Wheels down: Ambitious national mountain bike series to start in Central Texas

(FILE PHOTO) Gold medalist Jaroslav Kulhavy, of the Czech Republic, competes in theMountain Bike Cycling men's race, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, at Hadleigh Farm, in Essex, England. Kulhavy won a two-man sprint to claim the Olympic gold medal in the mountain bike race of the London Games on Sunday. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
(FILE PHOTO) Gold medalist Jaroslav Kulhavy, of the Czech Republic, competes in theMountain Bike Cycling men's race, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, at Hadleigh Farm, in Essex, England. Kulhavy won a two-man sprint to claim the Olympic gold medal in the mountain bike race of the London Games on Sunday. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The sport of mountain biking was born and raised in the United States, which makes it all the more frustrating to American riders that they’ve been lapped by their European counterparts.

USA Cycling is hoping to change that with a new domestic series that will offer the richest cross-country purse in the world and should attract most of the top riders.

The U.S. Cup Pro Series presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group came together late last year, but the details were announced just this week. They include an $81,000 purse that will be split evenly between the men’s and women’s fields.

The opening round is March 1-2 in Dripping Springs, Texas. The following two races in March will be held in California with the finale June 28-29 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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