Organizers today announced the inaugural U.S. Open Cycling Championships racecourses, to be held on Saturday, April 7, 2007. The 112-mile professional me'¹s race, a stop on the international UCI Americas Tour (UCI 1.1) and the national USA Cycling Pro Tour, starts in historic Williamsburg at 8:10 a.m. on Francis Street in front of the colonial powder magazine. The course will then head past Jamestown, which this year is commemorating the 400th anniversary of its founding, and follow the first westward expansion into the New World by the English settlers. The James River Plantations, the Charles City County Courthouse, and the Civil War Malvern Hill Battlefield are all among the historic sites touched by the scenic course.
After 65-miles of racing the course enters Richmond where the pro men will begin an arduous 5.5-mile circuit that they¹ll traverse 8 times. The circuit includes a steep climb over cobblestones in Libby Hill Park, a passage by the Governor¹s Mansion, and an uphill finish at the Library of Virginia.
Tour de France veteran and television commentator Frankie Andreu stated: "the climb up Libby Hill is brutal. This race is a true test and with this course, only a real champion can win." The men will finish around 12:00 noon in front of The Library of Virginia. Live television coverage of the race will be broadcast on Jumbotrons set up both at the finish line and at Libby Hill Park.
The women's circuit race starts at 9:00 a.m. in Richmond in front of The Library of Virginia, and will finish at about 10:15 a.m. The women will race nine laps on a challenging 3-mile circuit that shares the western section of the men¹s course.
On Friday, promoters also announced some of the confirmed teams for the US Open as well. "It's no secret in professional cycling that North American racing is among the most aggressive, and dynamic in the world," Eustice said. "There's good reason that eleven out of the past twenty Tour de France's have been won by U.S riders and that the ranks of European pro teams are peppered with athletes formed in the rough and tumble of our racing."
Toyota-United will bring Ivan Dominquez and Henk Vogels into the event as pre-race favorites. Dominquez, known as the 'Cuban Missile,' has proved himself one of the fastest men in the world with his Stage 7 win at the Amgen Tour of California, beating a host of top European sprinters. Henk Vogels, the tough-as-nails Australian with years of European racing experience, will think himself back in Belgium on the eight climbs up Libby Hill's cobblestone path.
Team Symmetrics Sven Tuft, recent winner of the Tour of Cuba, will lead the Canadian challenge. Mexico's Tecos de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara racing team, currently in a dog-fight for the leadership of the UCI Americas Tour Team classification will be led by Fausto Marcelino Muñoz - overall winner of the UCI-ranked Univest Grand Prix in 2006.
Former World Champion Danny Pate (US) heads Team Slipstream powered by Chipotle, who will be just back from a very successful European campaign.
Cuban Frank Trevisio and 22-year old Keith Norris (US) lead the dominant team from the South, AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork, a team with twenty wins already in 2007.
The same-day national broadcast on NBC Sports will be broadcast at 2:30-5:00 p.m.