Health Net-Maxxis’ Rory Sutherland is showing amazing form right now, and with two back-to-back wins, starting off with Joe Martin, he has taken a tremendous lead in the NRC standings. More importantly though, Sutherland hopes that these results with help in recruiting a sponsor for next year, as the team is on the final year of their contract.
“That’s a huge, pretty big lead in two weeks that I managed to take and I hope that takes a lot of stress of the team for the future as well. We’re coming to the end of a sponsorship year, like a lot of teams, there could a disbandment unless something drastic kind of happens and I know that we’re not the only team that it’s happening in, hopefully we can keep the same guys together, it’s a winning formula that works together well. ” said Sutherland.
Zajicek, back to racing after being diagnosed and under treatment for Crohn’s disease worked hard for his leader and should be a force to reckon with later in the year, probably when he defends at Cascade Classic in July.
The Bissell team showed great tactical sense by forcing breaks and sending threatening riders up the road. The 25-year old Teddy King is coming into his own, winning a stage at Gila and being a GC threat at Hood, finishing in fifth place overall. And Ben Jacques-Maynes is a force to be reckoned with.
Toyota-United showed a depth of sprinters with Hilton Clarke coming to the forefront supported by Ivan Stevic and an onform Caleb Manion is always dangerous when the road starts going up.
The BMC team came in stealth mode and delivered. At just 26 years old, Darren Lill is showing that he is a threat on the overall especially as his timetrialing keeps on improving.
Successful Living team set an aggressive goal at the beginning of the year, to win the NRC team classification. By putting riders in the breaks, and finishing top 10 on stages, the team finished in fifth place on the overall team classification and showed that they are serious about their goal. Also, Charles Dionne was back to racing after breaking his elbow and is looking to win again after two years of injuries and recovery. It will be interesting to see what the Bazzana-Dionne duo can produce at Philly week.
Rock Racing worked cohesively as a team, with David Clinger protecting Doug Ollerenshaw’s sprint jersey in the final stages, and Creed sacrificing a spot in the GC when he had a teammate up the road in a break. Speaking of Creed, he rode a great race, finishing in sixth place in the time trial, and in ninth place on the queen stage.
And, the Cal Giant Strawberries team showed that they are one of the top amateur teams in the country, and that there will be a bidding war for U23 Champion Max Jenkins when he’s ready to move up to a pro team – or at least there should be.
Kudos to Mitch Trux of Metromint, we shared a looonnnng bus ride, on a yellow school bus, back to the start of the Wy’East stage, over 100 miles in a slow moving vehicle. While the team had multiple riders at the race, Trux was racing the pro/1 event by himself, no support in the feedzones, no ride back to the start.
Trux finished in 72th place.
It should be good competition all year long in the women’s NRC racing.
The Aaron’s team brought in new strong riders in 2008 to bolster their team, and is aiming for the top of the NRC team competition. Great teamwork led by Meredith Miller to support teenager (for a few more weeks) U23 Canadian Time Trial National Champion Julie Beveridge for the overall win.
New arrival to the Tibco team, New Zealander Joanne Kiesanowski is using the NRC races for her preparation for the Olympics and will bolster the team in the next two months.
The Colavita/Sutter Home proved that they are the team to watch at crits. Tina Pic dominated the USC Crits Speed Week and won the 2 crits at Hood. Can she and the team continue the streak?
Finally, race director Chad Sperry puts on a great race, and the Mt Tabor crit was a wonderful addition to bring in the Portland bike-crazy folks. Hopefully, more people will show up the for the prologue if it’s held in Portland.
Mt Hood Cycling Classic photos can be seen here.