The San Dimas Stage Race marked the first team race of the 2015 season. The race consisted of an individual 4.25 mile hill climb, an 84 mile road race and concluded with a 90min criterium. Without a time trial specialist, our expectation was for a result in the RR and crit.
Friday afternoon started with the 4.25 mile hill climb. This is a hard discipline to master coming from racing criteriums over the past few years. Our game plan going into the day was for everyone to give it their best shot without digging too deep. Fabio had a great ride and finished in 25th place, just over a minute down on the leader.
Saturday was the 84 mile road race in the heat of the day at 95 degrees. Today it was super important to stay well hydrated and to eat consistently so that the heat would not affect our performance. Our goal for the day was to be a threat in the race and to make the break of the day, but also be ready if it came down to a field sprint.
During the first half of the race there were some threatening breaks up the road with one of our riders always represented. The speed of the race and the heat of the day played a big role on how the race played out. No major break was able to get established all day. As we started the last 7-mile lap of the course, the field was less than half of the size of when it started.
Coming into the final KOM there was a small group of about 5 riders up the road. The team was able to ride the front and have the field all together coming into the bottom of the climb, setting up James and Fabio for a good shot at a stage result. The speed up the last climb was blistering and the field split into many groups. Fabio was position perfectly and was able to contest the bunch sprint and grab an impressive 4th place on the stage.
Sunday was the last stage…a 90min criterium. We knew today was going to be our best shot at a victory. Right off the gun Drew was able to make it into a threatening break with 8 other strong riders. This break stayed away for the first 30 minutes, which allowed the rest of the team to sit near the front and conserve energy. Right as the break was caught Kevin launched a solo attack off the front. His move lasted for a few laps, but with nobody else bridging up to help he realized the field was riding too fast go at it solo.
Next up it was Fabio's turn to go on the attack and he was able to grab the mid-race prime. In the end the race came down to a field sprint. The team positioned themselves well at the front in order to deliver James to the line. Coming into the last lap James was in great position, unfortunately there was a close call in the final corner and James had to lock up his breaks. James finished a respectable 6th place.
All together this was a great first race for the team. It was the first time all the guys have raced together and we were able accomplish much of what we set out to do. Next up is the Redlands Bicycle Classic starting on April 8th.