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Domestic Intel: ‘Fast Freddie’ returns, USAC changes ’cross upgrades

Rodriguez will ride Redlands to promote his gran fondo; U.S. gravity mountain bike tour opens

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‘Fast Freddie’ to race Redlands

Former American professional Fred Rodriguez is returning to the race scene after his Exergy men’s team closed up shop late last year.

At least for a few days.

The three-time U.S. national road race champion, who won a stage at the 2004 Giro d’Italia, will join Predator Carbon Repair at the Redlands Bicycle Classic (April 4-7) in Redlands, California. Rodriguez and his teammates will wear kits made by his clothing company, Fast Freddie Apparel.

Aside from getting back into race mode, Rodriguez will take advantage of his presence at the four-day race to promote his inaugural gran fondo, which takes place Aug. 17-18 in Berkeley, Calif. Rodriguez’ gran fondo benefits his charity, the Fast Freddie Foundation, whose mission is to “inspire and provide young people with the tools to achieve personal successes by utilizing life skills learned through cycling.”

Rodriguez raced professionally in Europe from 1999-2007 for five different teams. He competed on the domestic circuit after that before retiring at the end of last season.

San Dimas Stage Race opens two-week southern California tilt

Although the National Racing Calendar opens in one week at the Redlands Classic, a number of domestic squads will compete in this weekend’s San Dimas Stage Race.

In its 14th year, the three-stage race takes place in and around San Dimas, Calif. Friday-Sunday. Nearly 800 riders are signed up to compete in a number of categories, from juniors to masters to pros and everything in between. Among the entrants in the men’s masters 35+ division is Chris Walker (Time-Velo Pasadena), who won the 2001 men’s pro race.

More information >>

U.S. gravity tour kicks off

USA Cycling’s Professional Gravity Tour started last weekend with the Reaper Madness Downhill & Super D in Boulder City, Nev.

Logan Binggeli (KHS Factory Racing) and Jacqueline Harmony (Team Harmony Pivot) were victorious and now find themselves at the top of the men’s and women’s standings of the 10-event mountain bike series.

The tour picks up in Fontana City, Calif. March 30-31, and then has one more event in California before crisscrossing the country for races in New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, and West Virginia. The series concludes Sept. 4-8 in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Men’s standings
1. Logan Binggeli, KHS Factory Racing, 60 points
2. Aaron Gwin, Specialized Racing, 40 points
3. Michael Sylvestri, Arma Evil, 30 points
4. Kyle Sangers, PerformX DH Team, 25 points
5. Kevin Aiello, KHS Factory Racing, 20 points

Women’s standings
1. Jacqueline Harmony, Team Harmony Pivot, 60 points
2. Christine Dern, Bee Rad Racing, 40 points
3. Joy Martin, Vixen Racing, 30 points
4. Ana Rodriguez, Lake Town Bicycles, 25 points
5. Jackie Swider, Shredly-Team Bacon, 20 points

New rules for cyclocross upgrades

USA Cycling announced this week it has amended its upgrade process for cyclocross racing. Among the changes, all Cat. 5 riders will received an automatic upgrade after 10 races.

The points system for upgrades will also see changes beginning in 2013:

A Cat. 4 rider can voluntarily be upgraded to a Cat. 3 rider after earning 10 points. A Cat. 4 rider faces mandatory upgrade after accruing 15 points or two wins in a field of at least 30 competitors. A Cat. 3 rider can upgrade to a Cat. 2 rider after amassing 15 points. A Cat. 3 rider is mandatorily [sic] upgraded to Cat. 2 after collecting 20 points or winning two races with at least 30 competitors. A Cat. 2 rider can elect to be upgraded to Cat. 1 after totaling 20 points. A Cat. 2 rider will face mandatory upgrade after accruing 25 points or two wins in a 40-rider field.

View the updated 2013 USA Cycling rulebook >>