April 12-16, 2023
The U.S. Pro Cup Mountain Bike Series is returning to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the third consecutive year with four jam-packed days of cross-country mountain biking racing, qualifiers, and classes for all levels. The action happens at Centennial Park this spring, April 12th-16th, 2023!
The road to Paris runs through Fayetteville, Arkansas this year, where Olympic hopefuls will gather for the opportunity to score heaps of valuable qualifying points at the 2023 U.S. Pro Cup. Though stakes are high for those looking to qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics, this UCI sanctioned event will feature 4 days of competition and fun for beginners, amateurs, and professional riders alike! With events taking place over a five-day period, particpants can look forward to a stacked schedule of cross-country and short track cross-country races. There will even be classes for all ages and abilities offered so that anyone in the community can get in on the cycling action.
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 the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 2022 U.S. Pro Cup race in Fayetteville, AR built on that legacy, and organizers expect the same from this year's event as the only hors categorie UCI XCO (officially sanctioned cross-country mountain bike race) in North America for 2023. This year's 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.
Racing kicks off on Wednesday, April 12th, with professional Elite and Under 23 category Men, Women and Junior UCI XCO (International Cross-Country Olympic Style) cyclists racing on Fayetteville's purpose-built cross-country 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! Spectators of the recent 2022 Walmart UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Fayetteville will recognize some key features from the event - including a rowdy rock-garden and drop on the backside of the 39-Climb stair feature. 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.
The 2023 U.S. Pro Cup event in Fayetteville will offer cyclists the only hors categorie race opportunity on the continent, with huge points on the line for winners! Meaning literally "uncategorizable", this highest classification of bicycle races accounts for the toughest of the tough courses, featuring the longest or steepest climbs in the world of mountain biking. Or both, if you’re racing in Fayetteville! Cyclists will also experience the thrill of slingshotting around Stonehenge toward white-knuckle sprint finishes - all across the same finish line the pros crossed at the Cyclo-Cross World Championships. It's arguably the best cross-country course in America, specifically designed with elite level mountain bike racing in mind - which is incredible considering riders of any level are invited to register for the U.S. Pro Cup and give it a go themselves.
After an open day on Thursday for rider practice, Friday, April 13th 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 14th will feature some of the top athletes from across the continent, as professional Elite Men and Women XCO (Cross-Country Olympic Style) race on the road to Paris! Saturday will also host races for Under 23 and Junior Men and Women XCO. Sunday, April 15th will be a day full of amateur cross-country mountain bike racing, with categories available for riders of any skill level, including children.
While mountain bike fans can expect to see top professional men and women racers competing in Fayetteville during the 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 Friday 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 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.