The men’s team will toe the line at the final one-day race of the UCI and NRC calendar this weekend at the newly christened Reading 120 in Reading, PA on September 12. The UCI 1.2 ranked, 120 mile circuit race, described as “very long and very hard” on the race’s website, will be the final tune-up for the team as it prepares for a historic culmination of the season at the UCI World Championships in Richmond, VA. With the Orange & Black currently leading the UCI America Tour and NRC team standings, the race will also be a chance to cement their win in both.
As circumstances demand, NRC leader Mike Woods will be absent from the race, for good reason – he will compete alongside Team Canada at two WorldTour ranked one-day races in Montréal and Québec. The courses there are well-suited to Woods’ skillset, and serve as final preparation for the climber before he competes in his first world championship road race for Team Canada. Woods currently leads the prestigious UCI Amerca Tour individual standings by a comfortable margin.
“Woods is leading the NRC now and we are very close to bringing home the team overall victory. It would be great to have Mike here, but the World Tour races in Canada are a big opportunity that we did not want to deny him.” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “It might cost us the overall, but as a general rule, we don’t concern ourselves so much with the NRC. We do the races and always try to win them – if we win the overall at the end of the year, it’s a nice bonus and proof we are doing our jobs well. We will just go out and race to win on Saturday.”
The seventh and final UCI race of 2015 on American soil opens with a rolling 75-mile loop through the magnificent preserved farmland of Berks County, and culminates with laps through Reading featuring five grueling climbs of Mount Penn. This climb should drastically change the type of rider who will be able to contest the podium.
“It’s a really hard course and it is made for climbers, so the tactics aren’t overly complicated. However, it’s September and this time of year crazy stuff happens, so we have to be ready for anything.”
Following the Reading 120, a slightly modified roster will contest another Pennsylvania mainstay at the Doylestown Criterium on September 13, part of the Thompson Bucks County Classic bike festival. Following the criterium, it is full speed ahead for Richmond, with the team traveling into the city for a week of final training and reconnaissance for their fourth attempt at a team time trial world championship podium.
“We want the guys at sea level on the East coast for a week to prepare for the Worlds TTT, and Reading fits the schedule nicely,” said Carney. “We will leave for Richmond on Monday and spend the final week doing TTT work.”
Reading 120 Roster
Doylestown Criterium Roster