FanPost

It's Time To Talk Domestic Cycling

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Photo by Jon Safka, Winston-Salem Cycling Classic

One of the first events on the North American cycling calendar – next month's Winston-Salem Cycling Classic – is also one of the few UCI races in the U.S. (and one of only two for women, in fact) in 2014.

On the men's side, all the top U.S. domestic teams are expected to compete, along with a few international squads (Garneau, Jet Fuel Coffee, Incycle-Predator). The women's field has UnitedHealthcare, Team TIBCO, Optum and international teams from Slovenia, Colombia and Mexico. Even better, there is live streaming planned for some of the two days of racing.

Here's the official release:

Winston-Salem Cycling Classic Offers More For 2014

Winston-Salem, N.C. –
This year's Winston-Salem Cycling Classic will feature more racing and more visibility for the event that features one of only two UCI women's races in the United States.

National Racing Calendar/UCI road races for men and women take place Friday, April 18, with National Criterium Calendar/USA CRITS Series races for both the following day. Interspersed between those events are USA Cycling-sanctioned criteriums, the return of last year's popular gran fondo and plans for live, online streaming of select races.

"We heard a lot of feedback from participants last year who said these races were some of the toughest in America," Race Director Ray Boden said. "They loved the intense competition of our races and the downtown courses. Our goal this time is to make everything bigger and better."

Friday's 50.4-mile road race for women rolls out at 9:30 a.m., followed by the men's 120-mile road race at 12:30 p.m. USA Cycling criterium races on a new, 1.5-mile course near Winston-Salem's Innovation Quarter begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude before the finish of the pro men's road race.

Winston-Salem Competition Director Kurt Stockton, who raced professionally himself and has directed several men's and women's pro teams, said the goal in the event's second year was to attract top talent and make the UCI 1.2 races a must-stop on the U.S. racing circuit.

"The Winston-Salem Cycling Classic has already confirmed the top tier of UCI-registered, U.S.-based men's and women’s teams to compete against a quality foreign contingent, which no doubt will make for very dynamic and exciting racing," Stockton said. "As one of only two UCI events for women in the U.S., we wanted to give the women a chance to compete at an international level – with home soil advantage – and an opportunity to earn coveted UCI points."

Saturday's pro criterium for women begins at 4:45 p.m. and at 6 p.m. for pro men, both on a 0.9-mile loop through downtown. A 50-mile and 80-mile gran fondo in the morning and a special USA Cycling criterium in the afternoon precede both pro races. Live music from three bands will provide additional entertainment, Boden said.

"The three biggest criterium bike races in America will take place three weekends in a row, beginning with Charlotte the week before and wrapping up in Athens a week after our races," Boden said. "Within a couple years, I am confident that the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic will emerge as one of the premier cycling events in America."

More information on all events can be found on the official website, www.winstonsalemcycling.com. There is also an event page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/WSCycling. On Twitter, the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic will tweet under the handle @WSCycling and use the hashtag "#WinstonCycling" for all events.

– WSC –

About the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic
The Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, a USA Cycling-sanctioned event with a total purse of approximately $50,000, will take place April 18 and 19 in Downtown Winston-Salem, N.C., and surrounding areas. The Winston-Salem Cycling Classic is one of the 16 coveted National Racing Calendar (NRC) professional road bike races in America and the only one in North Carolina. For more information on the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, visit www.winstonsalemcycling.com.

What are you most looking forward to seeing on the domestic racing scene?

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