The infamous Boulevard Road Race!!
The race is thought of by many as the season opener and brings out a stout field that’s fit and ready for the SoCal road season. This race is hilly and long with upwards of 8,000ft vertical in 90 miles. The Pro 1/2 racers complete 4- 22.4mile laps. The whether for this race often adds to the already tough course. This year was like the past two, it was cloudy and cool with an average temperature of 45-50 degrees on race day.
This was a great opportunity to make use of our new JLVelo arm and leg warmers, vests, and the light weight wind/rain jacket. I chose to wear my arm warmers, jersey with number pinned to it and the see-through light weight wind/rain jacket. This set-up was perfect for the conditions. I rode the climbs with it open and zipped on the descents.
We had all 7 our riders on the line ready for battle with Brian McCulloch, David Santos, Chris Barton, Sergio Escutia, Fabrizio Von Nacher, Shawn Wayland and myself. We knew we would need to be active and watch for the early moves to go.
Our plan: use Brian, Shawn Wayland, and myself to cover the early moves in laps one and two. Use Chris and Sergio for the possible later moves and all five of us to be ready, at any time, for a chase if need be. Dave and Fabi were our golden boys for the day.
We did our best to keep them out of trouble and as fresh possible. The early move went on lap one and Brain and Wayland were in it. At first glance, this was just as we planned. Then a couple strong riders bridged to it and Wayland along with some others dropped from the break. With the break at 2:30 min up the road and the fire power that was present in it, we knew we had to do something quick.
With Wayland back in the field as we started lap number two, Wayland, myself, Sergio, and Chris took the front for a hard chase. At that time Paul made the call for Brian to drop from the break and fall back for support. Myself, Sergio, and Wayland were wasted and off the back as soon as the road began to go up for the second time. Our efforts took 45secs out of the break with Fabi and Dave still sitting in. They went up the climb the second time with Brian (now back in the field) and big diesel Chris continuing the chase. The break was 1:40 as the group began its third lap up the climb. This is where Fabi made his move and closed an impressive 1:40 gap to the lead group. He was joined by two other riders as they went across. Going into the fourth and final time up the climb, Fabi was forced to cover some moves and was able to hold on for a hard fought third place.
All things considered we where OK with the podium spot. We learned a lot on the day and for it being the first time racing together with the new group of guys, we were happy!!
We have struggles and opportunities ahead of us this year, we know that and we embrace the challenge. The important thing is we proved to ourselves, our teammates, and our staff that were ready to battle and none of us will hesitate to lay it on the line for the better of team.
Thank you to all of our sponsors. The 2015 BLVD RR put much of our gear to the test. The Maxxis Campiones tires held the wet and fast descending pavement perfectly. The JLVelo cold-weather gear kept us dry and warm and the Kramp Krusher chews allowed us to push on for this 4+ hour race. Our drive trains worked perfectly thanks to Shimano and WD-40 Bike chain lube and products. We have amazing sponsors and look forward to making you all proud in 2015!
Team racer Joy McCulloch raced 3 laps on the same course in the women’s 1/2/3 field. The group split apart the first time up the long finishing climb and Joy stayed in the breakaway of 9 for the remainder of the 67 mile race. Ultimately, she would finish 8th as the three leaders climbed away from the group in the last 5K of the race and Joy was left racing for 4th place on the day.
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.