“My Best Foot Forward”
By Steven Davis
The San Dimas Stage Race is a local favorite and the true start to the racing season. Our team had 7 riders for the event including Jondall, McCulloch, Davis, Williams, Santos, Le Mao and Von Nacher. The event begins with a hill climb Time Trial of 4.25 miles up Glendora Mountain Road. As a team, we arrived early and began to prepare both mentally and physically for the days task: Go as hard as ONE can, leaving nothing in reserve at the completion of the race.
Many might think that 4.25 miles is nothing for the seasoned athlete. However, the race would take around 15 minutes for the fastest in the field. These efforts can be equally as hard as a 3 hour race, both mentally and physically. The course was a rather steady climb after the first kilometer and riddled with windy conditions. The famed Glendora Mountain Road can be exposed to wind-ward gusty sections.
As a team, I believe we were a little disappointed with our performance. David Santos and Fabrizio Von Nacher both rode strong, however, finishing in the top 3rd on the General Classification. The disappointment in overall results only led to the fuel that would set up the following days fire to achieve what we collectively came to do: Compete and Win.
The following day was the SDSR Road Race. This course is tough with 10 laps on a the 7 mile circuit. It includes with rolling terrain, a steady 2 minute KOM climb, spotty pavement, crosswinds, and moving obstacles. The team goal was to get either David Santos or Fabrizio Von Nacher into the break. This would allowing fora rider to be fully committed in the break up the road as well as have one fully protected in the field.
After several failed breakaway attempts by the peloton, David made what would become the leading break of the day with a truly aggressive move when it mattered most. With the help of Brian McCulloch, Dave was able to race really smart, calm, and collected early on. Brian helped to keep Dave in great position while also reinforcing patience. After Dave made the move and the break
was solidified, it was now our job to keep Fabrizio safe. This kept us able to counter in case the break of 12 came back. The break hovered around 2-3 minutes for several laps, but began to
fall apart as the race wore on. With 2 laps to go, the break had lost 2 guys and was just over a minute up the road. For our team though, all was good because Dave was looking good in the break and Brian and I were keeping an eye on Fabrizio.
At the end of the race, the break would stay away, and David Santos would sprint for 2nd place on the day. Fabrizio would finish 14th overall on the day, with
both myself and Brian McCulloch finishing in the field. Two of our riders would not finish on the day, do to crashes, mechanicals, and simply hard racing.
This was another great result by David Santos, with some of the nations top professional cyclists. We were really happy to be a part of his success on the day, but truly impressed as to how he took matters into his own hands and just made it happen.
Of course a huge ‘Thank You’ goes out to all of our coaching & support staff, as well as our sponsors. Another special thank you to our host housing: Greg & Lisa Hayes. They kept us clean, well-rested, and potentially over-fed!
Thank you KHS, Maxxis, JAKROO Custom Apparel, Serfas, Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project, IRT Wheels, Xpedo, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Rennie & Associates, Q2, Bike Religion, Chamois Butter, WD-40 Bike, Bicycle Blue Book and the Management of IPA sports.