The Subaru of Georgetown Mellow
Johnny’s Classic opens the
2014 USA Cycling US CUP Series this weekend
Free Live Streaming Information
The Crown Jewel
of the Mountain Bike season is back and better than ever. Set in the heart of
the Texas Hill Country and a just outside the cultural mecca of Austin, Texas,
the Subaru of Georgetown Mellow Johnny’s Classic is the first stop on the USA
Cycling US Cup Pro Series presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group. The new four-race
series is the richest purse in cross-country racing, and all four events will
be sanctioned by the UCI as Category HC or Category 1 events.
star-studded pro field will line up on Saturday for the first major cross
country race of the North American season. Three-time winner Max Plaxton (Cannondale Factory Racing) and two-time
winner Georgia Gould (Luna) top the list of men's and women's favorites.
the elite men's race, Plaxton will have to watch out for fellow Canadian Geoff
Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) and Americans Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale)
and Todd Wells (Specialized Racing). All
four of them have previously proved themselves to be fast in the early season
races. Last year's winner, Dan McConnell
(Trek Factory Racing) nipped Bishop and Wells at the line in a sprint finish,
but the Australian is not expected this year due to the Mellow Johnny's Classic
being sandwiched between the third round of the Australian Mountain Bike
National Series and the Australian National Championships.
Mellow Johnny's Classic always feels like the first real test of the
season," said Plaxton. "You get to see exactly where you are with your
fitness. I'm looking forward to going
for another win at Mellow Johnny's this weekend."
major unknown among the men is former cross country national champion Sam
Schultz, who will be returning to racing after a year mostly off due to
injury. He'll be making his debut for
the Sho-Air/Cannondale team.
can't tell you how good it's been to get back into the routine of training and
racing," said Schultz, who won a regional race last weekend in California.
"My rehab has been going very well lately. It’s still absolutely a full-time job to keep things working the way I
want, but the hard work has been paying off with successful days on the
top men to watch include Kabush's teammates Derek Zandstra and Cameron Jette,
Spencer Paxson (Kona), under 23 national champion Kerry Werner (BMC), Keegan
Swenson (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Russell Finsterwald (SRAM/Troy Lee
Designs Race Team), to name a few. Even
Ryan Trebon (Sho-Air/Cannondale) will take to the start, having recovered from
a severe leg cut requiring stitches at the cyclo-cross world championships in
Luna Pro Team is bringing its full firepower to the women's start line in Texas
with former world champion and past Mellow Johnny's winner Catharine Pendrel,
Gould, Katerina Nash and new signing Maghalie Rochette. Trek Factory Racing's Emily Batty will have
her hands full against them, although she was the top finisher after Rebecca
Henderson last year. Like McConnell,
Henderson is also expected to stay home racing in Australia, skipping the trip
she usually does, Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com) will be there to give the
other elite women a run for their money. Others to watch include Erin Huck, Evelyn Dong (Backcountry.com) and
Erica Tingey (Jamis).
can't wait to get this season started," said Georgia Gould (Luna).
"It's time to blow the cobwebs out of the legs and get back to
racing! Thanks to USA Cycling and the
Sho-Air Cycling Group, we are racing for big money this year at Mellow Johnny's
and the rest of the US Cup series, and I'm expecting all the women to show up
with their A-game."
course is a mix of technical singletrack, with short climbs and limestone
ledges that offer racers some technical and vertical challenges among adrenaline
spiking dropoffs. The site is rarely open to the public, so few racers will
have a "home course advantage.” As the first race in the series, pros and media
from around the world will converge on Austin, as valuable World Cup
points are on the line.
Free Live Streaming
event, like all rounds of the US CUP, will be streamed free online at a
dedicated page under USA Cycling’s YouTube page. The direct link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeTHuEp1L0c
March 1 Subaru of Georgetown Mellow Johnny’s Classic streaming schedule:
– 12h15: Elite Women XCO – Staging / Call-up
12h15 – 14h15: Elite Women XCO Race (LIVE Webcast)
14h20 – 14h25: Elite Women Podium Ceremony
14h30 – 14h45: Elite Men XCO – Staging / Call-up
14h45 – 16h45: Elite Men XCO Race (LIVE Webcast)
16h50 – 16h55: Elite Men Podium Ceremony
Other unique features on tap for the Austin race this weekend include: sponsored viewing locations on-course that will offer seating, refreshments, and product giveaways. Food trucks and cycling exhibitors will also be on hand to accommodate the expected crowd of over 1,100.
Be sure to check back with MTB Race News after the races for results, stories, and pictures from the race.