USA women's and men's racing - the 2014 Winston Salem Classic - and we can watch it live!

The USA races are so good about giving us coverage - and this week it's North Carolina's turn to show us what they can do, with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic - with one of only 2 UCI-level women's races in the country, a Round of the National Road Series and a round of the US Crits series. We can watch the men's and women's races live, and I'll tell you all about them. Bear in mind I am new to USA racing, so please please tell me more in the comments!

Friday 18th April - Road Race

The women start first, at 9:30am USA EST (6:30am USA PST; 2:30pm UK BST; 15:30 Euro CEST; 11:30pm Aus AET) and the course is 8 laps of an 11km circuit with a climb that gets up to 10% – 91km in total.  The Velofocus preview gives more information - and if you're not into women's racing, don't worry, it's the same course as for the men.

The men start at 1pm EST (10am USA PST; 6pm UK BST; 19:00 Euro CEST; 3am Saturday Aus AET) and they race 15 laps - 171km.

The video above will show us both races - and we can also follow the race twitter, and hashtag #WinstonCycling for live updates.

There are some big competitions here - and this is who the race organisers tell us to watch out for

The Women's race

  • Mara Abbott (United Healthcare) - two-times Giro Rosa winner, and so far she's won the Vuelta El Salvador and a stage of the Redlands Classic
  • Amber Neben (FCS Cycling Team presented by Zngine + Mr. Restore) - 2008 World Time Trial Champion and superstar of the road, coming back from a horrible hip injury last year
  • Shelley Olds (Alé Cipollini-Galassia) - one of the top sprinters and Classics riders, she's a USA rider who is mostly based in Europe
  • Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling, presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) - USA Road Champion,, she won last year with excellent attacking skills
  • Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) - impossible not to make the "Powers by name, powers by nature" joke!  She's a superstrong time trialler and will always ATTTTTAAAACCCKKK!!!
  • Joanne Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO) New Zealand champ and track rider racing in the USA
  • Erica Allar (Colavita/Fine Cooking Stradalli) You'll see more of her in the crits - she won the 2012 & 2013 USA Crits season, and the 2014 Delray Beach Twilight Crit
  • Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom presented by Pink Siren Sports) - veteran rider with an absolute ton of experience

Startlist on Cycling Fever

The Men's race

  • Zach Bell (SmartStop) - Canadian national road champion
  • Alex Candelario (Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) - his final year racing, after a 15-year career
  • Jake Keough (5-hour Energy presented by Kenda Racing Team)
  • Jeff Louder (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)
  • Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) - stage winner and the overall champion at the 2014 Redlands Bicycle Classic

***

Saturday 19th April - the pro Crit

The women's crit starts at 4:45pm USA EST (1:45pm USA PDT; 9:45pm UK BST; 22:45 Europe CEST; 6:30am Sunday Aus AET) and is an hour-long race, and then the men go out at 6pm EST (3pm USA EST; 11pm UK BST, 00:00 Euro CEST & 8am Sunday Aus AET) and race for an hour and fifteen minutes. 

The course is classic crit-style, with 6 corners.  The USA Crits series is a lot of fun, and if you want to see what’s happened in the previous races, watch them on Youtube, follow their twitter and check out their website.

***

It's the same stream for the women and the men, and the videos will have the archived coverage after the race is over. If you want more info on the race, and all the other superb stuff that’s happening over the weekend, including amateur races, the Gran Fondo, the live music and other events, head over to the race website and check out their facebook.  We'll have a live thread for the road races, so come along and watch - and as I say, tell me more about these races in the comments!

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