USA Cycling announced today that its national criterium championship, previously a fixture in Downers Grove, will move to Glencoe in 2010.
Downers Grove has hosted the national championships on a popular figure-eight course since 1991, but the race’s demise has been speculated ever since the village council pulled $37,000 in funding in December.
Special Events Management will continue to manage the race, set for Saturday, Aug. 14.
This is a major coup for promoter Jon Knouse and his Glencoe Grand Prix, which in only three years has built a reputation for a well-run and well-funded operation.
“Once I saw Downers Grove decided not to renew,” Knouse said, “I called (ICA president and SEM event manageer) Steve Hansen and said: ‘We can help you. At least for this year, I know we can offer a great alternative and on short notice.’ SEM agreed, and we approached USA Cycling and they agreed.”
I’m looking to confirm details, but I’m told that the course will be altered—
no more Amen Corner, but a hill will be incorporated —
and racing will be limited to one day, meaning less amateur racing and no more twilight pro-am.
“This was really a lightning-in-the-bottle scenario,” Knouse said, “and we are totally grateful to SEM management and USA Cycling for having faith in us. We plan to deliver in spades.”
USA Cycling had previously announced the relocation of women’s and men’s elite national championships, which this year will take place in Bend, Ore., but Knouse says the Glencoe schedule will include a 1/2 race and a “big women’s pro race.”
Also of note: ABD this week announced that the Winfiled criterium weekend—
a fun, climber-friendly twilight crit on Saturday, ABR national championships on Sunday —
is returning to August on Aug. 21-22. That makes two consecutive weekends of big racing, and it means Winfield no longer conflicts with the popular Spring Prairie Road Race in Wisconsin.