Chris Barton reports on another great weekend of racing for the KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo Cycling Team.
The San Dimas Stage Race started with a 4.25 mile uphill time trial up Glendora Mountain Road. Having done this race several times before, we knew what to expect in terms of difficulty: Four miles. Up. A. Hill. The road is steep enough that it is faster to use a light road bike than an aerodynamic time trial bike.
The time trial warm up can be one of the more unique moments of racing. With everyone silently riding in place doing their own specific warm-up, there is a kind of tranquility like the calm before a storm. Forty five minutes of clearing your mind and focus amidst the buzzing of wheels on stationary trainers before sixteen minutes of pain.
I did my usual warmup and then headed to the start ramp. I decided to hold back a bit in the first six minutes to avoid going above my limit and then go full gas for the remainder if the race. You have to be a little more cautious with your efforts in an uphill time trial because there are no flat or downhill sections to use to recover if you do go too hard, too early. I believe my strategy paid off as I ended up placing 29th out of 155 racers. I didn’t place as well as I had hoped, but I am satisfied because I rode as well as I could have.
Fast-forward to Sunday, and the San Dimas Stage Race Criterium was one of the most exciting races I’ve ridden this year. It was fast, technical, and had enough of a hill to make you really hurt every lap.
We rode aggressively, trying to get at least one of our riders into any breakaway that looked like it might stay away. This meant being patient when one or two riders would go up the road, but being aggressive when the fastest riders in the race started to attack.
Between Ulises, Dave, and I we ended up being present in every major breakaway, but the chasing field was strong enough that by the last five laps, the race was all back together. This is where Brian and Fabrizio came into play. Brian had done a great job keeping Fabi out of harms way and rested so that he would be good in the sprint finish. Brian and I kept a good buffer zone around Fabi and set him up in a good position going in to the final sprint.
Unfortunately, Fabi was ridden into the curb and out of the race by another racer and I found myself in position to try and make the most out of a less than ideal situation. I came around the last turn in sixth place and managed to sprint my way to third place and on to the podium!
I would have loved to see my teammate Fabrizio win, but I am happy with the team’s effort during the race and excited that I made the podium at a stage of the San Dimas Stage Race. I know that each if us on KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo really dug deep physically and mentally for one another this weekend, and this gives me confidence and inspiration leading into one of the biggest races of our season, the upcoming Redlands Cycling Classic
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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