Preliminary results for the 2014 Cone-Azalia Classic are available here. We will do our best to get these uploaded to USAC and update the MBRA rankings promptly. Thanks again for another wonderful year!
The queen of the Michigan spring classics, Cone-Azalia goes off on Sunday, and it is sure to bring the dirt road talent out in full force. The course features two major dirt sections per lab that are riddled with potholes, water bars, and gravel. Depending on the previous year’s winter, the pavé can be hard as concrete or sticky as velcro. Initial forecasts call for a dry race, but rain earlier in the week could make things interesting. No matter the condition, the race is always violent and selective. Unlike some of the dirt road races earlier in the year there is a real advantage to using a road bike rather than a cyclocross bike. You will still need to run 27 or 28c tires. You still might flat, but knobs are out of the question. Regardless of bike selection or field, you and your equipment will be tested. If you make it to the end you will be tired, but not tired enough to forego the ride down the street to Original Gravity Brewing.
In the Elite field WASlabs will look to continue their success in Michigan bringing a mixed Ohio and Michigan squad. A house divided; with the common goal of dirt road dominance will see Adam York and Jason Young returning to the dirt after weekend of criterium racing. Tom Burke reaffirmed his gravel IQ by taking 4th at Cohutta while Shawn Adams and Aaron Cruikshank will look to build on success north of the border after Paris to Ancaster.
While details about the field are still shaking out, you would expect Steve Broglio to be in the hunt after his Barry Roubaix win. Mike Simonson will certainly be a wheel to watch after a solid Paris to Ancaster showing. Dan Korienek, Daniel Lam, and Nate Williams should be men to stay close to towards the finish. Race conflicts in Ohio will keep Netherland Rubber closer to home, but local teams such as Bissell/ABG, Wolverine, and Leadout will look to control the race from the gun. Hopefully a train crossing doesn’t do their job for them this year. Make sure to get signed up. See you out there, or at OG after.
The forecast for this afternoon is partly cloudy and a high of 71F. I call that perfect weather for a pre-ride. We will be meeting at Original Gravity in Milan at 6pm. Look for the blue Ann Arbor Velo Club (AAVC) kits.
The course is hard-packed and fast, but watch out for a few slick muddy spots. 700-25C tires worked great and riding at speed we didn't have an issues with flats (even when we thought we did).
If you're out pre-riding the course make sure you stop by Original Gravity in Milan to sample this year's brew, the Cone-Azalia Red. The brewery has been working on the recipe all winter and it's AVAILABLE NOW!!! They also have some AMAZING sandwiches and other post-ride fuel to eat. I highly recommend the spicy Italian!
Online registration for the 2014 Cone-Azalia Classic Road Race is now available! Take note that as the event gets closer the entry fee will increase, so get registered by April 11 for the best price. After that the cost for most categories goes up $10 and it increases another $10 on race day.
Preparations are under way for the 2014 Cone-Azalia Classic Road Race. For those who know the event, the course will be like past years. For those new to the event, check out the course details and then just have to see what conditions are really like on race day!
This year's race will take place on Sunday, May 4, 2014.