Event date: April 24, 2022
The season opener of the 2022 Professional Cross-Country Tour (Pro XCT) will take place in Fayetteville this year, as the Moosejaw U.S. Pro Cup kicks off competitive cross-country mountain bike racing in the United States.
The Moosejaw U.S. Pro Cup, a UCI sanctioned event, will feature 4 days of racing over a 5 day period, with a jam-packed schedule of cross-country and short track cross-country races. The races will superbly highlight the deep field of US and international riders headed to Fayetteville to compete, a group composed partly of past and future Olympians, national champions, and international titlists. The Moosejaw U.S. Pro Cup is the first stop of a five-state tour.
The inaugural event was held over back to back weekends in April of 2021 – and featured a majority of Team USA in attendance ahead of last summer’s Tokyo Olympics. The 2021 U.S. Pro Cup race in Fayetteville, AR included over 900 participants from 41 states and 4 countries – with women comprising nearly 30% of all competitors!
Racing kicks off on Wednesday, April 20th, with professional Elite Men, Women and Junior UCI XCO (International Cross-Country Olympic Style) cyclists racing on the purpose-built cross-country “World Cup” racecourse at Centennial Park. The aptly named “World Cup” circuit is unique to the United States, built from the ground up to meet international specifications and perhaps the only course of its kind in the country! The 2.7mi (4.4km) circuit includes 500ft (150m) of climbing per lap, and in true Ozarks fashion, is a course speckled with technical rock drops, punchy climbs, ledges, and even some ultra-fast BMX style flow trail, making this course a premier stop for racers worldwide.
Spectators of the recent 2022 Walmart UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Fayetteville will be thrilled to know that, complimentary to the cyclo-cross racecourse, the “World Cup” racecourse was designed with elite level mountain bike racing in mind and shares several of the key features from the event – including a rowdy rock-garden and drop on the backside of the 39-Climb stair feature. The course finishes with Stonehenge, setting up for white-knuckle sprint finishes like those we saw at the Cyclo-Cross World Championships. Sign us up!
After an open day on Thursday for rider practice, Friday, April 22nd will be a day filled with STXC (Short Track Cross-Country) racing – a spectator-friendly format featuring Elite Men, Women, Junior and CAT 1 OPEN athletes competing in a shorter, circuit-style mountain bike event that blends together portions of the CX (Cyclo-Cross) and XC (Cross-Country) courses at Centennial Park. Saturday, April 23rd will be highlighted by an afternoon of Olympic-style Junior cross-country mountain bike racing, with the event culminating Sunday, April 24th with professional Elite Men and Women XCO (Cross-Country Olympic Style) racing – featuring some of the top athletes from across the continent.
While mountain bike fans can expect to see top professional men and women racers competing in Fayetteville during the Moosejaw U.S. Pro Cup, the event will also cater to amateur athletes from across the country. The Northwest Arkansas region in particular is expected to be heavily represented in amateur and novice racing by the mountain bikers that are lucky enough to call the area surrounding Fayetteville, America’s Secret Cycling Paradise, home. Amateur and novice race options will be available on both Saturday and Sunday mornings, with riders competing on portions of the same course as the pros and sharing the same world-class finish line!
The spectator-friendly course on the mountain is sure to inspire intense competition, with an athlete’s bike handling skills proving just as crucial as their endurance on the “World Cup” course. Centennial Park, site of the Moosejaw U.S. Pro Cup, is part of the OZ Trails network of mountain bike trail systems – a collection of world-class mountain bike experiences spread across Northwest Arkansas and the Ozark Mountains including several trail systems in Fayetteville. Featuring diverse experiences from downhill to cross-country to bike park, the OZ Trails network supports the growth of local ridership in the region while catering to the growing number of mountain bike tourists selecting Northwest Arkansas as a trail destination.
The free to attend event will feature an industry-heavy exposition area, food and beverage onsite, plus additional community engagement events expected to be announced soon. Outside of the races themselves, the Moosejaw U.S. Pro Cup is expected to highlight additional areas the Northwest Arkansas region is excelling in - including tastes of local culinary flavors, a growing collection of award-winning craft breweries, and a vibrant music scene.
Click here for additional event details, including daily race schedules, or to register today.