2016 Sunny King Criterium - USA Cycling Professional Road Tour
The 2016 Sunny King Criterium, which takes place April 2 in Anniston, Alabama, is the first race of the newly configured and renamed USA Cycling Professional Road Tour.
At just over 1km long, the four-corner course in Anniston offers a slightly uphill finishing straight that will help pare down the final contenders for the first win of the 2016 US domestic series.
"There is a long history of great racing in Alabama with the Sunny King Criterium and it provides a perfect location to kick off the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour," said Frankie Andreu, who will be the commentator on the race's live broadcast. "Finishing under the lights at night, the criterium has a large spectator base and this provides a charge to the racers. I expect the Sunny King Criterium to attract the strongest and fastest cyclists in the nation."
The 60-minute pro women's race begins at 6:20 p.m. Saturday evening, followed by the 60-lap pro men's race at 7:30.
The following day, the US domestic peloton will contest the McClellan Road Race in the second event of the 2016 USA Cycling Pro Road Tour. The road race, which takes place on a 35.6km circuit in the northeast outskirts of Anniston, is 111km for the women and 146.5km for the men.
The 2016 USA Cycling Professional Road Tour is the combination of the former National Racing Calendar and National Criterium Calendar. The new national calendar consists of 26 races that begin in April and run through September.
The Sunny King Criterium was part of the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar in 2015, when Hincapie Racing's Ty Magner and UnitedHealthcare's Hannah Barnes won the titles.
Other past winners include Carlos Alzate, Coryn Rivera, Isaac Howe, Erica Allar, Juan Jose Haedo, Tina Pic, Jonathan Cantwell, Janel Holcomb, Karl Menzies and Hilton Clarke.