The men and women of Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies head to Chattanooga, Tenneessee this weekend to defend their two national titles and hunt for more at the 2014 US Road and Time Trial National Championships.
The team heads into the chase for more national titles fresh off two highly successful race campaigns. At last week’s Tour of California, the men won a stage and the king of the mountain competition. One week earlier, the women claimed best overall team at the inaugural Women’s Tour of Britain, while also landing two podiums at the 2-day Tour of California women’s event.
“With the women coming off big results at home and overseas and the men having perhaps their best week in team history at the Tour of California and dealing with the heat and incredibly tough courses there, both teams should be flying,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney.
The team will defend titles in both disciplines – Tom Zirbel in the time trial, and Jade Wilcoxson in the road race. Select riders will tackle the 19-mile course for the time trial on Saturday before chasing the coveted road race title on Sunday across a twisting course with multiple standalone circuits.
“With two titles to defend, it definitely brings added pressure and excitement for us. Everyone is very excited to see Tom defend his first TT title, and the road course always makes for a very competitive race. I think we have the ability this year to land a big result on Monday,” added Carney.
The road race course retains its unique layout for 2014, including three separate circuits. The grinding 1,100 foot ascent of Lookout Mountain is again its centerpiece, tackled four times by the men and two by the women. Both pelotons will roll through an opening and closing circuit in downtown Chattanooga, and new for 2014, tackle Chattanooga’s own “wall” on Kent Street, a one block kicker reaching 20 percent grade.
2014 US National Championships Roster
Jesse Anthony (road race)
Alex Candelario (road race)
Mike Friedman (road race, time trial)
Brad Huff (road race)
Carter Jones (road race)
Bjorn Selander (road race)
Tom Soladay (road race)
Eric Young (road race)
Tom Zirbel (road race, time trial)
Scott Zwizanski (road race, time trial)
Janel Holcomb (road race, time trial)
Jade Wilcoxson (road race, time trial)
Maura Kinsella (road race, time trial)
Lauren Hall (road race, time trial)
Brianna Walle (road race, time trial)