U.S. Scene This Week: Rest for most, racing for few

Fresh off back-to-back stage races at San Dimas and Redlands, the U.S. peloton is largely in rest and recovery mode this week.

Fresh off back-to-back stage races at San Dimas and Redlands, the U.S. peloton is largely in rest and recovery mode this week.

Local race calendars are in full swing in warm weather states, and even Colorado gets underway Saturday, weather permitting. Events like the Copperopolis Road Race near Stockton, California, and the Koppenberg Circuit Race near Boulder, Colorado, should see strong pro fields.

San Dimas/Redlands men’s champion Ben Day and his Fly V Australia team will preview Tour of California stages this week. Director Henk Vogels will lead the team on recon missions of stages 2 through 5.

We expect the official invite list for the tour, which will run May 16-23, to be released in the next few days.

A few U.S.-based teams are more ambitious in their plans this week.

Jelly Belly-Kenda and Kelly Benefit Strategies sent squads straight from Redlands to the Tour of Thailand, which runs April 1-6. KBS’ Andrew Bajadali is the defending champion in Thailand and while he missed the start in Redlands on recovery from a knee injury he suffered earlier this year, he should be at the start in Thailand. Kiel Reijnen finished fourth at Redlands and his Jelly Belly squad will look to continue the momentum they gained last weekend, with a stage win and three riders in the top six on the final GC at Redlands.

KBS also has a team contesting the Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay this week. Scott Zwizanski is the defending champion and Reid Mumford won a stage and wore the leader’s jersey in 2009. Jesse Anthony and David Veilleux sat in the top ten overall after stage 2, 32 and 42 seconds back on GC, respectively.

TIBCO-To The Top kicks off the its first of two European stints in 2010 with the Tour of Flanders Sunday. Brooke Miller and Joanne Kiesanowski will lead the team in its European debut and both showed good form on the Sunset Loop stage Sunday, staying with the leaders until the final lap. It was Miller’s first time finishing the stage, only one day after she helped power the GC-altering breakaway in the stage 2 criterium.

The break in racing will not last long. Major U.S. racing gets back on track on Saturday April 11 with the Dana Point Grand Prix in Dana Point, California.  April 10 also is the first weekend of the Tour of the Battenkill in New York, with its amateur races and elite women’s event. The pro-am invitational is the following weekend. will provide full coverage of Dana Point and both weekends at the Battenkill.