The 2009 road season kicks off this weekend with the annual Rutgers/Princeton races in Piscataway and Princeton, NJ. The weekend is traditionally the first the road season, and includes one of the only individual time trials, in addition to a criterium and a Sunday circuit race. The time trial is the first race on Saturday morning and is very short, only 2.7 miles in length. The winning time last year was under 6 minutes. The race is almost perfectly flat, but does involve 2 separate 180 degree turns, giving an advantage to technically sound riders.
The Saturday afternoon criterium is on a new, 4-corner course on the Princeton campus. The race is advertised as having a steep “wall” that racers will climb every lap, and promises to be fast and spectator-friendly since the whole course is accessible. Sunday’s circuit race, on the Rutgers campus, looks like it will generally be more mellow, but a very long and moderately uphill finishing straightaway will reward patience and lead to an exciting sprint finish.
Check out Men’s B powerhouse José Soltren’s analysis (and maps) of the courses here.