Team Aims to Defend Titles at USA Cycling Pro Criterium Championship
Top American riders and their teams will contest the USA Cycling Pro Criterium and Team Time Trial Championships in Greenville, South Carolina this coming weekend of April 18th-19th. After storming the competition in 2014, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will line up with both men’s and women’s titles to defend and a team full of talent to pull it off.
The Criterium will take a 0.95-mile route through Greenville’s beautiful downtown, giving spectators ample opportunity to watch the live action. For the women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, Coryn Rivera will be lining up as the marked favorite, after an impressive 2014 season and multiple wins behind her already in 2015. Rivera had this to say of her success last year, “It was total team execution last year at crit nationals– we had just come off of a great weekend of crit racing at the Gateway Cup and we proved, as a team, we are the best crit squad in the country.” Due to scheduling changes with the Criterium National Champions, the race comes early in the season this year. This has motivated her to come back and defend her title, “We’ve only done a couple crits so far this year, but our teamwork hasn’t changed. It has been an honor representing the stars and stripes this year, even if that has only been three crits.”
Women’s Criterium Team Roster
Defending champion Rivera is certain of her team’s horsepower to accomplish another victory, “We are going to Greenville as a team with confidence and momentum. We are looking to keep the stars and stripes on the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train.”
In the Men’s event, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team has multiple podium threats from a deep and talented roster. The team dominated the criterium calendar in 2014, and come to the line hungry to claim the US Championship jersey for another year. The flat course holds a big challenge in the form of a 90 degree corner leading into the finishing straight. With the Blue Train’s experience in perfect lead out execution, they will be the team to beat.
Coming back to defend his 2014 victory, John Murphy is confident in himself and his teammates, “It’s an awesome feeling to be a national champion, but it’s impossible to do it without a strong team behind you.”
The weekend is a major objective for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, with the Team Time Trial Championships falling on the same weekend. Murphy continued, “This year’s National Championships will be an exciting race, with the new pro TTT the same weekend. This should make for some good action for our UnitedHealthcare Team. We are excited and want to defend this jersey!”
Alongside Murphy in the iconic blue and white kits will be an experienced and confident team, including Tanner Putt who recently returned from a successful early season campaign in Europe. Putt rode in an early breakaway in the famed classic Scheldeprijs just two weeks ago, and it’s those racing miles that will be used by Putt and his teammates during the two-hour long criterium. Murphy and Putt will also have the help of Brad White, who also graced the podium in the 2014 championship race. Accomplished sprinter Luke Keough will also be on hand to lend extra horsepower at the finish line.
Men’s Criterium Team Roster
The Women race at 2:20pm EDT on Saturday April 18th, followed by the men at 4:00pm. Check the USA Cycling event page for more details.