A JOURNEY FUELED BY PASSION FOR US CYCLING.
The road to hosting America's first HC races has been a long one fueled with passion for the sport. It is that same fire that drives us to push the boundaries of cycling in the US even further.
Tedro (SCG) agreed to come on board and help jump-start the NMBS mid-way through 2008. Within a few weeks he was the middleman in a war of wants between the promoters, USA Cycling, professional teams and amateur racers. During the months-long discussions there were times when it appeared no top-tier racing would exist in the US in 2009. But the parties involved eventually rallied around Tedro’s US Cup model with that the US Cup was born and set to kick off in Bonelli Park for the 2009 season hosting rounds of the Pro XCT Presented by Sho-Air.
Tedro worked along side USA Cycling to develop the Pro XCT presented by Sho-Air. The Pro XCT would act as a calendar of events awarding UCI points. The series would be a seven-race collection of UCI-sanctioned events replacing the National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) as the premier cross-country series in North America.
The US Cup on the other hand would offer top-level events that would crown the top male and female rider in the country.
The new organization of cross-country racing would mark a union between the movers and shakers of elite racing: USA Cycling, the elite racing teams and Scott Tedro, owner of Sho Air International, a SoCal-based shipping company. Throughout late 2008 and early ‘09, all three would engage in discussion on how top-tier mountain bike racing should progress following the demise of the NMBS.
A NEW CHAPTER
The US Cup was born and set to kick off in Bonelli Park for the 2009 season hosting rounds of the Pro XCT Presented by Sho-Air. Tedro put up the lion’s share of the cash for the US Cup series alongside Specialized and Kenda. The series would include 13 races across the United States, and would be split into two regional sub series, the Kenda Cup West and Kenda Cup East. The two dueling series were designed for aspiring regional pros and weekend warriors alike. USA Cycling, along with Tedro, singled out seven of the US Cup events for the ProXCT. The pro category at these events would offer UCI points, and would be aimed at attracting the continent’s best riders. Efforts would pay off with numbers nearly 50% above 2008 for pre-registered riders.
Also in the works was newly formed Sho-Air/Specialized Pro/Am team. The team would take to the road with Sid Taberlay, Manny Prado and Max Plaxton to challenge the best, racing the full Pro XCT calendar. With great success that no one could have predicted Sid Taberlay and Max Paxton would go on to finish second and third overall in the Pro XCT series along with the team capturing the Pro XCT team title.
A PROVEN CONCEPT
With now a proven concept and a successful team Scott decided to keep the progress moving in a positive direction. For 2010 the US Cup would further support US pro riders by stepping up to host a C1 round of the Pro XCT in Fontana. Also new for 2010 would be the Triple Crown All Mountain Series, which included three American mountain bike races for 2010 with a $35,000 pro purse. The events would consist of super D, short track and cross-country racing and riders would have to compete in a minimum of two events to win.
The US Cup would continue as a network of Kenda Cups, that acted as local and regional qualifiers for the shootout at the end of the season at the Massanutten HooHa. The Kenda Cups featured over 15-race venues across the US, from Ashland, Oregon to French Lick, Indiana.
Cemented as one of the strongest US domestic professional cross-country mountain bike teams around in 2009 Specialized stepped up with factory support for 2010. Sid Taberlay, Manny Prado and Max Plaxton would be a strong arsenal focused on the US Pro XCT and the Triple Crown series.
TAKING IT NATION WIDE
After a successful year one the Triple Crown expands East, adding stand-alone events in Massanutten, VA and Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, PA. Also an addition for 2011 would be the US Cup East Series featuring nine events partnering with the already established SERC Series. Now hosting over 25 events the US Cup would be a true national effort to support US mountain biking.
Pua returns home to the Sho-Air/Specialized squad to focus on US Pro Ultra Endurance Tour (US Pro UET). "Scott Tedro signed me to my first pro deal and he has consistently been there for me over the years, and it feels great to come home," said Mata. "I get to return to my true passion and concentrate on endurance based racing, and I know with the backing that I will get from my teammates at Team Sho-Air, I will be back on the podium and having a great time doing so." Also making a summer debut would be Brendon Davids. Newly added to the team for the 2012 season Brendon would fly the Sho-Air flag for the latter parts of the 2011 summer adding to the strong efforts of Manny Prado and Ty Kady.
Following a successful 2011 the Triple Crown would invest in having a East and West series for 2012. The US Cup's East Coast Triple Crown would include events in Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia. On the west the US Cup Triple Crown would feature a C3 event at both Bonelli Park, followed by Fontana with the final in Santa Ynez, CA. The Rock N Road Cup West Series presented by Specialized would feature a seven round series based on the west coast giving amateurs the opportunity to compete at the highest level.
Finally, the addition of the Catalina Island MTB Grand Fondo on May 12th. This would be the first time in the island's history it had hosted a mountain bike event, and gave riders a special one-time access to sections of the TCT (Trans Catalina trail).
Team Sho-Air/Specialized signed African continental cross-country junior champion Brendon Davids for the 2012 season. Davids ranked as the number six junior in the UCI World Rankings would have his team debut at the Mountain Mike World Championships in Champéry, Switzerland. Manny Prado would retire from professional racing and Pua Mata would continue her endurance dominance.
With new support of Cannonade the US Cup hosts two stops of the Pro XCT calendar as part of the 2013 Triple Crown Series. After a sold out Catalina Island Gran Fondo it would return for 2013 as one of the premier events. And for the fifth year straight the Kenda Cup East and West were the nations premier amateur race series with record attendance.
Team Sho-Air announces a partnership with Cannondale forming Team Sho-Air/Cannondale for 2013 season and beyond. The team represented Cannondale’s factory mountain bike effort in North America with an all new roster of Max Plaxton, Pua Mata, Alex Grant, Jeremiah Bishop, Tinker Juarez.
PASSION TO DO MORE
Sho-Air Cycling Group announces world-class cross country mountain bike series in partnership with USA Cycling. A four-race series, which would be known as the USA Cycling US Cup Pro Series presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group. The USA Cycling US Cup Pro Series included the Mellow Johnny's Classic in Texas; Bonelli Park in California(2014 marked the first time an HC-category mountain bike race was held in North America.); Fontana in California; and a final round in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Along with this amazing new series came elite competition, first of its kind live streaming and the most UCI points ever offered on US soil.
Even with the addition of the Pro Series the Sho-Air Cycling Group was still able to keep the Kenda Cup and Catalina Island Gran Fondo thriving with record attendance.
Sho-Air Cyclery is born, a flagship retailer for Dorel's Cycling Sports Group brands in Orange, California, at the intersection of Santiago Canyon Rd. and Jamboree Rd., a popular cycling route in Orange County.
2014 marked the second year of Team Sho-Air/Cannondale this year with a new addition, Sam Schultz. With his motivation higher than ever Sam made a comeback to professional cycling after sitting out the 2013 season with back problems. Also new to the roster was Ryan Trebon splitting his time between Cyclocross and Cross Country.
New for 2014 was the Ridebiker Alliance, a national club team lead by professional national representatives Alex Grant, Sam Schultz, Tinker Juarez and Larissa Connors.
THE MOUNTIE RETURNS
The US Cup hosted six UCI events in 2015 with three HCs, a C1 and a C3. With the success of the first HC in Bonelli Park in 2013 Sho-Air Cycling Group was granted two more making it the most UCI points ever offered by a since series. The Kenda Cup East and West were ran in conjunction with the US Cup giving amateurs the opportunity to compete on the highest level.
The Catalina Island Gran Fondo in its third year was rated one of the countries top Gran Fondos and attendance supported the claim.
Canadian National Champion Max Plaxton returns to Team Sho-Air/Cannondale after being on loan to Cannondale Factory Racing during the 2014 season. In addition, up and coming women’s athlete Evelyn Dong also joins the team along with 2014 cross-country national champion, Steven Ettinger. The complete 2015 squad consisted of Jeremiah Bishop, Max Plaxton, Alex Grant, Steven Ettinger and Evelyn Dong.
On the retail front a partnership is made with Incycle Bicycles and Sho-Air Cyclery to help them expand into the Orange County market.
Ridebiker Alliance is it's second year supported National Professional Representatives, Tinker Juarez, Alex Grant, Larissa Connors, and Sam Schultz who would click off some top performances.
BUILDING ON SUCCESS
Building on past success the US Cup offers a complete calendar of HC races with Bonelli Park, Sea Otter, Missoula and the Boston Rebellion. This was again run in conjunction with the Kenda Cup East and West as well as the Catalina Island Gran Fondo.
Back at home with Rock N' Road Ridebiker Alliance signs on as title sponsor of Team Velosport to help support the community as well as youth cycling.
2016 was the year focused on the Ridebiker Team and empowering athletes to create their own personal teams. The Ridebiker Alliance was able to help subsidize 16 athletes, which enabled them to gather their own sponsorships and compete at the national level.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
For 2017 SCG has stripped things back to it roots and is focused on US cycling events. With a country-wide reach the US Cup and Kenda Cup East and West series are experiencing record participation and it is a very good sign of things to come. The US Cup is again producing must attend events offering top UCI points with HC level events at both Bonelli Park and the Boston Rebellion.