The US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross heads to the 'Garden State', New Jersey this weekend for a first time visit to Mercer County Park in West Windsor. Racers will be treated to seasonably cool 'cross conditions after the warm weather of the series' first weekend in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Elite men's race will see another round in the rivalry between the Cyclocrossworld.com and Kona YourKey.com teams. USGP series leader Tim Johnson will be looking to retain his leader's jersey with a strong showing in New Jersey, while his team-mate Jeremy Powers, who won the first USGP race in Louisville, will be in the hunt as well. They'll have to contend with the 'twin towers', Kona-YourKey.com's Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks as well as Jesse Anthony, Christopher Jones and Italian winner of last weekend's New Jersey races, Davide Frattini.
In the Elite Women's field, USGP leader Katie Compton will be in Europe to try to regain her UCI leader's jersey, and will miss the weekend's event. Her absence leaves the door open for her competitors to gain points in the series standings. Vying for the series lead will be Georgia Gould, Lyne Bessette, Wendy Simms and Alison Sydor.
A first-time USGP venue, the Mercer Park course will run alongside a lake, with much of the course exposed to the wind. The course will feature a fly-over and three long sand pits lined up in a row as well as other technical spots designed to select riders with skill and determination.
"In general, with the fly-over, sand and grass there is more than enough on this course to make it very interesting," said USGP director Bruce Fina. "Throw in the strong winds coming off the lake and we're in for a great weekend of racing."
With less than one month to go before Nationals, everyone is in mid-season form and will be looking to put themselves in a good position to compete for the USGP series championship.
2007 Mercer Cup presented by Knapp's Cyclery Schedule of Events:
Clif Bar Kid's Clinic
Friday, 3:30 - 4:30 pm The weekend kicks off with the Friday afternoon Clif Bar Kids' Cross Clinic with World Championship Silver Medalist Danny Summerhill, Team Clif Bar's Ben Turner and USGP Technical Director Geoff Proctor at the Race Venue - registration is free and limited to the first 30 kids ages 10-16 on BikeReg.com
Friday Night Number Presentation Ceremony: Fans can get a head start on the weekend's fun by attending the Number Presentation Ceremony at the Knapp's Cyclery - 1761 Princeton Ave, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, 6 - 9 pm
Race schedule for Saturday and Sunday
8:30 am - Cat 4 Men
9:15 am - Junior 10-16 - Cat 3/4 Women
10:00 am - Cat 2/3 Men
11:15 am - USGP Juniors 17-18 - Masters 45+/55+
12:15 pm - USGP Masters 35+
1:45 pm - USGP Elite Women
2:45 pm - USGP Elite Men