After two World Cup rounds and several C1 and C2 races, the North American calendar clams down a bit this weekend. Baltimore, MD plays host to Charm City Cross and is the only C1 race in North America. Saturday features a C1 race, while Sunday is a C2. We will be focusing on the C1, but most riders should be in action both days.
Charm City has been a staple on the mid-Atlantic calendar as it enters its 14th year. For the past eight years, it has been a UCI sanctioned race, and stepped up to a C1 race a few years ago. The race takes place in the heart of Baltimore at Druid Hill Park, a historic 745 acre urban park established in 1859. In addition, this years race is part of the Union Craft Brewing Parkway CX Trophy Series, which also includes DCCX.
This years course is similar to last years, including the massive flyover that turned a lot of heads last year. As with most North American courses, it loops through the park with a combination of pavement, flagstone walkway, grass, dirt and sand. It truly has a little bit of everything. In addition to the flyover, the course crosses through the sand four times and although it is rideable, it often proves challenging during the first few laps. With plenty of off-camber turns and short steep climbs, the race should be technically challenging and very exciting.
Last years race was very tactical, large group racing. The race eventually came down to a four man group containing Jeremy Powers, Kerry Werner, Tobin Ortenblad and Stephen Hyde. Ortenblad, who is known for his sprint, was able to put in a move through the sand pit and over the barriers, before kicking it to the finish.
With Hyde out of action for another month or so, and Powers just returning to racing, Werner has to be the favorite. Ortenblad should also be in the mix and will benefit if it ends up being large group racing like last year. Other riders to watch out for are Curtis White, Michael van den Ham and Frenchman Matthieu Boulo.
- Kerry Werner
- Tobin Ortenblad
- Jeremy Powers
Dark horse: Michael van den Ham