The Denver Disruptors, one of two new professional cycling teams formed by the National Cycling League (NCL), today announced its plans to tackle a season of both NCL and domestic cycling events, starting with the Tucson Bicycle Classic on March 3.
The Colorado-based team is made up of eight men and eight women, led by former Paris-Nice winner Sergio Henao and two-time Canadian Olympian and World Champion Leah Kirchmann.
“You can’t replicate the intensity and tension of racing in training, which means racing is one of the most important components of training,” said Svein Tuft, a 14-time Canadian national champion, finisher of 11 Grand Tours and Head Coach of the Denver Disruptors.
“The Denver Disruptors are going to race to win throughout the season, and we’re putting a big emphasis on August when we have the opportunity to dominate a series of races in Colorado.”
Being an official NCL team, the Disruptors will, of course, prioritize the four-race NCL calendar with the hopes of winning a slice of the $1 million prize purse at the end of the season.
The championship-style race series will take place in the heart of America’s some of biggest cities, where teams will compete at criterium-like races, earning points along the way for a chance of winning the largest prize in the history of American criterium racing,
Unlike traditional racing, the first person across the finish line may or may not be the winner. Instead, the NCL will operate on a points-based scoring system in which points are earned after each lap. Additionally, the NCL will feature a virtual racing component. The riders will be outfitted with wearable technology to stream data live during races so fans will be able to race alongside the pros in real-time via a virtual platform.
For its inaugural 2023 season, the NCL launched two dedicated, co-ed professional teams who will compete in the series and other American races throughout the year. The goal is that each host city will soon have a city-based team of its own.
The NCL season kicks off in Miami Beach, home of the NCL pro team, the Miami Nights. The second race will take place in Atlanta, GA, on May 14, before heading to the home of the Denver Disruptors, in Denver, Colo. on August 13th. The season’s finale will take place in Washington D.C. on September 10th.
Existing teams like L39ion of Los Angeles and the Miami Blazers announced that they have no interest in partaking in this new form of racing, and as of yet it is unclear teams will contest the two NCL squads in the series.