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US Pro Championships 2011 – the start list

May 28th and 30th is when the best (or maybe those who are available and in the country) head to Greenville, South Carolina to compete for a national championship jersey in the time trial and road race. Last year the championships were held in September and the time trial was Saturday followed on Sunday by the road race. This year the script has been flipped – the battle for the Stars and Stripes is in Spring and in sync with when the Europeans contest their national championships. Also, there is a day between each event giving the riders an opportunity to recover. One benefit to the day of rest has been the increase in riders registered for the time trial.

Last year there were only 15 racers rolling down the ramp at the Clemson ICAR campus. Some noticeable absentees were three-time champion David Zabriskie. Also not lining up was Tom Zirbel. He finished second in the 2009 event and fourth in the time trial world championships of the same year. However he was found positive forDHEA and suspended for two years, which saw him out of the running for 2010. Zirbel maintained his innocence and it has been widely thought the positive result came from a contaminated supplement. However, due to his cooperation in a doping case not related to his own, his sentence was reduced to 18 months and he has now signed a contract with the Jamis/Sutter Home team. But that’s all in the past and the 2011 championships are only weeks away.

I received the tentative starting list of who is going to roll down the starting ramp from Medalist Sports and the usual suspects are there: Levi Leipheimer and Taylor Phinney, but so is a returning favorite – David Zabriskie. Also on the list is BMC’s Brent Bookwalter. Even the reigning road race national champion Ben King is going to give it a try. Leipheimer and King aren’t the only RadioShack riders, Chris Horner is also penciled in.

I asked Chris Aronhalt, the managing partner of Medalist Sports, about the possible inclusion of a late sign up like Zirbel. According to Aronhalt it is still possible for him to register for the time trial, an event that is considered his specialty. It only costs $40 and I’m sure that’s within the Jamis/Sutter Home budget.

In total there are 27 riders chasing the dream of a national champion jersey. Realistically it is going to come down to just a few: Leipheimer, Zabriskie, Phinney, and if he signs up, Zirbel. Outsiders include Brent Bookwalter, Andy Jacques-Maynes and Matt Busche.

While there are 27 riders signed up this doesn’t mean they will all decide to race – and that’s the frustration for Aronhalt. He would like to see marquee riders like Horner compete, but there’s a chance that the RadioShacker might call an audible and decide to save his bullets for the road race.

In the road race there aren’t any surprises. Greenville’s own, George Hincapie, will be trying to take the national championship jersey from King. Other than a Roubaix cobblestone trophy, I’m guessing winning a national championship jersey is a major goal for the BMC rider.

Of course there’s Leipheimer. He has won on this course before and he’ll have the backing of Horner and Busche. But here’s an interesting hypothetical – will the Shackers focus on one leader or will they do the “we’ll let the road decide who is the strongest” strategy? Ben King won last year’s edition through a combination of strength, but also a good portion of luck. No one thought that early break would stay away and then when it got serious the teams all looked at BMC to chase it back. No way is that scenario going to occur again, so the question remains – who does Shack work for? King is not going to be allowed that amount of slack again. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that team meeting.

My money is on Hincapie to have a strong showing. He’ll have returned from the Amgen Tour of California (like most of the peloton) primed and the US Pro course is literally in his backyard. Another favorite is Chris Horner. He’s another old-timer that keeps improving with age. Naturally, you have to include Leipheimer as a potential for the jersey.

Regardless I’m hoping for a good race and you can follow my commentary in the Official US Pro Road Race Live Chat we’ll be producing as Carolina Cycling News. More details coming soon. Until then, I’ll keep my ear to the ground during the Tour of California.

Below is the tentative list for both events – some riders will be added and others removed. Case in point, Chris Butler announced today that he’ll be racing in the Giro which starts this Saturday and ends the weekend of the championships, so obviously he’s out.

Time Trial
Andrew Baker UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Christopher Baldwin UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Brent Bookwalter UCI PT: BMC Racing Team
Gregg Brandt UCI CT: Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder
Matthew Busche UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Michael Creed UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Alfredo Cruz UCI CT: Chipotle Development Team
Michael Friedman UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Phillip Gaimon UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Christopher Horner UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Andy Jacques-Maynes UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Benjamin Jacques-Maynes UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Roman Kilun UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Benjamin King UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Julian Kyer UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Levi Leipheimer UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Paul Mach UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Jason McCartney UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Jonathan Mumford UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Taylor Phinney UCI PT: BMC Racing Team
Chase Pinkham UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
K Frank Pipp UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Jacob Rytlewski UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Daniel Summerhill UCI CT: Chipotle Development Team
Robert Sweeting UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
David Williams UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
David Zabriskie UCI CT: Garmin-Cervelo

Road Race
Jesse Anthony UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Kai Applequist UCI CT: Team Exergy
Andrew Bajadali UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Andrew Baker UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Christopher Baldwin UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Eric Barlevav UCI CT: Team Exergy
Chad Beyer UCI PT: BMC Racing Team
Brent Bookwalter UCI PT: BMC Racing Team
Alex Bowden UCI PCT: Team Type 1
Daniel Bowman UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Gregg Brandt UCI CT: Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder
Matthew Busche UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Robert Bush UCI CT: Chipotle Development Team
Christopher Butler UCI PT: BMC Racing Team
Alexander Candelario UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Kirk Carlsen
Cameron Cogburn UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
Matthew Cooke UCI CT: Team Exergy
Michael Creed UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Alfredo Cruz UCI CT: Chipotle Development Team
Andrew Dahlheim UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Jason Donald UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
James Driscoll UCI CT: Jamis/Sutter Home
William Dugan UCI PCT: Team Type 1
Caleb Fairly UCI PT: Team HTC Highroad
Nicolas Frey UCI CT: Jamis/Sutter Home
Michael Friedman UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Spencer Gaddy UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Phillip Gaimon UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Andrew Guptill UCI CT: Jamis/Sutter Home
Alexander Hagman UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
Kenneth Hanson UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
Chad Hartley UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Sergio Hernandez UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
George Hincapie UCI PT: BMC Racing Team
Daniel Holloway UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Christopher Hong UCI CT: Team Exergy
Christopher Horner UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Alex Howes UCI CT: Chipotle Development Team
Charles Huff UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
Andy Jacques-Maynes UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Benjamin Jacques-Maynes UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Sam Johnson UCI CT: Team Exergy
Quinn Keogh UCI CT: Team Exergy
Roman Kilun UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Benjamin King UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Julian Kyer UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Levi Leipheimer UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Patrick Lemieux UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Jeff Louder UCI PT: BMC Racing Team
Paul Mach UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Sean Mazich UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
Jason McCartney UCI PT: Team RadioShack
Remi McManus UCI CT: Team Exergy
Carson Miller UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
Shawn Milne UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Christopher Monteleone UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Jonathan Mumford UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Emerson Oronte UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
Taylor Phinney UCI PT: BMC Racing Team
Chase Pinkham UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
K Frank Pipp UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Jeremy Powers UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
Thacker Reeves UCI CT: Chipotle Development Team
Kiel Reijnen UCI PCT: Team Type 1
Jacob Rytlewski UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Michael Sherer UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
Erik Slack UCI CT: Team Exergy
Thomas Soladay UCI CT: Kelly Benefit Strategies
James Stemper UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Scott Stewart UCI PCT: Team Type 1
Daniel Summerhill UCI CT: Chipotle Development Team
Jonathan Sundt UCI CT: Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder
Robert Sweeting UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
Bernard Van Ulden UCI CT: Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda
Kyle Wamsley UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Scottie Weiss UCI CT: KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
David Williams UCI CT: Bissell Pro Cycling Team
Tyler Wren UCI CT: Jamis/Sutter Home
Tyler Farrar UCI CT: Garmin-Cervelo
Andrew Talansky UCI CT: Garmin-Cervelo
David Zabriskie UCI CT: Garmin-Cervelo
Tom Danielson UCI CT: Garmin-Cervelo

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2 Responses to “US Pro Championships 2011 – the start list”

  1. Got my paws on start lists for @USAProCycling Champs. A fav returns & who is working for who on @TeamRadioShack ? http://bit.ly/khkeGS

  2. D'Andrea Worrall (@DeeDee315) May 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    @JTKatz You cycling bf isn’t on @neilroad ‘s #uspros list http://neilbrowne.com/2011/05/us-pro-championships-2011-the-start-list/

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