7 athletes set to contend second race of US Gran Prix of Cyclocross series
The Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies cyclocross team goes on the offensive this weekend in Fort Collins, CO, fielding a complete, seven-rider roster at the SmartWool Cup, the second race of the TREK US Gran Prix of Cyclocross, America’s premier ‘cross series.
The roster fuses Optum p/b KBS ‘cross specialists Tristan Schouten and Amanda Miller with NRC road champion and second runner-up Carmen Small and Jade Wilcoxson and men’s road racing crossovers Alex Candelario, Mike Sherer, and Jesse Anthony. It is the first time in Optum p/b KBS’ inaugural ‘cross season that all seven athletes will assemble on one course. Performance Manager Eric Wohlberg expects a fun, challenging weekend for the full complement of athletes on the challenging Fort Collins course.
“I am very excited to have the full team assemble here in Fort Collins,” said Wohlberg. “A lot of the ‘cross team is coming off a great road season, and our riders have been translating their fitness into some good results so far this fall. We are looking forward to a great weekend in front of our friends, sponsors and fans.”
The newly minted Optum p/b KBS team has been scattered around the country during the season’s early goings, but continues to build steam heading into the cold, muddy heart of the season. Wilcoxson recently scored three wins and Candelario one at events in Oregon, topping podiums in Portland, Bend, and Gresham. Jesse Anthony and Tristan Schouten, whose form continues to grow as the season rolls on, have raced to a handful of top ten finishes in Madison, Massachusets, and Rhode Island, are sure to be on the attack in Fort Collins.
Schouten, who recently surged to an 8th place finish at Rhode Island’s Providence Cycloross Festival, is excited for the chance to join up with a full compliment of teammates for the first time in 2012.
“Fort Collins will be the first time Amanda and myself will join the road riders that make up the rest of the ‘cross team, so it should be a lot of fun,” said Schouten. “I’m excited to meet everyone and am really looking forward to cheering on the women’s team as well as having a really strong group to race with in the men’s event. The USGP series races are some of the toughest in the country, and having a strong team backing each other up can be a huge difference maker.”
The cyclocross season kicks into high gear for Optum p/b KBS in October. The team will tackle events in Boulder, CO and Irvine, CA later this month before keying in the season’s major milestones – Louisville’s USGP Derby City Cup (Nov 10-11) and the American National Championships in Madison, WI, January 12-13th.
2012 SmartWool Cup Roster
2012 Optum p/b KBS Cyclocross Schedule
Sept 16: Nittany Lion Cross – Breinigsville, PA
Set 22, 23: The Planet Bike Cup USGP – Sun Prairie, WI
Sept 26: The Gateway Cross Cup – St. Louis, MO
Sept 29, 30: NEPCX – Gran Prix of Gloucester – Gloucester, MA
October 6-7: NEPCX – Providence Cyclo-cross Festival – Providence, RI
Oct 13,14: The Fort Collins Cup USGP – Ft. Collins, CO
Oct 20,21: Spooky Cross – Irvine, CA
Oct 27,28: Boulder Cup – Boulder, CO
Nov 2,3,4: Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival – Cincinnati, OH
Nov 10,11: The Derby City Cup USGP – Louisville, KY
Nov 16, 17, 18: The Jingle Cross Rock, Iowa City, IA
Dec 8,9: The Deschutes Brewery Cup USGP – Bend, OR
Jan 5,6: Chicago Cyclocross Cup New Year’s Resolution – Bloomingdale, IL
Jan 12, 13: American National Championships – Madison, WI
Optum p/b KBS’ 2012 results, featuring four victories and eight top-ten finishes:
1st – River City Bicycle Cross Crusade 1, Portland, OR. – Jade Wilcoxson
1st – Thrilla Cross, Bend, OR. – Alex Candelario
1st – Battle at Barlow, Gresham, OR. – Jade Wilcoxson
1st – Fazio Farms Cross, Portland, OR. – Jade Wilcoxson
4th – River City Bicycle Cross Crusade 1, Portland, OR. – Alex Candelario
8th – Providence Cyclocross Festival 2, WI (UCI C2) – Tristan Schouten
9th – Gran Prix of Gloucester 2, MA. (UCI C2) – Tristan Schouten
10th – Gran Prix of GLoucester 1, MA. (UCI C1) – Jesse Anthony
11th – Providence Cyclocross Festival 1, WI (UCI C1) – Tristan Schouten
12th – Gran Prix of Gloucester 1, MA. (UCI C1) – Tristan Schouten
13th – USGP Planet Bike Cup 1, Sun Prairie, WI. (UCI C1) – Tristan Schouten
13th – USGP Planet Bike Cup 2, Sun Prairie, WI. (UCI C2) – Tristan Schouten