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USA Cycling hosts US Pro Cup in Fayetteville

USA Cycling has announced that the 2024 Cross Country Mountain Bike National Series will host a qualifying event in Fayetteville this Spring. The organization is partnering with the Ozark Foundation to present the US Pro Cup from April 3-7. It will take place at Centennial Park, which has risen to fame as the home for the 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championship.

Cross-country mountain biking is an endurance-style challenge rather than a high-speed, gravity-centered race. Ozarkan topography plays well into this style of competition since we don’t have large mountains to hurtle down.

Centennial Park houses a purpose-built, Olympic-style cross-country mountain bike course. Ozark Foundation Senior Director of Operations Brannon Pack said the course was an investment in the future of cycling in northwest Arkansas.

"And because that investment has been made in that park, it allows events like the US Pro Cup to find a home right here in northwest Arkansas," Pack said. "The US Pro Cup is four days of racing over five days. It includes everything from UCI elite level, Olympic style, cross country mountain bike racing, which is- we're talking world champions, Olympians, national champions that will all be here with us in northwest Arkansas that week, as well as the opportunity for amateurs for me and you to go out there and also have our own cross country mountain bike experience as part of that week-long event." 

Fayetteville’s US Pro Cup will be one of the last qualifying competitions for athletes looking to compete in cross-country mountain biking during this summer’s Olympic Games. Additionally, the Pro Cup will be one- of the only four- stops in the country for the UCI Cross Country Olympics Junior Series, providing riders aged 17-18 a chance to possibly compete for a gold medal.

Pack said with the wide range of competition in mind, spectators should also be excited.

"At the end of the day, Centennial Park, whether you're up there to watch world-class cyclocross racing or world-class mountain bike racing, it was designed with spectators in mind," Pack said. "The venue itself allows family and friends to really move around, and you can get out on course and watch your friends or family as they are racing. Or, at the same time, if you're there to watch the pros, you can watch some of the top athletes in the sport of cycling, as they'll be here in Fayetteville, northwest Arkansas, that weekend. It's your chance to be right up close to right next to the course as future Olympians fly by on their way to Paris this summer."

You can visit our website for more information about the Pro Cup, USA Cycling and the Ozark Foundation.

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Jack Travis is a reporter for <i>Ozarks at Large</i>.<br/>
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