events with some overlap where athletes are technically racing in two series even though they’re only doing one run, meaning some of our races will be USA Cycling sanctioned, but the series as a whole is not.”
“Right now, if you look at USA Cycling, they’re very XC oriented. Their knowledge is more on that side, and with XC being an Olympic sport, their resources are going to go there. I didn’t see much emphasis on the gravity side.”
So, how will the series be different?
“Initially, you’re probably not going to see much difference structure-wise between the Pro GRT and MTB GP. You’ll see similar venues, but at the same time I can start progressing by bringing in outside sponsors and implement different rules and points systems than what USA Cycling has. We’ll have a more festive atmosphere for amateurs and professionals alike, which will help build the sport. The overall idea of the sport will grow from the sponsors, venues and local promoters all working together to create something really great and giving us a better national series. In the past it seemed like everyone wanted to do their own thing, but now people are seeing it’s beneficial for everyone to work together.”
What about licensing and point tracking?
“I’m not requiring all the events to be USA Cycling sanctioned, so we won’t require the racers have their licenses. But at the same time, it’ll be beneficial since we want some of the events to have UCI points. And for the events that are sanctioned, they’ll of course need to have their license. We’ll have a lot of similarities to the AMA motocross points system. I’m figuring out how deep the points will go right now.
“We’re also trying to build a three or four race series for each coast within the overall series to help the amateurs that can’t travel across the country. This way they still get series points for their own little series.”
The official schedule should be announced sometime in December. Dean’s working to nail down a couple of final venues in CO and the east coast as this post goes live. For 2012, it’ll offer only Downhill and Super-D, but for 2013, he’s looking to add XC and a couple of gated events based on feedback from riders during the series’ freshman year.
Click through for the full PR…
PRESS RELEASE: Dean Racing Development is proud to announce the launch the US Grand Prix of Mountain Biking (MTB GP), the future of US national mountain bike racing! The MTB GP recognizes the best professional & amateur mountain bike athletes competing within the United States in a season long race series format. Open to athletes worldwide, this elite series was created to bring consistency and growth of the sport of mountain bike racing in a competitive and fan-friendly atmosphere.
The MTB GP will consist of top-tier events, in cooperation with key regional & independent races across the nation, focusing in the downhill and super-d disciplines. In the near future, endurance and gated racing will be added. The overall goal of the MTB GP is to bring the mountain bike race community together as a whole. Strength in numbers & in family!
“The Grand Prix of MTB is the next step in the evolution of US mountain bike racing. I’ve spent the majority of my life racing, working in all aspects of the cycling industry, and now as a team owner & race promoter. I have seen our sport at its peak, and at its rock bottom,” stated MTB GP director Dylan Dean. “There is an outcry for the need of a proper US national series to finally be implemented. With the support of the industry & athletes alike, we can finally take it upon ourselves to guide the evolution of our sport. This is a dream come true!”
The MTB GP is developed to build the amateur & spectator experience by additionally making a festive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.
The series website will soon be launched at www.MTBGP.com. In the meantime, feel free to follow our news updates on our FaceBook page www.facebook.com/USMTBGP or follow us on Twitter @MTBGP