Navigators' Press Release
HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, May 29, 2003 - The Navigators Cycling Team is making final preparations for the upcoming race series known as the "Wachovia Series," formerly known as the First Union and CoreStates series. The racing action for the most important week of cycling in the United States begins in Arlington, Virginia (Washington, DC) on Sunday, June 1st with the Clarendon Cup, followed by the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Invitational on Tuesday and the Trenton (New Jersey) Classic on Thursday. The crown jewel of the week is the 156-Mile Wachovia USPRO Championship in Philadelphia on Sunday, June 8th, won by Navigators' Mark Walters in 2002.
"The Team is really coming into form," stated Directeur Sportif Ed Beamon. "We've had riders on the top-step of the podium 12 times in the past two weeks and performed very well in several of the National Racing Calendar events over this past holiday weekend. The competition next week will be the best that it's ever been, but we're confident that we have the horsepower and speed necessary to make our mark once again."
The team is poised to improve on their results in 2002 which included a victory by Vassili Davidenko in the Clarendon Cup, a 3rd place finish in Lancaster, a 2nd place finish in Trenton, and Walters' victory in Philadelphia. Leading the charge with Walters will be Navigators' newly crowned U.S. National Time Trial Champion Chris Baldwin. Joining him will be Ciaran Power, the recent winner of 2 stages in Ireland's FBD Milk Ras, Davidenko, and Henk Vogels, the winner in Philadelphia in 2000. The Lancaster race is also the kick-off of the 5-event 2003 Pro Cycling Tour that was won by Henk Vogels in 2002 with Mark Walters taking the 2nd spot on the final podium.
Also showing good form are Burke Swindlehurst, Glen Mitchell, Jeff Louder and Ryan Guay, each of whom won a stage in the Ecology Center Classic Stage Race, this past weekend, with Swindlehurst also coming out on top in the overall classification. In other racing action, Chris Wherry scored his first win of the year at the Iron Horse Classic Criterium in Durango, Colorado, while Davidenko added another "V" in Bound Brook, New Jersey.
The competition is expected to be very intense again this year as a record number of teams (22) from the U.S., Italy, Belgium, Denmark and Poland are scheduled to compete. Starting on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 9:00 AM, next Sunday's championship event will last over 6-hours for the tough 156-Mile course through Philadelphia and over the famous "Wall" in Manayunk (10-laps).
Held since 1985, the event attracts over 500,000 on-site spectators and is broadcast live in its entirety on WPVI-TV Channel-6 (ABC). In addition to the demanding race schedule, the Navigators team will also be participating in several school and fun-ride events throughout the PA/NJ area.