OUCH p/b Maxxis Team is bringing Roman Kilun (USA), Bobby Lea (USA), Karl Menzies (TAS), John Murphy (USA), Andrew Pinfold (CAN) and Rory Sutherland (AUS) to the Southeast for the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium Saturday and Hanes Park Classic Sunday, with a six-man roster built around the core that found success in the Southeast Crit series in the spring.
FROM PRESS RELEASE: The team will be led by a trio of sprinters, including Tasmanian Karl Menzies, who comes into this weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s races on the heels of his overall win at the Tour of Elk Grove last weekend, as well as a win during Superweek, and a podium at the Chicago Criterium before Elk Grove.
OUCH Presented by Maxxis can also look to Canadianstrongman Andrew Pinfold, who has been a strong presence all season, but has been on particularly good form the past month, leading to wins during BC Superweek, as well as a podium in the Cascade ClassicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s criterium stage. He also provided strong lead-outs for Menzies at Elk Grove.
Another rider helping guide Menzies to the finish line in Elk Grove is John Murphy, who has been posting solid results all season. Beijing Olympian Bobby Lea was also part of the spring Southeast campaign, and he joins the squad for this weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s foray south as well.
The two additional rides to the roster add significant horsepower for both races. 2007 and 2008 NRC champion Rory Sutherland will contribute greatly to the OUCH Presented by Maxxis lead-out train, while also hunting for opportunities in breaks. Roman Kilun adds his big diesel to the mix, and can also provide lead-out duties or work into breaks.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Charlotte course seems to lend itself to breaks,Ã¢â‚¬Â team directeur sportif Mike Tamayo said of the 1.3-mile course in the heart of downtown Charlotte, where race organizers are expecting a crowd of over 40,000. It features two long straights going opposite directions on Tryon Street, with the route taking in four quick turns at either end, creating an elongated figure eight, with a technical layout that makes chasing moves harder.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The past few years, Charlotte has been won out of a break. We have six strong guys, all of whom can get into breaks and sprint to wins. And if the race does come down to a bunch kick, we have a lot of confidence in Karl, Murph and Pinner to get to the line.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The same six riders will head to Winston-Salem for the Hanes Park Classic Sunday. The 1.3-mile Hanes Park course is a bit less technical, but also hillier and finishes with a slightly uphill sprint. Last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s race was won out of a late break.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We expect both races to be hard-fought affairs,Ã¢â‚¬Â Tamayo said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The fields for both are as strong as it gets for a U.S. criterium. It should make for some great racing.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Editor’s Note: As a little bonus from the team while they’re in the area, riders from the 24 Hours of Booty that raised $3,000+ will have a pre-race dinner with OUCH and TIBCO team members.