2 NRC races this weekend: Cox Charities Cycling Classic and Manhattan Beach Grand Prix

Posted on 27. Jun, 2008 by in race

The next race on the NRC is the 1.5-rated Cox Charities Cycling Classic, a men’s-only NRC event in Providence, RI on Saturday June 28, and the first event in New England Race Week, eight days of racing across four states, all within about an hour’s drive from Boston, MA.

In its seventh year, the race course  has moved to the city’s riverfront for the 2008 edition. The men will do 50 laps of a 1-mile criterium wrench-shaped (or is that L-shaped) course that includes a steep climb on College Hill.

Last year, after participating in a break for most of the race, Alejandro Borrajo then riding the Rite-Aid Pro Cycling Team,  jumped away with only 8 laps to go from the 15-man break with only Chris Jones (then riding for Nerac) on his wheel and won the race with the field charging in just a few seconds behind him.

The teams and riders. Borrajo is coming back with his new team Colavita/Sutter Home to defend his title. Joining Borrajo is Davide Frattini who finished third in last year’s Cox race and sixth in the 2006 event and Seba Haedo, winner of the Tour of Somerville NRC event.

Local team, Rite Aid Pro Cycling Team is sending a full squad led by Bobby Lea, who is headed to Beijing in August as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team track team. Team Fuji will be led by 2006 winner Mark McCormack and his brother 2005 winner Frank McCormack. TIME Pro Cycling will be led by 2004 winner Jonathan Hamblen. Chris Jones will be counting on his two Team Type 1 teammates Shawn Milne and Jesse Anthony  to make it to the top step.  Toyota-United split up their fast men, sending 4 riders including World B Champion Ivan Stevic, Dominique Rollin to Rhode Island.  The Bissell team is sending the trio of Wilmington Grand Prix winner Scott Zwizanski, Teddy King and Garrett Peltonen. List of pre-registered riders available on bikereg.com.

On Sunday June 29, on the other side of the country (which makes it quite difficult for teams to support both races but that’s another story),  is the 1.3-rated Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix p/b Rock Racing which has both a men’s and women’s race in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

The 1.4-mile challenging and technical course is shaped like a slightly bent “paperclip”, it features two long straight-aways, two sweeping 180° turns, and 50′ of climbing per lap. Riders can expect a headwind on the downward leg so breakaways are rarely successful.

The Manhattan Beach Grand Prix race is all about the last turn andlast year’s edition stayed true to form, where Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing) moved in the inside of the last turn to come out behind Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United) and won the sprint to the finish line.

In the 2007 women’s race Cheerwine dominated the pace, setting up a big sprint finish for their leader Laura Van Gilder. At the end, Van Gilder had about 5 seconds over the peloton for an easy win.

No startlist is currently available but sponsor Rock Racing is sending a full squad including Rahsaan Bahati to defend their title. Other cyclists listed in the race’s press release include Toyota-United’s Ivan Dominguez and the trio of Dominique Rollin, Henk Vogels, Ivan Stevic (note that these 3 riders are only on the startlist of Cox Charities Cycling Classic!). Also listed to participate is Health Net-Maxxis’ Rory Sutherland. Expect the Southern California Successful Living to bring in a full squad with Alessandro Bazzana.

As for the women, velonews states that Cheerwine’s Van Gilder will be back to defend her title. Tibco’s Amber Rais and Brooke Miller will also be present.

Of note, iBN Sports will broadcast the entire race day live on the Internet; the Women’s Pro Race beginning at 11:15 a.m. and the Men’s Pro Race at 1:10 p.m. PT.

MGBP 2007 photos by Thien Dinh

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