San Diego, CA resident Efren Flores is a new addition to our KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo team. At 19 years old, he is our youngest rider. He brings many things to the team including an impressive ability to climb and work well with the team as a whole. His first event pm the squad was the Redlands Bicycle Classic and he dove in head first, covering moves, initiating breakaways and spending the majority of the Yucaipa/Oak Glen stage up the road in a breakaway. His commitment to the team goal was impressive, as is his ability to ride his bicycle. We asked him several questions about his experience so far on the program and what the rest of the season may hold for this young talent.
KHS: You joined the team right before the Redlands Bicycle Classic, so it was a bit of ‘baptism by fire.’ How did your first NRC race, and first race with the team, go?
EF: My first NRC race was one of the greatest and most valuable race/TEAM experiences I’ve ever had. It was another level above any races I’ve ever participated in. The Redlands Classic was by far the most organized and professional eventsI have ever been to, so thank you to all who put it on and put in the hard work to keep the race going.
I had a great race experience on the first stage, just being gapped off from the front at the end. Stage 2, I was feeling great but due to (day of) big adjustments on the TT bike for UCI regulations, the chain came over the last cog and got stuck between the frame and gears, so I had to get off the bike to fix it losing valuable time. So I was given orders that night to get in the break on stage 3 and I was very determined to redeem myself in any sort of way and help designated team mates to move up on G.C. During the stage I attacked hard 3 times before finally got away with one other rider as the field was relentless in not letting anyone go. I was off the front for close to 2 laps before being caught close to the K.O.M. on the final lap.
Stage 4 criterium, I was pretty beat from my efforts the previous days and just survived to the time limit. Stage 5 on Sunset, I had lost contact with the field at 50 miles into the race and I was chasing hard. As I was nearing making contact again, I had a mechanical on the last lap and unfortunately I was unable to finish.
All in all, it was a great experience for my first NRC race. As far as the team goes, I immediately felt right at home and comfortable with everyone on the team from day one. It really is a team in every sense of the word and more. So to say the least, Redlands Bicycle Classic and my first experience with the team was a great success.
KHS: Describe DS/Owner Paul Abrahams up in 3 words.
EF: Hard to choose 3 words but: Leader, Knowledgeable, Genuine
KHS: Being a new addition to the team, what was your experience hitting the road and going to Sea Otter with the team?
EF: Going on a road trip to Sea Otter with the team was a very fun experience. I got to spend quality time with my new team mates, and we had the privilege of staying at perhaps one of the most beautiful host houses we have ever seen in the woods of Santa Cruz.
KHS: You are quite the accomplished climber – what is your favorite climb in Southern California to tackle?
EF: I would say my favorite climb in SoCal is Mt. Palomar. It is a very gradual climb with switchbacks.
KHS: Looking forwards to the rest of the season, what event(s) are you most looking forward to and why?
EF: The events I am most looking forward to are U23 National Road Race in Tahoe, TT Championships, and Cascade Cycling Classic. These are very big events that I am targeting.
KHS: Having just joined our team, what are you most looking forward to being part of the KHS program?
EF: I am most looking forward to more great racing experiences and being on the road with the team as well as accomplishing great result as a team, because knowing that you contributed a vital effort for the team is a great feeling.
KHS: What are 3 things we probably don’t know about you, but are super interesting? I know you have some!
EF: I have a handful of other passions alongside cycling. They include music, motorcycles, cars, and photography.
Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, NDXSports, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, Kramp Krushers, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.
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