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Tomac Opens Defense of Cycling Title

Associated Press

Defending champion John Tomac of Chatsworth heads a field of more than 850 riders expected to compete beginning today in the U. S. National Cycling Championships.

The nine-day event, sanctioned by the U. S. Cycling Federation, continues through July 20 and will determine men’s and women’s amateur titlists in four events--the individual and team time trial, criterium and road race.

Winners of the men’s and women’s road race will receive automatic berths on the national team that will compete in the World Cycling Championships in France in August.

Tomac, 21, claimed the 1988 national criterium title as well as the world mountain bike championship. The leading amateur finisher in the recent Milk Race in England, Tomac is among the favorites in the criterium, individual time trial and road race.

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After the time trial events Wednesday and Friday, which will be held northeast of Park City near Coalville, more than 250 men will compete in Saturday’s criterium qualifying, followed by Sunday’s final.

The finals of the men’s and women’s road race, held on a 3.35-mile circuit course, will be July 20. More than 200 men have qualified, necessitating three qualifying heats next Tuesday. The men will ride 100 miles in the final, which has been held since 1965. The 80-rider women’s field will pedal 50 miles.

Tomac has won three mountain bike point races this year and finished 17th in the inaugural Tour de Trump.


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