Round two of the Suzuki 24 Hour National Points Series (NPS) will head to the 1996 Olympic venue at the International horse Park of Conyers, Georgia, on May 17-18. Cyclingnews' diarists Eddie and Namrita O'Dea will be among those aiming for wins.
"You always feel a little extra pressure racing on your home course," said Eddie O'Dea. "I set this out as the race I wanted to win at the start of my 24 [hour] career, and I haven't done that yet. This is actually my fifth time racing at Conyers-some with success, others with spectacular failure. Last year I had a series of mechanicals, I lost my rear derailleur on lap one, then chasing back onto the front I lost too much energy.
"The first race I did here, back in 2004, was the best I've done, completing 23 or 24 laps," he recalled fondly. "It's pretty much the same course as back then."
In the men's solo category, Eddie O'Dea will race against 2007 NPS champion, Rob Lichtenwalner, who finished one place ahead of him at the opener at the 2008 season opener 24 Hours of Vail Lake.
Namrita O'Dea who won round one at Vail Lake is aiming again for the top spot on the podium. "That's my goal, that's what I'm going there for. But there's always a few strong women that show up for the Conyers race, so we'll just have to see."
The course may lack lung-searing climbs at altitude, but with fast doubletrack interspersed with rolling, technical singletrack sections, Conyers is far from a stroll through the park for the racers. "It's a surprisingly challenging course," said promoter Laird Knight of Granny Gear Productions. "The climbs are few, but over on the granite at the back end of the course, they're short and steep. You're always on the gas and the course keeps your heart rate pegged, it definitely favors sprinters but theyll have to keep it up lap after lap."
After Conyers, the series will head to Big Bear, West Virginia on June 7-8; Killington, Vermont on July 26-27, Landahl, Missouri on September 20-21 and Moab Utah on October 11-12.
For more information on the Conyers event or the series, visit www.grannygear.com.