Happy Thanksgiving. Are you thankful for the opportunity to go race your bike this weekend? Or are you grateful that, after yesterday’s excesses, you don’t have to? Let’s take a look at who had to restrain themselves last night in order to perform this weekend:
Jingle Cross Rock (C2/C2/C1)
Iowa City has become synonymous over the past few years with Thanksgiving and cyclocross, offering a 3-day festival that kicks off Friday night and ends Sunday with an all-important UCI C1 race. Among other things, Jingle Cross Rock will mark the end of the cyclocross season of National Champion Todd Wells, as he prepares for the 2012 Olympics in London. Wells has had strong performances in Iowa in the past and would love to end his season with a bang. He’s also coming off of some very hot form that saw him win La Ruta de los Conquistadores and take second place to Jeremy Powers at the USGP a couple weeks ago. Will his form continue for another weekend?
Last year Jamey Driscoll raced Friday night, skipped Saturday and dominated on Sunday. Driscoll will most likely race all three days and should be in contention for the podium all weekend. Driscoll’s teammate Tim Johnson has struggled this season and looks to get back on track in Iowa. This weekend could be a good opportunity for them to snag wins and boost Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com’s low win tally for the season.
Canadian Aaron Schooler could surprise in Iowa and shouldn’t be counted out, especially after his solid ride at Nationals. Mid-westerners Brian Matter and Tristian Schouten have been riding very well as of late. Either rider could podium in Iowa City and may even be able to pull out a stellar victory if they play their cards right.
The bottom line is that it’s a field with some strong riders, but not as deep or as packed as some recent races – it could provide a great opportunity for some riders to show what they’ve got in the absence of Jeremy Powers and Ryan Trebon’s dominance that has been a marker of the season to date.
Baystate Cyclocross (C2)
Last year, Jeremy Powers dominated the two-day UCI Baystate Cyclocross event, that played host to the final rounds of the NACT. With Powers in Europe and Johnson in Iowa, this leaves the door wide open for New Englands top riders to grab some valuable UCI points. As always, the focus will be on Justin Lindine, who has struggled as of late, but looks primed to get back on the top step of the podium. Standing in Lindine’s way are the usual cast of characters including Canadians Dylan McNicholas and Adam St. Germain. Jerome Townsend has been riding very consistently this season and could podium.