In conjunction with the men's CSC Invitational on May 29 will be a pro women's race, covering 50 laps of the five-turn, kilometre-long course. Defending champion Gina Grain of Victory Brewing Company will have her hands full with a talented field of teams including T-Mobile, lead by two-time winner Ina Teutenberg of T-Mobile.
"I haven't been back here since 2003," said Teutenberg. "There is always something to make this a hard, hard race. Last year it was the wind - 40 mile an hour gusts! This year, I think the depth of the field will keep the pace very high."
2003 Champion Laura Van Gilder and her Quark team will also be staking a claim for the top spot this year. Van Gilder will have team-mate and former Junior world champion Sarah Uhl, to complete their one-two punch. Last year's runner-up Shannon Hutchison (Aaron's Corporate Furnishings) will also be back, fresh off some great NRC performances in the last few weeks, including a win at the Athens Twilight Criterium.
Cyclingnews diarist and 2000 runner-up Nicole Freedman will also be back with her Ford-Basis team and witty humour. Freedman was the national road champion and an Olympian at the Sydney Games.
Other teams that will be participating include:
Team Snow Valley
U of Maryland
Gear Works/Spin Arts Cycling
Verducci Racing/Break Away bikes
Bicycle John's Serious Cycling
Overall event racing begins at 8am on Sunday, May 29, with a series of amateur races, followed by the women's race shortly after 10am. The CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Kids' race (free to all children 9 and under) begins at 11:35am, followed at by the CSC Invitational men's pro race at 12 noon.