The KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO Cycling Team raced the Vlees Huis Ronde Road Race in Bakersfield, CA on Saturday. This is a historically hot and windy event and this years edition did not disappoint. The course is a “Y” shape with 3 turn-arounds, so knowing what goes down must also come up, sure makes for a tough race. The laps were 30 miles each and covered roughly 2,500ft of climbing per lap. The men’s field completed 3 laps, and the women raced 2.
Joy McCulloch took first place honors for the second week in a row at Vlees Huis.
“The race began at 8:30am and it was already really hot and windy. Thankfully, this is exactly the conditions and time of day I train in, so nothing came as a shock. The field was quite small and over the rolling terrain, I knew I could ramp up the effort and put a good dent in the group. At the first turn around roughly 10 miles into the race, I kept my momentum out of the turn and attacked back up the climb we had just descended. This solidified a solo breakaway that I was able to hold until the finish. I soon found that riding off the front is just as difficult as the many times I have raced off the back or in a chase group. Thankfully, I was able to secure great feeds from the Swann’s and stay hydrated and motivated to the finish. Kudos to all the racers who came out and braved the course an the conditions. I was excited to finally win the meat cleaver trophy for my team.”
Descriptive words for the race that come to mind are hot, windy, and desolate. Whether you are with the peloton, off the front or out the back, this course is extremely challenging. The fields for the race were smaller than what we have raced in so far this season, which creates a much more difficult race scenario making each rider much more exposed and needing to do a higher amount of work. The men’s race began at 11:45am in the heat of the day and we had six riders ready to help place one of our teammates on the top step of the podium. The field had several strong solo riders that would pose the highest threat through out the race and finally with a lap remaining, Stefano Barberi (CalGiant) broke loose of the official breakaway of 3 riders to solo in for the win. Working hard to make up ground, Fabrizio Von Nacher and David Santos worked tirelessly together to reel in the rest of the breakaway and eventually crossed the line in 2nd and 3rd with a solid gap on the chasers. Rounding out the top 10, Brian McCulloch sprinted out of a group of three to seal 7th place on the day.
Vlees Huis P1/2 Podium: 1st Stefano Barberi CalGiant; 2nd David Santos KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO; 3rd Fabrizio Von Nacher KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO