More Premier Series
25 April 2012
Four events are complete for the 2012 NCNCA Bikereg.com Premier Series but three more follow in as many weekends. As part of the annual Wente Vineyards Classic, presented by The Valley Spokesman Racing Team, the Wente Road Race becomes the fifth event in the Premier Series and runs this Saturday in Livermore.
The early registration numbers are somewhat low, particularly for the top category Women; that field is separated into Women 1/2 and Women 3 running at different times of the day. The only top-ten racer, from the Premier Series standings, registered to appear at Wente is Beth Newell (NOW and Novartis for MS). There is hope for good registration on the day.
The Master Men 45+ 1-2-3 category does have good preregistered numbers. Michael O'Rourke (SAFEWAY/GA PRC Group/Bicycles Plus), Hunter Ziesing (Echelon Gran Fondo/Zteam), and Steve Heaton (Echelon Gran Fondo/Charity of Choice) are three of the top five in the series standings entered to race. O'Rourke will hope to continue his record of scoring points, having done so in three of the four previous events, including two finishes in second place. Ziesing needs a good result and good fortune elsewhere to wrest the early lead in the standings from O'Rourke.
The top three racers in the Master Men 35+ 1-2-3 standings are scheduled to compete at Wente. Two points separate Nick Theobald (SAFEWAY/GA PRC Group/Bicycles Plus) in second and AJ Kennedy (Fremont Bank Cycling Team) in third. Twenty points further ahead, however, sits Andres Gil (Michael David Winery Cycing Team) so he can exit the weekend with at least an equal share of the lead in the season-long campaign.
Team Mike's Bikes is well ahead in the Mens Team Standings and they hold three of the top-five places in the individual Men Pro-1-2 table. Although Team Mike's Bikes has only a single racer in the list of preregistered riders, sources say that will increase to a "handful" on race day. Likewise, California Giant/Specialized, with no-one preregistered, are reported to have "most of the local" racers turning up on the day while a contingent of that team continues to train in Colorado. The third place team for the series, Marco Pro-Strava, are set to enter six into the field by race time, including the current Men Pro-1-2 leader, Chuck Hutcheson.