While a lot of us are off enjoying a long weekend with Memorial Day – a precursor for summer (or sales) – the pro men & women teams will divide their squads to try and conquer the three 1-day races: the Kelly Cup Pro Race as part of the BikeJam Cycling Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, the Priority Health Tour de Leelanau in Michigan, and the Tour of Somerville, in New Jersey.
The Tour de Leelanau moved its race day to Sunday May 25 from last year’s September to attract more of the men’s pro teams, as the race was conflicting with Tour of Missouri. With a UCI-rating, the race is part of the USA Pro Tour for the men, and NRC for the women.
The one thing that has not been changed is the course, a rolling and tough point-to-point 109-mile (177 km) road race that runs through much of the Leelanau Peninsula. The men will face 7 intermediate Sprints and 5 KOMs including the steep (21% gradient) climb up Tower Road at mile 60 (km 97).
The women will race 69.5 miles (113 km) and face 6 intermediate Sprints and 4 KOMs including Tower Road.
It’s a tough race. Last year, only half of the 88-man strong field crossed the finish line and only 22 riders were not timed-cut.
Power riders will be looking to make a mark. On the men’s side, the battle will probably be between the 3 strong teams of Bissell, BMC and Successful Living.
Defending champion Garrett Peltonen will be counting on his Bissell team for assistance especially Teddy King who is coming a strong spring with a stage win at Joe Martin and 4th Overall at Mt Hood. Extra pressure on the team, as Bissell is based in Michigan.
BMC is sending a full squad led by Tony Cruz and Michigander Brent Bookwalter. Successful Living is bringing Alessandro Bazzana, third at the last stage at Mt Hood and Sea Otter winner JR Grabinger. Other teams to watch are Team RACE Pro with Mark Walters and Rite Aid.
With three races on the same weekend, and with the upcoming Philly week, the women’s field only shows 48 registered riders.
Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) riding a streak of victories through USA Crits Speek Week and two stage wins at Mt Hood, is returning to defend her title. While everyone is watching Pic, her teammate MacKenzie Woodring, Leelanau winner in 2007 and 2006, might surprise everyone. Second last year, Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) is hoping to move up to the top step, and Tibco’s Joanna Kiesanowski, Sprint winner at Mt Hood, is one to watch.
Others to watch are: 2008 Collegiate Nationals Criterium Champion Julie Bellerose (Cascades), second in 2005 and 2006, and third in 2007. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci/Breakaway Racing) winner of the 2007 Chris Thater Memorial Criterium.
More info – check out
- Tour de Leelanau blog
- Garrett Peltonen talks about Tour de Leelanau on youtube
- House the bikers, feed the bikers in Glen Arbor Sun
On Saturday, May 24th, is the flat and fast criterium, the Kelly Cup Pro Race.
As one of their team sponsors is also the race sponsor, the Kelly Benefit/Medifast is bringing a full squad with fast men Martin Gilbert, Keven Lacombe and David Veilleux, second at last week’s Wilmington Grand Prix. Colavita/Sutter Home’s leadout train is hoping to bring Annibal Borrajo or Seba Haedo to the line first.
Other riders and teams to watch are Wilmington Grand Prix winner Scott Zwizanski (Bissell), Bobby Lea (Rite Aid), Shawn Milne (Team Type 1) and Francois Parisien (Symmetrics). Last year’s winner Hilton Clarke is not listed on the roster but his Toyota-United teammate Dominique Rollin is riding solo, training for the upcoming Philly week.
On the women’s side, last year’s winner Laura Van Gilder is also not listed on the roster. Riders to watch are Wilmington Grand Prix winner Laura McCaughey (Juice+), Nichole Wangsgard (Colavita/Sutter Home), Anna Milkowski (Advil/Chapstick), and Rushlee Buchanan (Tibco).
The fun continues on Monday with the Tour of Somerville, the oldest bicycle race in the United States which has been held on Memorial Day for the past 60+ years. The men race 50 miles on a flat, four corner course, and the women do 20 miles.
Most of the same riders and teams that are racing Kelly Cup will also do Tour of Somerville. The online pre-registered riders also include Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) and Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home). And Ed Beamon, Team Type 1 DS is also listed as a pre-registered rider, he is a Jersey boy, so we’ll see.
Note that the Tour of Somerville will be the last race for Parisien with Symmetrics as he will be joining Team RACE Pro on June 1st in his attempt to garner UCI points to make it to the Olympics (from CanadianCyclist.com).
More info – check out