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USA Cycling has released the dates of next season's National Racing Calendar (NRC) today. Heading into its 10th season, the NRC features 45 events, including the introduction of the Tour of California and the move of the USPRO Championship from a June date in Philadelphia to a September date in Greenville.
Fittingly, the first running of the big money Tour of California kicks off the US domestic calendar on February 19-26. The other major stage race on the schedule is the now well-established Tour de Georgia, which has been moved up to 2.HC category, the highest ranking for an event outside the ProTour series.
Another major change is the relocation of USA Cycling's National Road Festival. After two years in Park City, Utah, the two-week cycling festival that crowns national champions in junior, U23, elite and master categories is moving east to the Seven Springs resort in Pennsylvania on July 5-17.
Nine NRC events are expected to be UCI-sanctioned next season: the Tour of California, the Tour de Georgia, the Wachovia Cycling Series events in Lancaster, Trenton and Philadelphia, the USA Cycling National Road Festival, the Barclay's Global Investor's Grand Prix in San Francisco, and the Univest Grand Prix. The San Francisco GP, which is under threat of cancellation due to non-payment of police fees, is moved back to its regular mid-September slot. The Wachovia Liberty Classic is the sole women's UCI-sanctioned event on the 2006 NRC.
2006 National Racing Calendar:
Feb 19-26: AMGEN Tour of California
Mar 4: McLane Pacific Downtown Grand Prix - Merced, Calif.
Mar 5: McLane Pacific Downtown Road Race - Merced, Calif.
Mar 10-12: Central Valley Classic - Fresno, Calif.
Mar 24-26: Redlands Bicycle Classic - Redlands, Calif.
Apr 2: Garrett Lemire - Ojai, Calif.
Apr 8: Sea Otter Classic - Monterey, Calif.
Apr 15: Jacksonville Cycling Classic - Jacksonville, Fla.
Apr 18-23: Tour de Georgia - Georgia
Apr 29: Athens Twilight Criterium - Athens, Ga.
Apr 30: Nalley Roswell Criterium - Cumming, Ga.
May 3-7: Tour of the Gila - Silver City, N.M.
May 5: Raleigh Twilight Criterium - Raleigh, N.C.
May 6: Sunny King Criterium - Anniston, Ala.
May 12-14: Joe Martin Stage Race - Fayetteville, Ark.
May 19-21: Tri-Peaks Challenge - Russellville, Ark.
May 19-21: Tour of Connecticut - Connecticut
May 25: Captech Classic - Richmond, Va.
May 27: Bikejam/Kelly Cup - Baltimore, Md.
May 28: Snow Valley Grand Prix of Bethesda - Arlington, Va.
May 29: Tour of Somerville - Somerville, N.J.
May 31-June 4: Mt Hood Cycling Classic - Hood River, Ore.
June 3: CSC Invitational - Arlington, Va.
June 4: Wachovia Cycling Series-Lancaster - Lancaster, Pa.
June 8: Wachovia Cycling Series-Trenton - Trenton, N.J.
June 11: Wachovia Cycling Series-Philadelphia - Philadelphia, Pa.
June 11: Wachovia Liberty Classic - Philadelphia, Pa.
June 14-18: Nature Valley GP - Minnesota
June 22-24: Tour de Nez - Reno, Nev.
June 24: Saturn Rochester Twilight Criterium - Rochester, N.Y.
June 29-July 2: Fitchburg Longsjo Stage Race - Fitchburg, Mass.
July 5-17: USAC Road Festival (Elite only) - Champion, Pa.
July 12-16: Columbia River Bank Cascade Cycling Classic - Cascade, Ore.
July 22: Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium - Boise, Idaho July 24-30: The International Tour de 'Toona - Altoona, Pa.
Aug 5: Bank of America Invitational Criterium - Charlotte, N.C.
Aug 13: Manhattan Beach GP - Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Aug 19-20: USCF/USPRO - Criterium Championships - Downers Grove, Ill.
Aug 26-27: Chris Thater Memorial - Binghamton, N.Y.
Aug 31: The Cliffs USA Cycling Professional Championships powered by Charter (TT) - Greenville, S.C.
Sept 2: The Cliffs USA Cycling Professional Championships powered by Charter (RR) - Greenville, S.C.
Sept 4: US100K Classic - Atlanta, Ga.
Sept 10: Barclays Global Investors Grand Prix - San Francisco, Calif.
Sept 16: Univest Grand Prix - Souderton, Pa.
Sept 15-17: Parker Mainstreet Omnium - Parker, Colo.
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