Sunny Southern California skies and mild temperatures will grace the first race in the H2O Overdrive Triple Crown Series this weekend.
In its first season after splitting from USA Cycling’s Pro Cross-Country Tour, the series has managed to attract North America’s top XC racers by offering richer purses that run deeper into the field rather than UCI points. Pro men and women will be vying for a potential $20,000 combined pro payout.
Expected to take on the four-mile loop in San Dimas’ Bonelli Park on Saturday are, among others, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Fisher), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing), Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air/Specialized) and Max Plaxton ( Sho-Air/Specialized). On the women’s side, Lene Byberg (Specialized Factory Racing), Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Fisher) and Pua Sawicki (Team Mata) are among the pros slated to race.
The Bonelli Park course features a four-mile loop, with 600-plus feet of climbing per lap. This year there is a special start loop on the first lap only to let the pack sort itself out and alleviate a bottle neck before a hike-a-bike section. Pro men will do six laps, and women are slated for five. Ty Kady, US Cup marketing director, said lap times look to be in the 15-17 minute range.
Saturday will be the H2O Overdrive XC race, while Sunday the riders will complete the Triple Crown event with a Short Track race and a Super D TT.
On March 27, the first Pro XCT race of the season kicks off in Fontana, California. While the race is being hosted by the organizers of the Triple Crown serics, the Fontana event is an UCI points race.