The CashCall Mortgage Cycling wrapped up racing on the local calendar over Labor Day weekend. Beginning with the Temecula Vally Grand Prix on Saturday and finishing at the CBR labor Day Criterium on Monday.
In Temecula, David Santos, Brian McCulloch and Devan Dunn raced this inaugural event under humid and hot conditions. The course is a 1.6 mile hot-dog circuit with a finishing climb that gains just under 200ft per lap. Racing for 75 minutes took it’s toll on the peloton as the CashCall riders relentlessly attacked and counter attacked the dwindling field. Ultimately David Santos found himself in a breakaway 6 which he trimmed down to 2 – himself and Eder Frayre of Calimex. They raced hard to the finish with Eder narrowly taking the win, Santos a solid 2nd.
The team had all four of our local athletes, Chris Barton, Brian McCulloch, David Santos and Devan Dunn, ready to rock at the CBR series final. Being the last local crit the team would race together in 2013, they had several goals they wanted to accomplish. This made for exciting racing and a story to tell from each of them. The team ultimately finished 1-2-3 at the Labor Day Criterium in a great show of teamwork.
Claiming the 2013 SoCal Cup Overall standings was never an initial goal of the CashCall Mortgage Cycling team. The last two years, we spent the majority of the season racing locally. Doing so allowed us to accumulate enough points to win the SoCal Cup, especially last year when we claimed the top 5 places. For the 2013 season, the program spent much more time racing NRC/NCC races and we missed out on most of the SCNCA events. After we returned from the Cascade Cycling Classic, teammate Brian McCulloch analyzed the local results and informed us that claiming the SoCal Cup for the third year in a row was still a possibility! So after a couple phone calls and emails, Brian, Devan, and Chris (Those of us who live in SoCal) collectively committed to accomplishing 3 goals. 1.) win the SoCal Cup Series 2.) ensure that everyone on the team won at least one race 3.) move Brian into the top 5 in the overall series. Fast forward 6 weeks and every CashCall rider won a race! I managed to consistently finish on the podium which allowed me to accumulate enough points to gradually surpass the current leader, Justin Williams, and Brian managed to score enough points to move into 3rd. Accomplishing these goals was 100% a team effort and out right, HARD WORK.
The four of us committed to making it happen, were 100% sold out to each other, and rode our bikes harder than we ever imaged we would have to. In the end, we accomplished exactly what we said we were going do. To be a three time SCNCA SoCal Cup Champion is an amazing feeling. But knowing it was a direct result of teamwork from some of the best cyclists and stand-up men I know, makes this victory even sweeter!
Ending the year with two wins is big for me. Its been a while since I’ve won a race, and to win two in three weeks is awesome (Ontario GP and CBR Labor Day Criterium)! It is a great feeling to set goals as a team and to accomplish them as a team. Both wins were the result of being able to take advantage of an opportunity given to me by my teammates, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am very grateful to have such a supportive team.
After the Brentwood GP at the beginning of August, me and the boys were looking for ways to keep our motivation high as the season was waning. Luckily for us, there are lots of bike races between Brentwood and our final event in Las Vegas on the SoCal calendar. As a group, we set out wrap-up the SoCal Cup win for our man Santos for a third straight season. This is a classification that takes the support of an entire team and the dedication of a strong rider, fortunately we have both. Santos has proved that over the past three seasons he is the most consistent rider in SoCal. From criteriums to road races and time trials, Santos is always at the front. Along with the goal of defending the SoCal Cup title, we set the goal of getting Dunn, Barton, and myself a win before the seasons end.
As always, my biggest enjoyment of bike racing is accomplishing team objectives. I like to think of it as ‘fighting above our weight’. With riders like Dunn, Barton, and Santos it makes ‘racing hard’ very rewarding and together we can push each other to get the most out of ourselves. The goals we set may have sounded a bit lofty at the outset, but with with our collective commitment and drive we were able to accomplish all of these goals and more. When we finished 1-2-3 at the final CBR of the SoCal Cup season, it seemed a fitting end for us and a demonstrative example of the power of team-work.
I am very proud of our team for accomplishing these goals, especially in the face of such big opposition. The SoCal peloton is known to be strong and aggressive. There were no gifts given to earn these results, and we would have it no other way. Better competition forces us to be better, race smarter, and be more committed. That is what drives me and I am thankful to have teammates and sponsors who feel the same.
I spent the better part of the early season dealing with an injury that kept me out of the races. However, the 2013 season was not all about couch time and physical therapy for me. I am so thankful to my teammates and the CashCall Mortgage cycling team staff for standing by me after my injury. I was able to get back on the bike and out on the road with the guys mid-April and it was easy to stay focused with all the success they were having at the races. The strength of my team even allowed me to take a win of my own and contribute to many! More than anything though, I am so grateful for the friendships I’ve made with my guys. Our bike trip down the coast and our end of season success has been the highlight of my career thus far….easily.
Thank you our sponsors: CashCall Inc., KHS Bicycles, iRT Wheels, Hammer Nutrition, Xpedo, Jakroo Custom Clothing, Shimano, Rudy Project, Praxis Works, Velo Saddles, Kenda Tire, Chamois Butt’r, World Oil Corp, Rennie and Associates, Finish Line Bicycle Care Products.