Michael Creed heads into the US national road championships this weekend with uncertain form after completing a gruelling Tour of Ireland. Creed, who has three national U23 time trial titles to his name among his 22 career national championships, will compete in both the time trial and road race this weekend in Greenville, South Carolina.
Creed finished a highly credible sixth in last year's time trial, 1:27 behind winner and this year's favourite Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream). Since then Creed has had a turbulent 12 months, having lost his place at Rock Racing and finding a new home at Team Type 1 in June.
"I came into the team in June and I've been racing non-stop since then, running double duty between the stage race and crit squads, trying to prove myself with the team," Creed told Cyclingnews. "I've enjoyed it, though. At Rock I wasn't racing and I really missed that. To be honest, I'm not very confident of my chances this weekend. I'm trying to hold my form but it's going to be difficult.
"I feel like I've been on pretty good form for two months now. I was in the top 10 overall at Nature Valley but since moving to Type 1 I've raced almost non-stop."
Creed returned from the Tour of Ireland two days ago and despite the inclement weather and demanding course profile, enjoyed the experience and the chance to use the event as training. Despite the busy schedule Creed was able to find some form on the final stage, riding at the head of the field for most of the day in order to bring back a number of dangerous escapes.
"On paper it was really good to do the race. Every day was 190 kilometres and you don't get that in the States, I just hope I can rebound from that."
As for the national time trial course, Creed picked Dave Zabriskie and Tom Zirbel as the favourites. "It's a bit technical but not too bad. Someone has told me they've tried to repave the climb but that they've done a terrible job and the climb could be harder."
In the road race Creed also pointed to a possible domination from Garmin-Slipstream. "They are going to have the numbers and will try to place as many guys in the early break and they'll have the numbers at the end. They have a guy like Danny Pate who is probably the strongest guy in the race now depending how George [Hincapie] is recovering after his broken collarbone."
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