April 20, 2006 — The 29th edition of the Joe Martin Stage Race will once again kick off May 12-14 in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Joe Martin Stage Race, named for late race director Joe Martin, is once again one of the most prestigious events on USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar. It is also part of USA Cycling’s Lance Armstrong Junior Olympic Series (LAJORS).
The three-day, four-stage race will offer more than $50,000 in cash and merchandise to competitors across 16 categories. Professional male riders will ride for $20,000 in cash, whereas the professional women’s category will compete for $10,000.
The Joe Martin Stage Race has consistently featured some of America’s top endurance cyclists and should prove to do the same this year as the race has already attracted the likes of professional teams Caico, ADLPV Canadian, Calyon-LiteSpeed, Victory Brewing, Colavita and Webcor.
Colavita will send a full women’s squad featuring 2005 NRC Champion Tina Pic, as well as Gina Grain, Sue Palmer and Dotsie Bausch and others, noted team director Jim Williams.
Victory Brewing will bring a strong contingent as well with Laura Yoisten, who remains in the top-five in the NRC standings, as well as Rachel Heal, who recently finished fifth in the road race at the Commonwealth Games.
“It’s important to chase those National Racing Calendar points, but it’s also a good chance for us to bring a large number of athletes to train hard and race together,” Victory Brewing team director Michael Tamayo said.
On the men’s side, Jelly Belly, whose Ben Brooks placed first in the Pro Men’s 1, 2 road race, will once again make an appearance. Jelly Belly will send eight riders, including strong performers from last year’s Superweek Brice Jones and Alex Candelario.
“It’s just a good race,” said team director Danny Van Haute. “It’s big points and we like to race in Arkansas. It’s a good course and good preparation for the (Wachovia series) races in Philadelphia.”
New to this year’s lineup of teams is the Toyota-United Professional Cycling Team. Toyota-United will be sending a full men’s squad, along with 2005 National Road Champion Chris Wherry.
“The Joe Martin is an important stage race on the NRC calendar,” said Director Sportif for Toyota-United Frankie Andreu. “It gives our riders an opportunity to get in a good stage race leading into June.”
With just under a month to go, slots are filling quickly. Riders can register for the Joe Martin Stage Race through Sportsbaseonline.com, or through the SportsBaseOnline registration portal at www.joemartinstagerace.com. Most fields are limited to 100 riders, so visit the site for more details and a schedule of events. SportsBaseOnline will also handle timing and scoring for the event.
“The Joe Martin Stage Race is a great event in our community and we are excited to see it grow so well,” said Mayor of the city of Fayetteville Dan Coody. “Everyone has a great time and we are glad so many racers enjoy our quality of life as well as become a part of it. The Joe Martin Race is one of the things that makes Fayetteville such an enjoyable city.”
For more information, visit www.joemartinstagerace.com.