The National Racing Calendar continues its North East tilt this week. The Basking Ridge Twilight Criterium — known this year as the Base Camp International — went off Wednesday evening. The Tour of Somerville will close a full weekend of racing in New Jersey.
Not on the NRC but a regional classic still, the Iron Horse Classic will get underway Saturday in Durango, Colorado.
Tour of Somerville – Somerville, New Jersey
Monday May 31
The Tour of Somerville has been held since 1940 and promotes itself as the longest running major bike race in the U.S.
The four-corner criterium will attract some of the top crit squads in the nation on Memorial Day. Current NRC team leaders Jamis-Sutter Home will be on hand. Alejandro Borrajo and Luis Amaran, who went one-two at least weekend’s Wilmington Grand Prix, are on the start list.
With the AMGEN Tour of California wrapped up, they’ll face a refocused Fly V Australia roster, with Alessandro Bazzana and Sunny King winner Ben Kersten, as well as hit squads from Bissell, Jelly Belly-Kenda, Kenda-Geargrinder, Team Type 1 and UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis.
Mike Friedman (Jelly Belly), Daniel Holloway (Bissell) and Aldo Ino Ilesic (Team Type 1) should each be hungry to wipe away sour memories from their California trips, which were each cut short.
The men will face 50 miles on the day and will be riding for a $15,000 purse.
The women’s field at Somerville is thin at present, but very strong. Brooke Miller (TIBCO-To The Top) returns from her long spring in Europe and will face off against the queens of the sprint game, including Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Kelly Benjamin and Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Baci).
The Colavita women have flexed the strongest leadout muscles in the women’s peloton this year; Van Gilder, Miller and her teammate Samantha Schneider will need to position themselves well in the closing laps behind the Colavita train to have a crack at the $7,500 purse.
The women will race for 20 miles Monday.
The Iron Horse Classic
The Iron Horse doesn’t have quite the same history as Somerville — it has only been held since 1972. Nevertheless the list of winners is a who’s who of American climbers over the last thirty years, including Ned Overend, Alexi Grewal, Jonathan Vaughters, Scott Moninger and Tom Danielson.
The Memorial Day weekend event includes the classic race-the-train 50-mile road race on Saturday, a criterium on Sunday and a time trial on Sunday, as well as a variety of citizen’s races and rides.
For the road race, defending champions Anthony Colby (Jelly Belly) and Mara Abbott (Peanut Butter & Co-Twenty12) are expected, as are previous men’s champions Drew Miller, Burke Swindlehurst and Ned Overend.
At least three members of Team Bahati are expected: Durangoan Ian Burnett, Corey Collier and Alex Hagman.