USA Cycling's 2015 National Racing Calendar will come to an end Saturday at the Reading 120, where an international men's peloton will contest a hilly 193km UCI 1.2 race in Pennsylvania.
Organised by the group that ran the Thompson Bucks County Classic for several years, the race returns to Reading, Pennsylvania, where the course opens with a rolling 120km loop through the farmland of Berks County. Five finishing circuits follow in Reading, each featuring a 4km climb of Mount Penn. In all, the race will throw nearly 3,050 metres of climbing at the riders.
"The climb of Mount Penn, with its switchbacks, is akin to an Alpe d'Huez split into sections," said race director John Eustice. "But the big difference is the spectators will see the riders pass by five times, as opposed to once."
Among those expected to take the start are Colombian Francisco Jarley Colorado (Canel’s-Specialized), winner of this year’s Vuelta Mexico; American Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare), a two-time winner of the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic; Latvian Toms Skujins (Hincapie Racing), a stage winner at the 2015 Amgen Tour of California and overall runner-up at the Tour de Beauce; and four-time Guatemalan national road champion Manuel Rodas.
The foreign teams won't count in the final NRC standings, but they could snap up points that might otherwise upset the final series results. Heading into the race, Tour of Utah stage winner Michael Woods (Optum Pro Cycling) leads Jamis-Hagens Berman's Gregory Brenes by just 20 points. UnitedHealthcare's John Murphy, who recently won the final stage at the USA Pro Challenge, is third, 68 points down. Hincapie Racing's Toms Skujins is another four points back, followed by Jamis' Daniel Jaramillo.
In the team competition, Hincapie leads Optum by 22 points. Jamis, Team SmartStop and UnitedHealthcare round out the top five, but they are well behind in the points with one race remaining.
The women's NRC concluded in June at the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, with Optum's Leah Kirchamnn taking top honours ahead of Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB) And Mara Abbott (Wiggle Honda). UnitedHealthcare won the women's team competition.
2015 Reading 120 teams:
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
USA Cycling U23 National Team (USA)
Guatemala National Team (GUA)
Amore & Vita-Selle SMP (UKR)
Astellas Cycling Team (USA)
Champion System presented by Stan’s NoTubes (USA)
Hincapie Racing Team (USA)
Jamis-Hagens Berman (USA)
Lupus Racing Team (CAN)
Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Team Novo Nordisk Development (USA)
Team Bliz-Merida (SWE)
Tête de la Course Cycling (USA)
Battley Harley-Davidson (USA)
Berks County Regional Cycling (USA)
California Giant Cycling Team (USA)
CCB Racing (USA)
GS CIAO Cycling (USA)
EC Devo Cycling (USA)
Elbowz Racing (USA)
Elevate Cycling Team (USA)
Équipe: Transports Lacombe-Devinci (CAN)
Gateway Harley Davidson-Trek U23 Cycling (USA)
Hagens Berman U23 Cycling Program (USA)
Isagenix-SeaSucker-Guttenplan Coaching (USA)
Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team (CAN)
Kelly Benefit Strategies-LSV Elite Team (USA)
Metra-Cycles 54 Cycling Team (USA)
Ride With Rendall (CAN)
Team Skyline (USA)