US Nationals is on deck, and kolo t.c. is putting its full support behind Ted King. Here it is: Go Ted.
The 2013 US National champion will be crowned today, with the Women’s race starting at 9am and the Men’s race picking up coverage at 1.20.
There’s a number of US pros that have a chance on the hilly but fast circuit in Chatanooga, Tennessee, but the big name is Ted King. The Cannondale racer by way of Cervelo Test Team has been a fixture on the World Tour for a number of years, but has yet to take a title in the US. Going up against the like of Leipheimer, Hincapie, Matthew Busche and an inspired ride from Duggan in 2012, King has often played second fiddle, until this year. With Duggan now on a different trade team, King will be going all out and riding completely for himself, a chance he seldom gets at Cannondale. He spent the Tour of California on the front, pulling Peter Sagan around the state and even queuing up a few sprint wins for the Slovak.
Ted is a fan favorite and one of the most approachable and encouraging personalities in the sport. He puts much of his time off the bike into raising money for the Krempels Foundation, which researches a number of traumatic brain injury and nervous system diseases. He’s also a tremendous writer, photography and chef, all of which feature regularly at iamnottedking.com.
For years, King raced the Giro for Cervelo Test Team, often leaving him a big gassed upon returning to the US. He even skipped the event a few times in order to rest up. The Cannondale decision to send him to California not only let fans see one of the most admired US cyclists in person, but also a chance to build fitness a safe distance from Nationals to be in top form.
Nationals is certainly a big goal, but for Ted, this year is all about the Tour de France. He has yet to be selected for a Tour team, in spite of repeatedly proving himself a capable domestique and a reliable teammate in all sorts of terrain. It would be very hard for Cannondale to leave a US National champion at home, and Ted King would certainly use that prospect as motivation for the win.
Holland’s very own Brad White will be on the start line and is a long shot at the win. White will be up against Danny Summerhill, Tyler Farrar, Carter Jones, Lawson Craddock, Jamie Driscoll, and the other Michigan duo of Mac Brennan and Brent Bookwalter.
An interesting note: This is just the second year without the names of the “Old Guard” on the start list. No Leipheimer, no Horner, no Vande Velde or Danielson. The generation now known for pervasive doping practices and a mutedly numb admission (followed by a six month ban and the promise not to race for a national title) is no longer influencing a race that has always heralded in the next great American cyclist. Even the older cyclists in the race can celebrate the opportunity of racing against what we can only hope is clean competition.
Evelyn Stevens is the heavy favorite in the women’s race, though this is one of the deepest fields in US history. She’ll have to race smart and have a stellar day to take the win.
Again, you can watch all the action LIVE! and in living color starting at 9am right here.
The very best of luck to Ted King and the Michigan boys racing today.