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Domestic Intel: Richmond 2015 hits milestone

Richmond 2015 surpasses halfway point in fundraising effort

With the 2015 UCI world road championships taking place in Richmond, Virginia, event organizers have hit a major fundraising milestone.

Richmond 2015, the organizing committee tasked with putting on the annual event, announced Thursday it had eclipsed the halfway point of its approximately $21 million goal. A group of 13 partners that signed on when the city first won the rights, along with some individual donors, have contributed more than $11 million thus far.

“It is great to see Richmond 2015 making so much progress so early in the preparation for the Road World Championships,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman and CEO of Dominion and one of the four co-chairmen on the organizing committee. “This collective support from the community clearly demonstrates the excitement and enthusiasm around this tremendous opportunity.”

Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell was also enthused by the progress, and said he looks forward to showcasing his state to the international cycling scene.

“Staging a world-class event with more than 1,000 elite athletes representing more than 70 nations will bring positive attention to the Commonwealth,” the governor said. “We are excited to showcase our region to the hundreds of thousands of onsite spectators and the hundreds of millions watching on global television.”

The event is scheduled for September 19-27, 2015.

Women’s Prestige Series enters 10th season

The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series, which begins its 2013 campaign next week at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, is showing that it has the legs to continue as one of the main all-women’s circuits in the United States.

The series started in 2004, a year after it was created during a women’s cycling summit at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The goal was to provide a stage for top female cyclists to race outside of men’s events.

Redlands was added to the calendar in 2005 and it has been a stop ever since. Nature Valley has been a permanent stop every year. There are three races in 2013: Redlands (April 4-7, California), Nature Valley (June 12-16, Minnesota), and the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic (July 16-21, Oregon).

Four winners are chosen at the end of the series: Top overall individual, best young rider, best sprinter, and top team. During the second and third events, the leaders in each classification will wear special jerseys.

“The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series is a great way to promote women’s racing, which is why we participate every year,” said Rachel Heal, women’s team director for Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies. “Defending our team win of the [2012] series is a priority for us. We’d like to repeat our win of the sprinter’s jersey and have our sights set on the overall jersey as well.”

Abbott returns to women’s Tour of the Gila

The 2013 Tour of the Gila, a five-stage race in early May, has begun to release the list of teams that will participate in the annual event.

Headlining the women’s field will be Mara Abbott (Exergy Twenty16), who won the race in 2007 and 2010. She returns to racing this season after taking a one-year break from the sport. In 2010, Abbott became the first American to win the Giro Donne, one of the grand tours in women’s cycling.

“I am so excited to get to return to Gila,” Abbott said in an event press release. “It is a race where I have had success in the past, and also a race that is nostalgically significant to me in terms of my personal development.”

Also competing at the May 1-5 event that is based in Silver City, New Mexico, will be Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS), who has two runner-up finishes and one third-place result in the last four editions of the race.

“Gila is one of my favorite races. It’s where I started,” Powers said. “It was my very first NRC race and I like Silver City. I’ve had really good success there, except for winning the overall title. That is one of my goals.”

On the men’s side, UCI Pro Continental team UnitedHealthcare returns to defend its overall title. Australian Rory Sutherland won the crown last year while riding for the U.S.-based team. He now competes for Saxo-Tinkoff.

“2013 is an important one for us after winning the overall in 2012,” UnitedHealthcare general manager and team director Mike Tamayo said. “We have a strong team for it with Lucas Euser, Marc de Maar, and Phil Deignan. All of our riders will be firing on all cylinders in that time frame with the Amgen Tour of California coming right after Gila.”

Also returning is Bontrager, an Under-23 team that has brought home the best young rider and best team trophies the last two years. The squad also placed in the top three both times.

“We are really looking forward [to] going to the Tour of the Gila that always has provided us with a great organization and also great results for us in the past,” Bontrager team director Axel Merckx said.

Here’s the partial list of teams that are confirmed for the men’s race:

Pro Continental teams
Novo Nordisk

Continental teams
5-hour Energy
Cycliste Ekoï-Devinci
Jelly Belly
Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies
Jamis-Hagens Berman

Elite teams
BMC Development
Canyon Bicycles
CashCall Mortgage
Hagens Berman Cycling
Stage 17-Cylance
Team Rio Grande Cycling
Trek Red Truck Racing pb Mosaic Homes
VRC/Get Crackin’

Cycling coach needed

Warren Wilson College, a private university in North Carolina, is looking for a head mountain biking and road cycling coach. The squad competes in the Division II Southeastern Conference.

A bachelor’s degree is required, and candidates must possess a minimum level 3 USA Cycling coach license along with three years of administrative and supervisory experience. The school has a long history with mountain biking but this will be the first time a road cycling squad has been formed.

Interested candidates can send a cover letter, resume and contact information for three professional references to hr@warren-wilson.edu.

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