The 27th Annual Chris Thater Memorial Criterium heralds the end of the 2010 pro road season for many, it is final race on the NRC for both men and women and is the final race for women in the USA CRITS Series.
The Chris Thater Memorial is dedicated in memory of Chris Thater, an avid cyclist, who was killed by a drunk driver. The event is a project of the Broome County STOP-DWI Program to heighten awareness about the drunk-driving problem.
Follow @podium_live for all the action during the race; stay tuned here for reports and photos.
Men’s NRC team titles on the line. While Luis Amaran (Jamis/Sutter Home) has sewn up the Individual Classification, the team title is still up for grabs.
Amaran holds such a wide lead, 334 points on his closest competitor, that no rider can overtake him for the #1 ranking. The Thater race is ranked 1.2 on the NRC which means that the winner gets 120 points.
But in the team classification, Fly V Australia holds a slim lead of 63-point on Jamis/Sutter Home and 149 points on UnitedHealthcare. With only the top 5 riders per team counting for the points, the battle will be on between Fly V Australia’s Jonathan Cantwell, Bernie Sulzberger and Ben Kersten who sit in 4th, 14th and 15th on the NRC and UnitedHealthcare’s Karl Menzies, Hilton Clarke and Jake Keough, in 9th, 12th and 16th respectively. And the Australian squad makes no bones about it, they want the title.
Also expected to be on the start line is newly crowned US Pro Crit Champion Daniel Holloway (BISSELL).
The Men’s USA CRITS Series still has the Chris Thater Memorial to contest before its finals in Dallas, TX at the TX TOUGH GRAND PRIX III. The overall lead has never been so close with 2 races still to go. Clayton Barrows (AXA Equitable) has only a 4 point lead over Maxxis Best Young Rider Isaac Howe (Mountain Khakis f/b Jittery Joe’s). Watch for these two riders to be going head-to-head for the mid-race points prime.
USA Crits Finale. Cath Cheatley is poised to win the NRC championship title in the women’s individual rider competition while her team, Colavita/Baci Women’s’ Cycling Team p/b Cooking Light, leads the team standings with 234 points on Team TIBCO/To The Top. Both squads are fielding a team for the race on Saturday but the fight will be for the USA CRITS Series title.
The battle for the Orange leader’s jersey presented by Champion System has switched hands three times through the USA CRITS Series. Erica Allar (Team VBF) took over the lead at the 3rd race of the series, the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium which she has held since then. The battle is on with her closest competitor is Tiffany Pezzulo (Treads.com/DFT) at 110 points down. Maxxis Best Young Rider p/b Cyclingnews.com Kacey Manderfield (Cycle Loft) is in 3rd at 181 points down and is currently not on the list of pre-registered riders.
Allar knows a thing or two about winning a Series title; last year she won the Best Young Rider competition. “I am honored to be in the lead heading into such a classic event as the Chris Thater Memorial,” says Allar. “I was ecstatic to be able to follow all of the events on the Series, and I am looking forward to finishing the Series at Thater and defending my lead.”
Pezzulo will be laying it all on the line at Thater, especially since the race is only a few hours from her hometown of Rochester, NY. “The Series has been great for me,” says Pezzulo. “The racing has been awesome and all the courses have offered something really unique and interesting. I am excited about being in 2nd in the overall, and I’m looking forward to giving it everything at Thater. After a disappointing race in Charlotte, I’m especially motivated to come to Thater ready to fight as hard as I can to regain the leader’s jersey.”
Of note also, it will be the last race for Brooke Miller of TIBCO/To The Top, winner of the race in 2009.
On Saturday, at 5pm ET, the women pro/1/2 field will race 35 miles (56 km) on the 0.85-mile (1.4-km) four-corner counter-clockwise course with a short hill.
The following day, at 11:3 am PT, the men pro/1 50-mile (80.5-km) crit is raced on a technical 1.2-mile (1.9 km) course with 6 corners and the same hill.