America’s top professional road cyclists are headed to Winston-Salem for the 2016 Volkswagen Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships this Friday and Saturday. The championships are not only a chance to vie for the coveted stars-and-stripes jerseys but also to make a final push for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
We are happy to announce that you will be able to watch the road race live right here on CyclingTips. You can also follow the action on social media using the hashtag #USPRO.
Friday, May 27, 2016: Individual Time Trial
8:00 a.m. EST: start of the men’s professional individual time trial followed by the women’s professional and Category 1/2 individual time trial.
Saturday, May 28, 2016: Road Races
9:30 a.m.: start of the women’s professional and Category 1/2 road race
1:30 p.m.: start of the men’s professional road race.
9:15 a.m. EST on Saturday, May 28: coverage begins with the women’s professional road race and awards ceremony.
1:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 28: coverage of the men’s professional road race and award ceremony.
On Friday, the action starts with the professional men’s time trial. The men will complete an undulating 48-kilometre (29.8-mile) course along Old U.S. 421 in Wilkes County, 45 minutes west of Winston-Salem. The professional women’s race will follow later that morning on a slightly altered, 33-kilometre (20.5-mile) course along the same trek.
The loaded women’s field will take on nine laps of a bumpy, 15-kilometre cicruit for a total of 140-kilometres (86 miles) with 1879 metres (6165 feet) of elevation gain.
Fresh off her win at the women’s Amgen Tour of California, Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) is looking to defend her stars-and-stripes jersey. With her podium finish at the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond last year, Guarnier has already qualified to represent the United States at the Olympics Games in Rio this summer so in that regards the pressure is off for the already two-time national champion. For others, however, the pressure is tremendous.
If the race ends with a sprint for the finish, look for Coryn Rivera. The United Healthcare rider finished second at last year’s national championships and showed great form in California last week, going head-to-head with the world’s best sprinters at several stages of the Amgen Tour of California.
Other riders to watch will be last year’s third place finisher Tayler Wiles (Orica-AIS), 2016 national criterium champion Lauren Tamayo (United Healthcare Pro Cycling) if she’s not riding in support of teammate Rivera, Carmen Small (Cervelo-Bigla) and any of the Twenty16 -RideBiker riders who will have the biggest team attendance there.
In the time trial, it’s back-to-back Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16 – RideBiker) who looks to reaffirm herself as the country’s best time trialist and qualify for Rio. Competition will be fierce for Armstrong with some of her biggest challengers coming from within her own Twenty16 squad. Learning from the best, Junior world TT and road champion Chloe Dygert, Leah Thomas and Allie Dragoo have all been putting down impressive time trial results this season, and will be eager for a chance to go to Rio.
Of course, the new world hour record holder, Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans) is always a TT race favourite, and let’s not forget about former national champion, Pan-Am gold medalist and world championships bronze medalist Carmen Small.
Masters and Para Championships
Ahead of the pro competition, the championships week kicks off with the Volkswagen Masters and Para-Cycling Road National Championships on May 24 – 28. All 35+ age divisions and Para riders will race for road, time trial and criterium national titles at several locations. Click here for full schedule of events.