In the final stretch to Philly week, and with the time closing fast to be selected to the Olympic Games, once again, teams and riders have to make choices as far as which race to compete in. Tulsa Tough Ride & Race in Tulsa, OK, the Women’s World Cup in Montreal, Canada or the CSC Invitational in Arlington, VA.
Starting on Friday May 30th, 2008 is the third edition of the Tulsa Tough Ride & Race which has 3 criteriums and includes multiple events for the community such as tour riding, Tulsa Townie fun ride. The second race on May 31st is part of the NRC for the women and also counts for the USA Crits series for both the men and the women. In 2008, the organizers doubled the prize money to $150K, which makes the race the second-largest prize weekend in the US, behind Chicago.
At the same time, the Coupe du Monde Cycliste Féminine sur route UCI (Women’s Cycling World Cup) will be held for the eleventh time in Montreal on May 31st. Montreal hosts the only road cycling World Cup event to take place on the American continent, and is one of the last events on UCI’s calendar before the Olympic games. Therefore another chance to collect the all important UCI points for the Olympic Games selection.
And then, we finish up the weekend with the NRC-ranked CSC Invitational, in its eleventh edition on Sunday, June 1st.
Interestingly, Toyota-United is sending a full 9-man team, including Ivan Stevic and Ivan Dominguez, to the Tulsa Tough events, and only has one rider (Dominique Rollin) pre-registered for CSC Invitational. Are they looking for the big paycheck – for example, last year Successful Living’s Ricardo Escuaela, JR Grabinger and Alessandro Bazzana pocketed a combined $16470 after 3 days – or is the team wooing a new sponsor in the area? The other top teams are focusing their full squads on the Arlington race.
On the women’s side, a very strong contingent is heading to Montreal, but some are also sending smaller teams to CSC to cover all bases. And to complicate things even more, the Tour du Grand Montréal is scheduled to start on June 2nd, and the first race for Philly week starts on June 3rd, but that’s for another post.