On Tap: Alexian Bros Tour of Elk Grove

Posted on 30. Jul, 2010 by in race

The Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove, the land of cash and turns, a purse of $50,000 and 565 turns – give or take a few – over three days of racing for the pro men. With flat as a pancake courses, a short time-trial and lots of bonus seconds, this is one for the sprinters.

The Men’s Pro 3-day, 3-stage – a time trial, a circuit race and a crit – are all held in the in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village which explains the number of turns. Each stage winner gets a big check and the overall winner will get the biggest single individual prize: $18,000. Finally, the winner in the team classification gets $2,000.  The total purse for all the racing over all categories this weekend is $150K.

With that amount of cash and NRC points also up for grabs, you can count on the racing to be aggressive. All previous winners are returning – with full squads – two with the UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis team, Karl Menzies who won in 2009 and Hilton Clarke in 2006, Jelly Belly p/b Kenda’s Mike Friedman who won in 2007 and Kelly Benefit Strategies’ David Veilleux in 2008. Also in the mix are FLY V Australia, Jamis/Sutter Home, BISSELL, Mt Khakis f/b Jittery Joe’s and Team Hotel San Jose. Once again, Chris Horner (Radioshack) is racing solo and will be a marked man (See very preliminary roster).

Follow @podium_live for updates during the race, and stay tuned for reports and photos.

Karl Menzies (OUCH) on his way to winning 2009 Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove

Karl Menzies (OUCH) on his way to winning 2009 Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove

The stages. (See cheat sheet for maps and details). The race starts off with a 4.5-mile (7.2-km) time trial on an out-and-back course with five turns and a long finishing straight. The first rider goes off at 5:30pm, and every rider thereafter at 1 minute interval. A short-enough course that sprinters won’t lose too much time on the TT specialist. Last year, Tom Zirbel (BISSELL) clocked the fastest time of 8:25 with eventual overall winner Menzies finishing 3rd at four seconds.

Saturday is the 96 miles (155 Km) AXA Equitable Road Race, 10 laps with 26 turns each – for a grand total of 260 turns, and some are tight. Time bonuses of 20, 12 and 6 seconds at the finish and also awarded to top 3 in the three intermediate sprint points competition. Last year, the stage came down to a bunch sprint won by Colavita/Sutter Home’s Sebastian Haedo ahead of Menzies and Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia).

The race concludes Sunday, with the 72 miles (115 km) Gullo International Criterium with, you guessed it, more turns. A total of 60 laps of the 1.2-mile (2 km) circuit with four 90 turns and one 180-degree turn and a long straightaway to the finish line. That makes 300 turns. Once again, time bonuses of 20, 12 and 6 seconds at the finish and also awarded to top 3 in the three intermediate sprint points competition. Cantwell came out on top of the chaotic sprint last year ahead of Ken Hanson (Team Type 1) and Haedo.

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