The final 2011 USA National road title, the USA Pro Criterium, will be awarded this Saturday, as past of the Herman Miller Grand Cycling Classic in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The national championship race begins at 11:45 a.m. ET and will be streamed live.
“They added a right, left, left to the course which is new. It doesn’t change a lot because it’s a wide, open course.” said 2010 USA Pro Crit Champion Daniel Holloway (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth).
Half of the top 10 finishers from the 2010 professional criterium national championship are registered, including Holloway who claimed the national title by finishing fourth but first American in the race.
After a tough season, Holloway is starting to find his form and will be looking to keep the Stars and Stripes in the team. “We’ll just see what (DS) Jonas (Carney) laid down for tactics and we’ll just follow it, the team has been doing well. Everybody has been following what Jesse (Anthony) had been doing and we’re just going to try and take his momentum out of Utah and roll with it.”
Holloway’s teammate Alex Candelario is also a contender for the title and the team should be fielding the biggest numbers in the race with 13 riders registered. 2005 Crit Champion Brad Huff (Jelly Belly) will be present along with his teammate, another strong sprinter Ken Hanson who finished a very close fifth last year and a 6-rider Jelly Belly squad.
With the sponsor based in Grand Rapids, the pressure is on Bissell Pro Cycling with both experienced sprinters Frank Pipp and Kyle Wamsley and young sprinters Eric Young and Andrew Dahlheim in their 9-rider squad.
A favorite Jake Krough (UnitedHealthcare) who has won multiple races, in bunch sprints, over the season including Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium, but Keough will be without most of his leadout train made up of non-American riders.
Other sprinters in the 50-rider field to watch include Bobby Sweeting (Kenda/5-Hour Energy) who just won a stage at the Tour of Elk Grove and his teammate Isaac Howe. (See pdf roster)
Not the championships for the women which were held earlier, the women’s 45-minute criterium in however on the NRC schedule. A small field is registered including favorite Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo). Her biggest competition will be from the TIBCO/To The Top team which includes U23 Crit Champion Samantha Schneider. (See pdf roster)
- 11:45am EST: Men’s USA Cycling Pro Criterium National Championship, 80 KM Race (1.2 KM Course)
- 2:20pm EST: Senior Women’s Pro/Am, NRC Category 1/2, 45 Minute
- 3:15pm EST: Senior Men’s Category 1/2/3, 45 Minute
- 4:05pm EST: Masters 40+ Category 1/2/3/4, 40 Minute
- 4:55pm EST: Senior Men’s Category 4/5, 40 Minute