The 6th Santa Catalina Weekend
(La Vuelta a Santa Catalina Road Race + UA Grand Prix)
Arizona’s hardest road race!
Tucson, Arizona; Oracle, Arizona
February 1-2, 2020
(USAC Permit: 2019-249-250)
The UA Cycling Team and Sabino Cycles Team are excited to host the 6th Annual Santa Catalina Weekend. The weekend features the UA Grand Prix Criterium and the 7th edition of the Pinal County Vuelta a Santa Catalina Road Race (formerly the Oracle Road Race). We’re working hard to make this the best race of the calendar!
The road race starts and finishes at the Arizona Zipline.
Tech guide, with course maps, start times, and elevation charts, can be found at USA Cycling.
Road race registration
Our event could not be possible without support from:
And of course a massive thanks to Pinal County, Oracle Visitor Center, and the town of Oracle for welcoming us into their community and making this race possible
Friday night there are a number of fine establishments in Oracle. Our preferred is the 3C Ranch, a unique converted ranch with beautifully restored casitas! Call today and book your stay!
Tucson has no shortage of restaurants for meals. We recommend Beyond Bread, Gentle Ben’s, Time Market, and there are more Mexican restaurants than you can shake a stick at! During the race on Sunday, the UA Student Union will have some options open or Jimmy John’s on Park and University is always a fast option. In Oracle, the Patio Cafe, Oracle Inn Steak House, or Ore House Hilltop Tavern are our favorites!
Things to do
Looking for some activities to do after the road race? The Arizona Zip Line Adventures is ready for you! With the longest zip line in the state, AZ Zip Line Adventures is sure to please everyone with stunning views of the Sonoran desert! Come up a weekend early and scope out the road course and then hit up the zip line!
Is science more your thing? Look no further than UA’s Biosphere 2! Stretch the legs after a difficult race and enjoy learning how the Biosphere is advancing research about our world and moving us towards a sustainable future.
1.) Why a “weekend”?
We went with an omnium in 2015 in order to keep the crit and road race on the same weekend. However, running it as an omnium meant finding more prizes and a fairly complex points structure that delayed results. Plus, we found it did not increase participation. The events are still the same great courses you love, just no overall prizes between the two events.
2.) Do I have to race both days?
Nope! But we hope you do!
3.) What happened to the road race?
We transitioned to the out and back in 2017 because of the insurmountable costs associated with using AZ-77. Because it is a state highway, we were required to use AZ DPS officers to control traffic – at 1.5x the rate of Pinal Co. Deputies. There were also additional traffic control signage required such as two message boards placed 3 days prior to the event, and ADOT requires a $5 million dollar insurance policy to use their roads. All of this added up to more than $4,500 to use just that road. In 2016 we lost $3,400 on the road race- luckily the criterium covered the costs and we barely broke even. We felt we had raised entry fees to the highest we could go and for 2017 we could not take the risk of losing money. We are not professional event promoters- we are college students with full course loads, jobs, and a love for cycling. We put on the event in hopes of providing a great race experience and to raise money for our team. While we are always on the search for more sponsors for the event, at the present time we do not have the ability to source out the $4,500 needed to use AZ-77. Should the situation change, we will explore bringing back the full loop. The out and back is still an incredibly difficult course!
4.) What about the prize list?
Studies from races on the east coast have demonstrated that the existence of a cash payout for fields (outside of the pro fields) have little impact on turnout. Instead, the quality of the race experience is far more likely to impact attendance.
5.) Can I help out?
Absolutely! Our events, especially the road race, need tons of volunteers. We can always use help with registration, podium ceremonies, driving follow cars, corner marshaling, set up and clean up. Drop us a line if you are interested!