USA CRITS Series leader Mark Hekman (Abercrombie & Fitch) is ready to continue defending his championship lead at this week's Iron Hill Twilight Criterium in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Hekman, who recently won the Tour of Ohio, feels confident he can continue defending his 202 point series lead from Frank Travieso (AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork).
"We have a real strong team now," declared Hekman, whose squad dominated the action in Ohio. "We're sending six guys to West Chester. A lot of the guys are students, so they're really coming into form right now, where earlier in the year they weren't feeling so good. Everything's coming together, so it should be pretty exciting. Everything for me right now is based around this Series. This is the number one priority."
An even tighter points competition exists in the women's field where Team Cheerwine's ace sprinter Laura Van Gilder holds a narrow four point lead over Team Ultralink's Shontelle Gauthier and Colavita-SutterHome's Mackenzie Dickey. Ally Brandt (Healthcoach) is a single laps-led point in front of Rebecca Larson, whose Aaron's Pro Cycling Team currently holds the top place in the women's team standings.
This week's race features a technical rectangular, one kilometre course that begins at the intersection of Gay and High Streets. Riders will complete 60 high-speed laps through West Chester's unique commercial district.