The 44th Santa Cruz Classic Criterium
12 April 2012
This Sunday, 15th April 2012, it will be forty-four years and running for the Santa Cruz Classic Criterium, presented by Velo Promo, the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club, and the Golden Chain Cyclists. The long running event is next on the 2012 NCNCA Bikereg.com Premier Series.
The leader's standing for Men Pro-1-2 is tight with eight points covering the top ten racers. Evan Huffman (California Giant/Specialized) holds first place with a race win but is unexpected at the Classic. Although it remains early in the season, the competition for Women Pro-1-2-3 may become a three-racer battle between Marley Smith and Heather Van Sickle of Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo and Rikke Preisler (Metromint Cycling). However, NOW and Novartis for MS joined the fray this past weekend after Devon Gorry and Beth Newell took second and third, respectively, at Copperopolis.
On the teams front, California Giant/Specialized and Team Mike's Bikes are at the apex for Men P-1-2 with 55 points each; this could become the Premier Series battle of the season as both teams are scoring points and securing podiums. However, California Giant/Specialized is sending four racers to the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium in North Carolina; Team Mike's Bikes have six racers registered early for the Classic and look to separate themselves in the team standings. Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo hold a healthy lead in the Women Pro-1-2-3 team standings with Metromint Cycling 25 points adrift and NOW and Novartis for MS a further 9 points behind. Preregistration suggests teams are divided between the Santa Cruz Classic and the heavily touted Chico Stage Race. In particular, the women of Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo are favouring the Classic whereas Metromint Cycling have team-numbers registered for Chico.