It was a heavy week of bike racing for the North American pros at the Tour of California, the National Racing Calendar's (NCC) Wilmington Grand Prix and at the second week of the Giro d'Italia. Check out a few of the highlights from the peloton and take a peek at what's to come including the USA Cycling professional road and time trial championships held on Memorial Day weekend in Chattanooga, TN.
Hesjedal builds form during second week at Giro d'Italia
Former Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) was in a bit of a slump last season but he seems to be re-building his form heading into the second week of the Italian Grand Tour. He had a top-10 finish during the eighth stage in Montecopiolo and a top-15 during the ninth stage in Sestola, both mountaintop finishes. He also rode into eleventh place during Stage 6 in Montecassino and is in 16th on GC at 4:30 from Cadel Evans. His teammate Tyler Farrar continued with his top-10 performances in the sprints during the seventh stage in Foligno.
Canada's Svein Tuft, who opened the three-week race wearing leader's jersey after helping his team Orica-GreenEdge win the team time trial, is likely gearing up for the 41.9km individual time trial held on Thursday from Barbaresco to Barolo. Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) continues his support for the current race leader, Cadel Evans.
The Giro d'Italia will conclude on June 1 in Trieste, Italy.
Craddock on the podium in California
American Lawson Craddock (Giant-Shimano), 22, was not only the Tour of California's best young rider but he was also one of the strongest riders overall, finishing third on the final podium behind title winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and runner-up Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp). The 2.HC men's race concluded on May 18 in Thousand Oaks.
"It has been a really special week for me here," Craddock said. "I am so glad that I have had such a great team around me that supported me and had faith in me. Without them none of this would have been possible.
"It was a great feeling to come across the line having secured third overall and also hearing that John [Degenkolb] had taken second on the stage. It is a week that I will remember for a long time."
Other Americans that finished strong were Peter Stetina (BMC Racing) in sixth, Carter Jones (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) in eleventh, Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing) thirteenth and Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) in fourteenth overall. Canada's Will Routley (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) won the event's best climber competition and won the fifth stage in Cambria while America's Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) won the fifth stage into Santa Barbara.
Pic and White win Wilmington Grand Prix
Tina Pic (Fearless Femme) and Brad White (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) won the elite criteriums at the Wilmington Grand Prix on Saturday in Delaware. The races were a part of the NCC, a series that showcases the nation's top criterium racers.
Carlos Alzate (UnitedHealthcare) is leading the men's standings ahead of Isaac Howe (Champion System - Stan's NoTubes) and Daniel Holloway (Athlete Octane). Erica Allar (Colavita-Fine Cooking) moved into the lead of the women's standings ahead of Laura van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom p/b Pink Siren) and Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare).
The NCC will continue at the Tour of Somerville on May 26, Memorial Day.
American pros head to Chattanooga
American pro racers are headed to the USA Cycling professional road and time trial championships held from May 24 to 26, for the second consecutive year in Chattanooga, TN.
Carmen Small (Specialized-lululemon) and Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) are expected to defend their respective time trial titles on Saturday. The road race will be held on Memorial Day Monday with defending champions Jade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Fred Rodriguez (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) on the line.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews next Tuesday for our next weekly edition of race recaps and previews of what's ahead in the North American road racing scene.