It's Spring, It's Copperopolis
5 April 2012
Velo Promo's proclaimed Paris-Roubaix of California, the Copperopolis Road Race, runs this year on Saturday, 7 April 2012, its traditional day-before-Easter. It is the next event on the 2012 NCNCA Bikereg.com Premier Series. The course description reads "fair to bad paving...and a fast, bumpy, twisty descent" but the weather forecast for Milton is much "sunnier."
So far in the Men Pro 1-2 category, Team Mike's Bikes, Stage 17 Racing, Marc Pro-Strava, and California Giant/Specialized each have four or more racers registered ahead of the race. Only six racers with points for the 2012 NCNCA Bikereg.com Premier Series are in that preregistration list. This includes Tyler Brandt (Team Mike's Bikes) and Chris Stastny (California Giant/Specialized) from the top-five, both whom stand to make strides forward in the series in the absence of many of their competitors.
Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo and Metromint Cycling have team numbers registered for the Women 1-2 category but series leader Rikke Preisler (Metromint Cycling) may miss the race after crashing out at the Topsport Stage Race. Although Preisler was taken to the hospital by helicopter, early reports indicate she is well...NCNCA Road wishes a speedy recovery and return to racing for Ms Preisler and all the other racers from that crash. Other racer's from the series' top-five are Marley Smith (Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo), Ruth Winder (Vanderkitten-Focus), and Heather Van Sickle (Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo). Multiple track medalist from this year's Pan Am Championships, Beth Newell (NOW and Novartis for MS), is also slated to race at Milton.
The top two early 2012 NCNCA Bikereg.com Premier Series leaders for Master Men 1-2-3 are absent on the preregistration list but other top-five racers Jeromy Cottell (Peninsula Velo Racing), AJ Kennedy (Fremont Bank Cycling Team) and Nick Theobald (SAFEWAY/GA PRC Group/Bicycles Plus) are set to appear at Copperopolis. Theobald also holds the lead in the NCNCA Points Series.
The largest preregistration field for Copperopolis is Master Men 45+ 1-2-3 with 53 entries. Four of the top five series leaders are intent on racing: Michael O'Rourke (Safeway/GA PRC Group/Bicycles Plus), John Fairbanks (Morgan Stanley), Hunter Zeisling (Echelon Gran Fondo/Charity of Choice), and Rodney Spradlin (Team Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada). To date this year, O'Rourke has six top-ten finishes out of as many attempts...including a second-place in the Premier Series. With Hans Gouwens (IronDataThirstyBearCycling.com) the only other racer with points in the 2012 NCNCA Bikereg.com Premier Series, this field could see some riders consolidate their early season position plus a host of new points-earners.