26 May 2013

Watch US National Championships Road Live

Crowning a new National Champion - Road Cycling

It is Memorial Day weekend in the United States, a time to remember those who have served our country. A time to reflect upon the past and be in the present, a time to celebrate a 3-day weekend biking, hiking, picnicking, and putting out the flags.
If you happen to be around on Monday mid-day, and not on some grueling 6-hour bike ride, remember to watch the USA Cycling mens and womens National Championships Road in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There are several options to follow or watch the race live:

RESULTS: Full Results
Rodriguez wins fourth U.S. men’s road title, By VeloNews
Fast Freddie Gran Fondo, and a New Champion By Pedal Dancer 

Date: Monday, May 27, 2013
Race: Road Race Male Pro. (Official name: 2013 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships)
Race start time: Women 9:00 a.m., Men 1:15 p.m.

Watch Online: http://usacycling.thetourtracker.com/ (mens beginning at 11:30 a.m. MDT)
Tour Tracker App: iOS and Android devices
Follow on Twitter: #USPRO
TV: The last two hours of the men’s road race will be broadcast live on Universal Sports beginning at 4 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. MDT) on Monday, May 27, and, finally, there will be a recap show broadcast by NBC Sports on Sunday, June 2, at 1 p.m. EDT. Craig Hummer, Robbie Ventura and Kristin Armstrong commentators.
Official USA Cycling website:  http://www.usacycling.org/2013/pro-road-time-trial-nationals
More race coverage by CyclingNews: CyclingNews reports

Big news for 2013 - equal prize money for men and women's races!
Defending Champion Men: Timmy Duggan
Defending Champion Women: Megan Guarnier (Meet Megan: Megan Guarnier hopes to defend stars and stripes in Chattanooga, By VeloNews)
Timmy Duggan being interviewed by Dave Towle this month in California.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Timmy Duggan in his stars and stripes jersey, now with team Saxo Bank Tinkoff, but here with his old Cannondale teammates Peter Sagan and Ted King in California two weeks ago. ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
About the Race

National Championships race route: Road race course map (Men 161.9km, women 101.5km)
National Championships course profiles: Course Profiles
Mens road race timetable: Men's Road Race Trip Log (PDF)
National Championships registered riders start list (Mens and Womens): US National Championships start lists

The circuits, total distance:
Main Circuit: 16.1 mi./26.1 km
Start/Finish Circuit: 5.1 mi./8.2 km
Women: 3 start circuit/2 long circuits/3 finish circuits - 63.1 mi./101.5 km
Men: 4 start circuits/4 long circuits/3 finish circuits - 100.6 mi./161.9 km
I hope the riders can keep track of where they are
Yesterday, Individual Time Trial results: US National Champion Time Trial Results 2013
Chattanooga , TN, USA
The Giro d'Italia finished today in Brescia, Italy, in what appeared to be very annoying circuit loop, with Vincenzo Nibali winning the very pink Maglia Rosa in front of thousands of fans. All I could think as Mark Cavendish repeatedly sprinted in an attempt to determine when the actual intermediate sprint took place, was that fans in Italy actually watch a race instead of capturing it on their iphones, which means they actually see the bike race instead of just their devices, and so too do those standing next to them have a chance of seeing the race instead of each others devices. What a novel idea.

This final weekend in May is jammed packed with other sporting events that draw my attention away from cycling - the French Open, Indianapolis 500, Stanley Cup finals, and the Monaco Grand Prix. Still I care about who wins our national road race. It is a year long honor and a dream of so many young cyclists who have a dream of being a national champion, an Olympian, or a Grand Tour stage winner.

I have to be honest though, I was discouraged to see Danilo DiLuca welcomed back onto the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team and accepted to race in the Giro d'Italia, only to test positive for EPO and be kicked out of the race and again bring bad press to the event and to the port (His teammate Mauro Santambrogio also tested positive at the Giro). It was no surpirse to anyone that DiLuca was and is a doper. This is 2013, does anyone care to clean this sport up? I would have liked to have seen his entire team thrown out of the race, although if they had been, Stefano Garzelli (who was thrown out of the 2002 Giro for doping and is on the same team as DiLuca), would not have had his honored final farewell lap today before retiring from the sport.

I feel strongly that riders who have been found guilty of doping, through a positive sample, never be allowed to compete in Olympic or National Championship races. Therefore I find it hard to celebrate Tom Zirbel's win yesterday at the US National Time Trial Championships. An ex-doper wearing our National jersey should not inspire the youth of our junior racing program.

I hope a historically clean rider wins tomorrow, because I am loosing my patience with this doping issue. It is also shocking to look at this list 2012 national road cycling championships and realize how few countries even award a national champion title to a woman.

Update 05/28/13:
Fast Freddie won, and I eat my words, because whatever questions might arise, I like Freddie. I guess if I like a rider I can disregard any possible questions of the past and focus on the present. The truth is Freddie Rodriguez is nothing if not courteous to every fan he comes across and for that, and for the fact that he stuck to it through some rough years in this sport, I am happy for Fred Rodriguez. Plus I like the Jelly Belly team and hope to see the team represented at the tour in Colorado in 2013. Perhaps they will be invited after Freddie's win today.
Rodriguez wins fourth U.S. men’s road title, By VeloNews
Fast Freddie Gran Fondo, and a New Champion By Pedal Dancer

Meanwhile, good news, by brother and sister-in-law got themselves on a plane and are now in Cassis, France. 
Where they are happy to report they did not partake of the traditional French Breakfast of Champions