Nation's top young road racers converge in Oregon

Colorado Springs, Colo. (June 17, 2010) – Over 750 racers are registered to face off in the cycling mecca of Bend, Ore. next week as the USA Cycling Juniors, U23, Elite and Paralympic Road National Championships come to town June 22-27. Twenty-four national titles and seven spots on USA Cycling’s 2010 UCI Road Cycling World Championships squad will be on the line as participants compete for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys in criterium, time trial, and road race events. New this year, and sure to be the highlight of downtown Bend on Friday evening, is the addition of the men’s and women’s elite criterium contests.   
 
The USA Cycling Junior, U23, Elite, and Paralympic Road National Championships will kick off with the road and criterium contests for the younger junior categories, along with the paracycling divisions, on Tuesday and Wednesday. All categories will then compete in the race against the clock on Thursday, June 24, before the nation’s top young riders age 15+ duke it out in the criterium and road race contests over the weekend.
 
The men’s and women’s elite criterium contests, moved from their traditional home in Downers Grove, Ill. as a part of the USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championships, will also be held in conjunction with this event. See the event’s official schedule for a complete agenda of all the action. 
 
Winners of the women’s elite, men’s U23 and men’s and women’s junior 17-18 divisions of the road race and time trial contests will be eligible for automatic nomination to the team that will represent the United States at the 2010 UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Australia in September.
 
With world championship spots on the line, nearly all of the nation’s top up-and-coming young U23 riders will be on hand in Bend to fight for the right to call themselves the best of the next generation. Coming off a third-place overall finish at the recent Canadian Nations Cup Ben King (North Garden, Va./Trek-Livestrong) is sure to be a favorite, along with recent Volta Tarragona runner-up Andrew Talansky (Napa, Calif./Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) and 2009 criterium champion Alex Howes (Boulder, Colo./Clif Bar). Recent Pan American track medalist Cody O’Reilly (Santa Barbara, Calif./Bissell), Jacob Rathe (Portland, Ore./Jelly Belly) and local favorite Ian Boswell (Bend, Ore./Bissell) also look to be amongst a slew of talented cyclists who will contend for the Stars-and-Stripes.
 
The nation’s top female cyclists will also highlight the competition next week in Bend; duking it out in the time trial late-day on Thursday, the criterium Friday evening and the road race on Sunday morning. Among this year’s favorites are 2008 Olympian and former time trial world champion Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif./Veloce-Webcor), second-place overall finisher in the 2009 Women’s Giro, Mara Abbott, (Boulder, Colo./Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12), current USA Cycling National Racing Calendar leader Alison Powers (Boulder, Colo./Vera Bradley Foundation),defending national road race champ Meredith Miller (Fort Collins, Colo./TIBCO), Brooke Miller (Santa Cruz, Calif./TIBCO) the 2008 road race champ and Shelley Evans (Scotts Valley, Pa./Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12) winner of this season’s Tour of New Zealand. Also expected to be major factors are former Wall Street investment banker turned champion cyclist Evelyn Stevens (New York, N.Y./HTC-Columbia), last year’s time trial winner Jessica Phillips (Aspen, Colo./Colavita-Baci-Cooking Light) and Amber Rais (Reno, Nevada/TIBCO).
 
Not to be overlooked, the junior 17-18 competition will feature some of the top talent seen in the U.S. in years as the most decorated junior cyclist in history, Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calf./Peanut Butter & CO TWENTY 12), will look to pad her closet with her 26th Stars-and-Stripes jersey. Last year’s UCI Junior World Championship Time Trial silver-medalist Lawson Craddock (Houston, Texas/Hot Tubes) will also be on hand to prepare for another run at the prestigious world championship rainbow jersey. Reigning elite men’s road race champion Michael Olheiser (Huntsville, Ala./Tri Star Cycling) will also lead the field of the country’s top amateur men.   
 
The week’s 750+ racers will contest six different courses across the three events in the Bend area dependent upon age and ability level. For more information including schedules, rules, course maps and more, visit the Juniors, U23, Elite Road National Championships official event page. Stay tuned to www.usacycling.org for coverage throughout the event. To view and purchase a variety of high-quality images from the week’s racing, visit CascadeEventPhotography.com.
 
The City of Bend is once again rolling out the red carpet for its cycling visitors. For a complete list of ancillary events, including junior group rides, Friday’s USA Cycling Block Party and Saturday’s screening of new cycling flick Chasing Legends at the historic Tower Theatre, check out the Visit Bend website.    
 
Fourteen national champion titles will also be up for grabs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday across disciplines and genders of paracycling at the 2010 U.S. Paralympics Cycling Road National Championships. The competition is also the sole selection event for the 2010 Para Road Cycling World Championships in August. For more detailed coverage of the paracycling portion of the event, visit www.usparalympics.org

Photo caption: Meredith Miller celebrates after winning the 2009 USA Cycling Elite Women's Road National Championship in Bend. 
Photo Courtesy: Carson Blume
 
About USA Cycling   
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 66,500+ licensees; 2,200 clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,650 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.
 


This Article Published June 17, 2010 For more information contact:
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