Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Leopard) came to the USA Cycling Professional National Championships fresh off a confidence-boosting sixth place finish at the Tour of California. Busche, a former road race national champion, was a disappointed in his time trial result on Saturday, but was mostly looking towards the road race as his main objective.
"I thought there was a chance I could get on the podium," said Busche about the time trial. "I think I was pretty close, but I knew Zirbel was the favorite, and I knew Brent would be in there probably for second or first, and then a tight race for third, and I just came up a tiny bit short there." Busche finished in seventh place 12 seconds down from third place finisher Nathan Brown.
Busche will be racing Monday's road race without any teammate, like several European riders in both the men's and women's races. But several riders with few or no teammates, like Timmy Duggan (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) last year, have managed to win the championships in the past, thanks to courses that favored power over tactics.
Busche will have to survive attacks from one of the strongest US peloton's in years. "I'm part of the now-known team 'No Team' with Timmy Duggan, and Ted King (Cannondale-Liquigas)," said Busche. "It's not like we are racing like a team as far as tactics in the race, but we are helping each other with the support. We've organized a little support crew for ourselves."
Lacking a team to help control the race Busche, a strong climber, was looking forward to seeing how Lookout Mountain would impact the race. "It's a new course and people are not going to know what to expect. I've heard the climb is maybe harder than Paris [Mountain, in Greenville], I'd be excited for that." Busche said. “As far as general race tactics I plan to be present. I assume similar to Greenville, the most pivotal moment will be last time up Lookout Mountain. "
Busche will be moving onto the Criterium du Dauphine after the national championships, and will then shift his focus to the Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado.