Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Top Professional Cyclists Return to Georgia for Historic Roswell Criterium

11 Races in One Day Include Children’s Event and Two Junior Races

The 8th Annual Historic Roswell Criterium returns on Sunday, April 26, 2009 with a full day of bicycle racing that includes many of the nation's top professional cyclists. With the cancellation of the Tour de Georgia this year, the Historic Roswell Criterium remains the only national, spring-time bicycle race in metro Atlanta, and the best bet for race fans to watch these elite professionals in action.

Since the first event in 2001, the Historic Roswell Criterium has grown to hosting over 450 elite racers, 350 Mayor's Ride participants and 5,000 spectators. The event attracts some of the best cycling talent from across the Southeast and abroad. In 2003 American Jonas Carney won the men's Pro 1/2 category event (the top race for professional men), and no American has won the event since. Professional riders from Australia, New Zealand and Canada have dominated the podium in the eight-year history of the criterium, including Tour de Georgia stage winner Gord Fraser (CAN), who won twice for Health Net presented by Maxxis.

This year watch the front of the Peloton to include riders from national teams like OUCH, Fly V Australia, Team Type I, Team Hotel San Jose, and Kelly Benefit. Team OUCH features John Murphy, who lives in Athens, Ga., and finished 5th overall last year in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) points competition. His teammate, Karl Menzies of Australia, looks strong this year with a second-place finish this month in Tour of the Battenkill (N.Y.). The new Fly V Australia presented by Successful Living Foundation team is bringing Bernie Sulzberger, the reigning Australian Crit Champion, and Jonathan Cantwell (formerly with Jittery Joe's), a sprinter who won a stage at Redlands Bicycle Classic in March. Team Type 1 will bring a large team to Roswell, led by racers/team founders Joe Eldridge and Phil Southerland, both who live in Atlanta, Ga.

On the women's side, Georgia's own Tina Mayolo-Pic has mastered the field of the Women's Pro race by winning five out of seven years. Pic, who resides in Buford, Ga., is a five-time U.S. National Criterium champion and won the NRC women's title for a fifth time in 2008. Pic is expected to return this Sunday to defend her 2008 title, racing for Colavita/Sutter Home Pro Cycling. One of her top competitors will be two-time NRC winner and 2006 Historic Roswell champion Laura van Gilder, racing this week for Mellow Mushroom.

All races for the Historic Roswell Criterium will take place on the one-mile route that features a start/finish on Canton Street at Founder's Hall. This year's event will be part of the USA Crits Speed Week for professional cyclists from across North America, and the Georgia Cycling Grand Prix (a 12-race series). Speed Week, which offers $120,000 in prize money, is sanctioned by USA Cycling and is promoted by Swagger LLC, which also produces the Athens Twilight Criterium. Over $15,000 in prize money will be up for grabs in Roswell alone. Races in Roswell will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a Juniors event, and finish at 6:00 p.m. with the featured Men's Pro 1/2 event, which should finish close to 7:30 p.m.

The registration fees for junior, elite and professional races range from $35 to $50, and are for experienced cyclists only. The Children's Bicycle Safety Rodeo, managed by the Kiwanis Club of Historic Roswell, is free for children six to 12. Children who complete the Rodeo are invited to participate in the Shimano Youth Series races, held following the Women's Pro event on the pro race course. There are also recreational bicycle activities at 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning, with ride options of six to 64 miles with the Mayor's Ride. The Family Ride at 8:00 a.m. from East Roswell Park is free.

Visit for more information on the Rodeo.
Visit for more information on Mayor's Ride.
Visit www.roswellcriterium.comfor more information on Pro Races.

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