By Mark Zalewski
This week at the International Tour de Toona in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the NRC standings took a significant change, both in terms of the team and individual standings. Health Net-Maxxis' Karl Menzies and Rory Sutherland dominated the race with a one-two overall finish. With NRC leader Ben Jacques-Maynes (Priority Health) not in 'Toona this week, Sutherland's second place should vault him into first place in the NRC, while Menzies' two stage wins, six days in the leader's jersey and the overall win will easily move him up into the top five as well. And winning today's final criterium, making it three stage wins, confirmed this.
"It's always been a great race and well attended," said team director Jeff Corbett about the quality of the field his team dismantled. "In the spring teams like Navigators and Slipstream are in Europe somewhat. It's great those guys were here with good names. We really wanted to bring a special squad to this like everyone else does. Great courses and a true seven days - it was great to do a TTT too!"
While Health Net-Maxxis had the top two in the GC, Toyota-United occupied third through sixth, thanks to the team time trial. This means that the team NRC standings remain as close as ever, with Toyota-United slightly higher than Health Net-Maxxis, and Navigators Insurance a distant third.
'Toona represents the last road race of the NRC calendar and only seven races left in total - all criteriums with three rated 1.2 or higher. This sets the stage for a NRC showdown in the month of August.