With registration for the 2014 Lucarelli & Castaldi CRCA Bear Mountain Spring Classic (#bearmountainclassic) closing on Friday its time to break out the Road-Results.com race predictor. And remember if you want to partake in the action on Sunday, you must register in advance on Bikereg: https://www.bikereg.com/crca-bear-mountain-spring-classic2014
Elite Men's Championship
The Elite Men's Championship is going to be the big show on Sunday with a massive $4,000 prize pool. Since the prize list includes $1,000 for the Tiorati KOM and $1,000 for the Lake Welch Sprinters Competition it will be interesting to see which racers risk it all to go for the big KOM/Sprinters payday and which racers save it for the finale with the goal of being first across the line after 100 miles of racing on this challenging course.
First a quick run through who the computers say will take home the win...
The field is one of the strongest in recent memory, with Champion System - Stan's NoTubes making their presence known and taking both first and third in the predicted race results, with Gavriel Epstein and Conor Mullervy, respectively. With five riders in the race it will be interesting to see who Champion-System races for.
Slotted in between the Champion System duo is Adam Myerson (Team SmartStop) who showed his form just a few weeks ago at the Tour of the Battenkill and who benefits from plenty of prior racing experience on this classic course. One step off the podium in the predicted results is the very dangerous Bobby Lea (Pure Energy Cycling) who put on an incredible show at the 2012 Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic with an aggressive late race solo move. Just behind Lea is Marcos Mazzola Lazzarotto (Kelly Benefit Strategies Elite) who benefits from bringing a full squad of racers to Bear Mountain.
With a race roster like this its going to be quite the show on Sunday, and its difficult to pick a favorite, but in this instance we're going to set aside the Road-Results predictions and go with two NYC riders who we think have the talent to take the win on their home turf - Evan Murphy (CRCA/Foundation) and Allan Rego (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes). While they slot in at 9th and 10th, respectively, in the computer's expected results, both have strong team support and we think one of them will take home the win on Sunday.
Elite Women's Championship
The women's field is looking stacked coming into this weekend, with a total of $2,000 of prize money to be distributed across just 33 riders. With this prize pool and this field it should be very exciting racing. Zimmer Capital p/b Foundation is sending a full squad and although Kathleen Lysakowski could very well win, as the Road-Results.com supercomputer predicts, we're actually putting our money on Beth Ruiz, who only slots in at 11th in the predicted results.. Road-Results has Lauren Dagostino (MidAtlantic Colavita Women's Team) in second and local NYC racer Raquel Miller, also from Zimmer Capital, in third. Fabienne Gerard of CRCA/e2Value could make things interesting as well and we'd be remiss not to highlight Emma White (Hot Tubes Junior Development Team) as another wild card.
Men's Category 2 Championship
While these racers were eligible for the Elite Men's Championship, they may have taken one look at that field roster and said "no thank you." And frankly with guys like Bobby Lea and Adam Myerson in that field we don't blame them. Much of the top 10 predicted results for the M2 Championship was present at Orchard Beach Crit last week, including very talented breakaway companions Jayson Jacobs (CRCA/Rapha) and Erik Post (CRCA/BH CC). While the pair are, if anything, more disposed to the tough course at Bear Mountain than the flat oval of Orchard Beach, they don't even crack the expected podium on Sunday.
Instead that honor goes to Ross Marklein of QCW Cycling pb Breakawaybikes.com who finished with a nice 5th place result in this same field at Grant's Tomb. He's followed up by local racer Everhard Paredes (USA Mengoni) and then Jeffrey Elie of CCB Racing.
For this race however we're going WAAAAAYYY down the expected results all the way to 25th for our pick, Evan Cooper (CRCA/BH-CC). We know from CRCA Club Races that Evan is on good form (at least when its not raining) and with his team's sprinter nowhere to be seen on the roster we think Evan will take advantage of the free reign and crack a nice result at one of the biggest races in the region.
Men's Category 3 Championship
In the Men's Category 3 Championship we have a top five littered with CRCA racers, including Jesse O'Donnell of CRCA/e2value, Chris Shaw of CRCA/FGX and David Taylor of CRCA/Eumaeus Asset Management. However at the top of the expected results is either an unattached rider or a rider who hasn't figured out how to put his team name in Bikereg, one Paskal Lamour.
Further down the list there are plenty of notable riders to choose from including Ryan McGarrity (CRCA/Sixcycle) who cracked a few results at the Bethel Spring Series and Scott Mills of CRCA/JLVeloNYC who has had a nice spring as well.
However we think these more sprint focused riders might struggle on the tough Bear Mountain course and so we're going to go way down the list, even further than in the M2 field, all the way to 72nd place for our pick - Alex Binkley of CRCA/JLVelo. While the super computers don't think too highly of his chances, we know he's a rider that's not afraid to take a chance in an early break, and this is just the type of course where that break can stick. So he gets our nod for Sunday.
Well, this is awkward. As the author of the women's portion of these predictions, I guess I might end up in sixth? At least according to the computer. How meta.
That said, this should also be a pretty competitive race. As of just a few hours ago Road-Results had Kristie Nichols (no team name shown) projected to win - it appears from internet stalking that she may race for QCW Cycling out of New Jersey and has been doing well this year so far. However in just a few hours, with women continuing to sign up (at the last minute!) the expected results have since changed with Masha Schneider (Zenberry) expected to take the win ahead of Jennifer Nordhem (CRCA/Stan's), followed by Nichols. Victoria Brumfield of CRCA/Radical Media is predicted for third. These are good bets in our opinion, although Jess Meany also from Stan's could start to show her form from last year and be a threat for the QOM if not the win.
Despite the supercomputer's expectations, however, we're going with an underdog - Liz Marcello (CRCA/Radical Media). While she only slots in at 17th in the predicted results, we're predicting that the fact that she ran around Orchard Beach endlessly for 12+ hours last weekend gave her the fitness boost required to do well at Bear Mountain (assuming she can avoid stopping mid-race to make sure marshals are doing their job).
Men's Category 4 Championship
The last of the men's field that we'll cover in our predictions features Jacek Boral from Incycle-predator expected to finish on the top step ahead of Vincent Lore of Bethel Cycle and Travis Dawson of Green Line Velo driven by ZipCar. A bit further down the list is the 2014 Orchard Beach Crit M4 Champion, Colin Tanner of CRCA/Sixcylce-RK&O.
With a sold out field however it's tough to call a clear favorite but in the sentiment of underdog picks we're going to go with Will Carroll from CRCA/E2value who has had recent success in the CRCA Club Series.
This one is wide open especially considering that we just don't know who the latest phenom will be this year. Road-Results has Jodie Hein of CRCA/Breakaway Courier-NSX-Carve Systems taking the win, which is certainly possible! Hannah Todd of CRCA/Pink Rhino Racing is predicted for second, and Emily MacKinnon from Nantucket Velo is slated for third. It's anybody's race though.