The USA National Racing Calendar continues this week with the Granogue and Wissahickon cyclocross races, the “Queen Weekend of the MAC Powered by SRAM Cyclocross Series, with UCI-C2 races for Elite Men and Women, as well as a full compliment of amateur classes. The weekend features racing on two of the most difficult and prestigious cross courses in America.
Following the first two races of the MAC-SRAM, Davide Frattini (Team Fuji) and Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) lead the point standings for the Elite Men and Women. Luke Keough (Corner Cycle Cycling Club) leads the U23 standings while sitting fourth overall in the Men’s Standings. Team KONA is sending both last year’s winner Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks to the eventin the hopes of getting their first UCI win of the season. On the women’s side, the battle should be fierce with Van Gilder and her teammate, last year’s winner DeeDee Winfield battling the likes of Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles) who is in second place in the standings, Amy Dombroski (Richard Sachs-RGM), Georgia Gould (Luna Chix) and Barbara Howe (Vanderkitten). (See list of registered riders)
The racing begins Saturday, October 17 on the private 400 acre Granogue Estate near Wilmington Delaware that is opened to both racers and spectators for this annual event. The course is a classic Northern Delaware cyclocross circuit that rolls, twists and turns itself through the majestic Dupont Estate. The Elite Women start at 2:30pm and the Elite Men at 3:30pm. (Full schedule here).
The following day, the MAC Powered by SRAM Series heads 25 miles north to the beautiful 33-acre Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show and Country Fair Grounds in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. The Elite Women start at 2:30pm and the Elite Men at 3:30pm. (Full schedule here).
Victory Brewing Company is again sponsoring the Wissahickon Cyclocross and will be pouring for the benefit of the Neighborhood Bike Works. Neighborhood Bike Works is a nonprofit educational organization in West Philadelphia that seeks to increase opportunities for urban youth through bicycling, and which promotes cycling as an environmentally-friendly means of transportation.
The newest addition to the North American Cyclocross Trophy Series, the GNC Toronto International Cyclo-Cross is both the mid-point of the series and the first time the NACT has raced in Canada. Organizers have put together two great courses for both “mountain goats and speedsters.” Racers will look for any advantages — flat and fast, or hilly and hard — to shuffle the NACT series standings and win a piece of the $24,500 in prize money.
Natasha Elliott (Louis Garneau) enters the third round of the NACT series in second place but is heading back north for home field advantage. Elliott went two for two in Gloucester and the Louis Garneau racer also took home double wins at Toronto in 2008. Challenging Elliott is Pepper Harlton (Juventus Cycling Club) at her first NACT race of the year. Harlton and Elliott recently finished second and third to newly-crowned Canadian national champion Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) and Toronto will be a rematch.
Like Elliott, the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com boys will be happy to return to Toronto. Last year, Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers switched steps atop the podium on Saturday and Sunday. The duo swept last weekend, splitting five wins amongst the two of them with teammate Jamey Driscoll getting second twice. Will they continue their winning streak? Both Powers and Johnson look to move closer to the top spot of the leader’s boards with strong performances in Toronto. With current leader Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) and second place Christian Heule racing in Europe, the top two steps are up for grabs. After finishing thirteenth at Star Crossed, Driscoll has consistently placed in the top five and leads both Johnson and Powers in the standings in third place overall. BISSELL’s Andy Jacques-Maynes is another challenger to Cannondale contingent. Jacques-Maynes finished third and fourth in 2008 and is sandwiched between Johnson and Powers in the overall standings.
There will be plenty to see and do in Toronto this weekend. Urban Male Magazine in conjunction with Cameron’s Brewing Company, are hosting a pre-race party at downtown Toronto’s iconic Brunswick House at 481 Bloor Street West today. The Elite women start at 3pm on Saturday followed by the Elite men at 4pm. On Sunday, the Elite women start at 12:45pm with the men at 2pm. (See full schedule here)
Check out video by www.cyclingphotos.ca of one lap on the completed course for Saturday’s Toronto International Cyclocross race, UCI-C1 on October 17, 2009 At Centennial park. Shot during BT’s coverage using as much of the ski hill as possible. Rider: Hugh Hill – Esteemtraining.com