IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Quotes from some top contenders in Greenville


USA Cycling Chief Operating Officer Sean Petty displays the new Volkswagen King of the Mountain jersey. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
USA Cycling Chief Operating Officer Sean Petty displays the new Volkswagen King of the Mountain jersey. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
The 2012 Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships kick off Saturday, May 26 in Greenville, S.C. A press conference was held on Friday with some of the top contenders and key partners. Check out some of the memorable quotes from the press conference here:

Sean Petty, COO of USA Cycling
"Every year we've had an exciting race, a worthy champion and we're looking forward to that again. I think it's only fitting that we bring this seventh edition to a close in Greenville with what is clearly the best field we've ever had in Greenville. It's a stacked field of talent, both young and old. We have the old guard, if you will, with George (Hincapie) and Chris (Horner), but then of course the younger guys with Tejay (van Garderen), Andrew (Talansky), Ben (King) and Matthew (Busche). It's a great combination. I think there will be some real battles on the road."

George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C./BMC Racing Team)— Greenville resident, Three-time USA Cycling Professional Road National Champion (1998, 2006, 2009)
"I'm always motivated to race at home. One thing is for sure, I won't underestimate Matthew's sprint. I didn't really know he had a sprint like that. I thought I had it in the bag, but obviously, that wasn't the case. Hats off to him, he had a great ride. He's been riding really well at the Amgen Tour of California this last week. He's definitely one of the contenders. I'm just happy to be back here racing in front of my family and friends. Greenville is very special to me, obviously, I'm proud to showcase a sport that I've been doing for the better part of 30 years. I hope that everybody has a good time and a fun race."

"It's really good to see not only them (the young American talent) coming into the sport, but how good they are. They're winning races all over the world. The young, American generation now is arguably the best ever. We're going to see these guys winning for several years. I'm happy to sit back and watch because I'm excited that the future of American cycling looks bright."

Matthew Busche (Wauwatosa, Wisc./RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) — 2011 USA Cycling Professional Road National Champion
"It's been a fun year. It's gone a little too fast, I think. I can't believe I'm back here already. I wouldn't mind another opportunity to sport the jersey for another year, but it's been good."

"I'm sure there's probably pressure, but I think there's as much pressure as anyone else. Maybe the odds are stacked against me to defend, but I think everyone has equal odds to win. We'll have to see what happens on Monday."

Tejay van Garderen (Fort Collins, Colo./BMC Racing Team) Best Young Rider 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge
"I've never really had a good one-day championship event time trial, so I'm trying different preparation this year. It's an experiment. I don't know how I'm going to do tomorrow. Most of my good time trials have come in GC (general classification) time trials, but I'm really hoping for a good ride."

"Any race you go to you always have the possibility of winning. Dave (Zabriskie) is obviously going to be strong and on-form, but it's not impossible that someone else like me or Andrew Talansky tomorrow could end up being the national time trial champion."

George Hincapie, Tejay van Garderen and Matthew Busche were among the distinguished guests on the dais at the kickoff press conference. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
George Hincapie, Tejay van Garderen and Matthew Busche were among the distinguished guests on the dais at the kickoff press conference. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
Ben King (North Garden, Va./RadioShack-Nissan)2010 USA Cycling Professional Road National Champion
"My parents and my sister are going to drive down for the weekend. I'm going to drive back with them. If its something I can drive to, then it's a local event, so that's pretty exciting. I've always looked forward to coming back here for the past couple years. This race has been a gauge for me to measure my progress in the sport. The first year I didn't finish. The next year, I went in the breakaway and got caught before the finish and then the following year I went in the breakaway and didn't get caught before the finish. It's a really awesome course in a fair and exciting venue."

Andrew Talansky (Napa, Calif./Garmin-Barracuda) — 2010 U23 National Champion
"I actually started racing with the under-23 national team in my last year as an under-23. I came into cycling a little later than some guys. They (USA Cycling) have a pretty incredible program. It gives you, as a young rider, the opportunity to take part in some of the best one-week stage races that under-23 riders can take part in culminating in Tour L'Avenir at the end of the season. They really have a good program. You see guys like Tejay (van Garderen) and myself their teammate Brent Bookwalter and guys on my team like Alex Howes - pretty much if you name a young, American, successful cyclist, chances are they've spent time with the national team so it's a great program and it's still turning out great riders."

Carlos Moledacombat injured Navy seal, two-time handcycling national champion
"I think racing in Greenville (his hometown) is great. I was here last year and it was the start of a pretty big journey for me, trying to make the national paralympic team. I've been living in South Carolina for about six years now. It's a beautiful place for me to train and race. I'm really excited to be here."

Check out a complete photo gallery from the press conference.

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