USA Crits heads into New York state for the ninth race in the eleven criterium series at the Chris Thater Memorial for that race's 25th anniversary. Held in Binghamton, New York, the race will see the best of the country's criterium racers compete for a $70,000 prize purse.
The event will also benefit the Broome County Stop DWI program - an important charity for the event whose namesake, Chris Thater, was killed by a drunken driver.
The Chris Thater event will be an important step for the overall standings in the USA Crits series. Yosvany Falcon (Toshiba-Santo presented by Herbalife) currently tops the series leaderboard followed by Adam Myerson (Time Pro Cycling), Frank Travieso (Toshiba-Santo), Seth Hansley (Locos Pub & Grill) and Mark Hekman (Toshiba-Santo).
"We’re going to have a really dynamic event this year because we've got 15 teams with six or more riders and 7 squads which have reached their eight-rider limit," said promoter Jim May. "This really creates the kind of team dynamics that allow squads to protect key riders until it's time to make their move. Toyota-United, Colavita/Sutter Home, Kelly Benefits, Rite Aid and Toshiba-Santo are among the teams that really know how to shred a field."
In the women's event, series leader Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine), who took second place in last year's race will need a good result to hold off second placed Jennifer Wilson (Vanderkitten). Taitt Sato (ValueAct Capital) is in third place but likely will find it impossible to make up all the ground between herself and the leaders.
The USA Crits series heads west after Chris Thater for the San Francisco Twilight Criterium on Saturday, September 13 before the climax in Las Vegas, on September 25th.
(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)