This weekend, the US plays host to three UCI races. Round six of the MAC series will take place on Sunday with HPCX, near Rutgers University in New Jersey. Meanwhile Boulder, Colorado plays host to two C2 races, the Colorado Cross Classic and Victory Circle Graphix Boulder Cup. HPCX will feature the mid-Atlantic’s best riders along with an invasion of New England riders in what could be a mud fest if hurricane Sandy makes landfall on Sunday. In Boulder, the story could center around the return of Todd Wells as he makes his 2012/13 cross season debut. Hereâ€™s what I expect to see this weekend:
Colorado Cross Classic (C2)
Ryan Trebon – although heâ€™s not on the start list, I canâ€™t imagine him only racing on Sunday at the Boulder Cup. Trebon won this race last year and should repeat. Heâ€™ll have his hands full with some strong local and international talent, but I expect him to get the job done.
Ben Berden – Berden finished fourth here last year, less than a minute behind Trebon. While he could pick up the victory, Iâ€™m going to give the edge to Trebon and say that Berden should podium in what promises to be an exciting race.
Todd Wells – the three-time US National Champion returns to cross after a stellar mountain bike season that saw Wells crisscrossing the world, including a great performance at the Olympics in London. The transition back to cross is always tough, but I expect big things out of Wells as he gets his season started.
Victory Circle Graphix Boulder Cup (C2)
Ben Berden – after finishing on the podium on Saturday, look for Berden to pick up his second victory of the season on Sunday. Berden beat a similar field last year that saw him edge out a four-man lead group in a dash to the line.
Ryan Trebon – the runner-up last year, Iâ€™m sure Trebon would love to go two-for-two in Boulder. If he gets away early, he could take the victory, but for some reason I expect him to split the weekend with Berden.
Todd Wells – this is a tough pick for me. Wells is a proven veteran and could easily land on the podium both days. However, my day two picks usually seem to miss the mark. Iâ€™m going to stick with my gut and say Wells lands on the podium again on Sunday.
Believe it or not, the riders to watch list is pretty lengthy. Guys like Danny Summerhill, Jesse Anthony, Brad White and Tristian Schouten could play spoiler this weekend in Boulder.
Adam Craig – after picking up a victory last weekend in Maine, look for the mountain bike star to cross the line first on Sunday. With a 60% chance of rain and 30mph winds in the forecast, I expect sloppy conditions and Craig is one of a couple of guys who could capitalize on that.
Justin Lindine – the last time Lindine visited the mid-Atlantic he swept the weekend at Granogue. Lindine should be in the hunt for victory, but in this case Iâ€™m giving the edge to Craig.
Dan Timmerman – if you go all the way back to my week one preview, youâ€™ll see Timmerman as a rider to watch. In six UCI races this season, he hasnâ€™t finished outside the top 15 and has been in the top five in half of those races. If conditions turn to a complete mess, it wouldnâ€™t surprise me to see Timmerman on the top step, but Iâ€™m going to stick with a podium prediction for him.