The 2016 Redlands Bicycle Classic fostered the teams best results to date, with Ulises Castillo storming to victory in the stage 4 downtown criterium, and sealing the weekend off with a spectacular ride on Sunday for 2nd place on the iconic Sunset Stage. The excitement was infectious as Ulises and the team have grown deep roots in the Redlands community. The team hosts families, local junior athletes, and supporters of the team banged on the boards as he raced to victory and swarmed the podium as he celebrated his biggest career win.
The Chuck Pontius Omnium is a very challenging race weekend. The event was comprised of two days of racing and some of the toughest competition in SoCal. The courses are not to be taken lightly, with the first day being one of the toughest road races on the calendar. Weighing at 85 miles and 8,000 feet of vertical ascent, the Castaic Lake Road Race is a tough one. To add extra toppings of difficulty, the course is known for its harsh winds and high heat conditions, making for a very brutal day in the saddle.
Day two is the Chuck Pontius Memorial Criterium, which may look easy on paper because it is only 60 minutes compared to the monstrous road race the day before. But make no mistake, it is equally as challenging. The course is a simple sweeping 4 corner design, where the challenge lies in the high pace and tough competition. Being that the race is an omnium and scored by points, not time, means that there are no time cuts and riders are free to race one or both stages as they feel it suits them.
Day One: Castaic Lake Road Race. The race was promised to be a tough one with the temperature already at 70 degrees at 9:30am. The pace was going to be high as well, with members of the SoCal Cycling Team, Cyclance Cycling, and our KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo squad and more, staged at the line. After our brief team meeting, we rolled out at 9:30am sharp for 3 laps on the challenging course.
There was no warm up in the race, it was just straight down to business. The first lap saw huge attrition in numbers with the pace on the course being very hard, forcing wattage numbers and efforts to be driven sky high. After constant attacks and counter attacks, a two man break was able to roll up the road. As the break became established, the pace settled for a brief time before another volley of attacks and attempted moves began, which ultimately separated the field even more. Read more
The first stage of the Tour de Murrieta was the Individual Time Trial, which consisted of a 4 mile course with a very unique dirt section in the last mile or so. Before everyone started their warm-up, Paul had a small talk with us about the plan. The plan was to get the best time possible, but having in mind that it was better if we went hard on the first part of the course but to save some in the tank for the dirt section. After we all finished the TT and rode back to the team van, we found out that Ulises got second place by just 2 seconds to a Jelly Belly rider. This made all of us happy because we knew we had high chances to be able to help Ule win the Tour de Murrieta for the second year in a row.
The second stage was the Grand Prix Criterium, which was 75 minutes on a fast and really technical six corners course. The plan for the team was to keep everything together for a field sprint in order to set up Ulises for the final sprint, so that he could get enough points to take the Omnium lead. Read more
The 90-mile road race has it all – plenty of climbing, technical descents, cross-wind roads, and a punchy finale that reveals every riders flaws. There is no denying it, this race is always contested by strong-men that show-up ready to race hard for the entire 90-mile race.
My memories of this course are fond as this is the route that I won the CA State Championship on. During training leading up to this years’ Vlees Huis Ronde, I continually recalled memories from that day in 2012, especially the team work my KHS teammates and I produced to make that result possible. Read more
Last weekend marked the second year the KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo Cycling Team competed in the Chico Stage Race. A nine hour drive north did not deter our riders from pinning their numbers on at one of best stage races of the season. Boasting 4 stages in just 3 days, the volume and intensity the event had to offer was too good to pass up.
Heading into Chico, Efren Flores has received the bad news that his hand was broken from a crash at Rosena Ranch. As he began his diligent recovery at home, we took Fabrizio Von Nacher, Brian McCulloch, Ulises Castillo, Robert Freeman and Cory Lockwood to race at the event.
Stage 1: Thunderhill Raceway Circuit Race The team entered this stage confident that the end would come down to a sprint finish at that Fabrizio would be best suited for a podium finish here. In the final 200 meters, Fabi was in the perfect position to launch his sprint when he got tangled and hit the raceway hard. Brian McCulloch was on his wheel and was able to avoid issues and sprinted to 6th place at the finish. Unfortunately, the crash took Fabi out of the remainder of the event.
Stage 2: Paskenta Road Race – 90 Miles The road course at Chico consists of 2, 45 mile loops, each of which contains a 5 mile dirt and gravel section. Although it is a season-favorite of our riders, it sure takes its toll on them.