Longtime team member David Santos has added another championship jersey to his closet! In 2011, he won the CA/NV Road Race Championship and continued on to win the Time Trial Championship in 2011, 2012, and 2013. David has also won the SCNCA Overall Title in 2011, 2012, and 2013. This impressive resume speaks volumes of the athlete and racer David is, and the team could not be more excited that he won the 2015 CA/NV Road Race Championship this past weekend. Here is David’s personal account of the event:
This year, the 2015 CA/NV Road Race Championships returned to the out and back, 85 miles with 9,000 feet of climbing Castaic Lake course. One of the perks of an out and back is you have two U-Turns where you can track how far behind, or in front, you are from the rest of the group. This year, the field was well stacked with several riders representing many of the US Domestic Pro Teams as well as several Elite riders from Southern California. Having these riders be part of the race adds an interesting dynamic to the race because you are racing for the overall win, and also for the CA/NV Road Race State Championship. It gets interesting because to win the Championship, you have to live in California and not possess a UCI License. So sometimes even though you are not the first rider across the finish line, you can still win the Championship if you are the first non-UCI Licensed Californian.
As the race got underway, an early break of 5 riders got up the road. We had Chris Barton and Fabrizio Von Nacher in the break, so all we had to do was follow and rest of the moves. At this point, there were no riders in contention for the SCNCA State Title.
Starting the second half of the race, Sergio Escutia and Ulises Castillo did an incredible job of keeping what remained of the field together. By the time we finished the second lap, our group was down to about 6-7 riders, with a small group up the road. At this point, the front group was well out of sight and one of them would end up winning overall. At this point, the number one priority was to win the CA/NV Championship. In our group, their was only one rider left who I was still eligible for the Championship. Everyone else either had a UCI License or did not live in California.
Halfway through the 3rd lap I began cramping. Ulises and I were were left with 4 other riders racing for 4th place overall. About a minute into the main climb, the cramping got worse. I was dropped from the group and unable to pedal. Ulises waited for me until my muscle released, then helped paced me back to the group for as long as he could. I could see Stefano (CalGiant), who was the one guy left I had to beat to win the title, a ways up the road. I knew I had to get back to him before the downhill if I wanted a shot at winning. So I continued to fight the cramps, pedaled hard, and eventually managed to bridge back to Stefano. I sat on his wheel for a minute, recovered, and attacked hoping I could get away before the downhill. This would give me a good gap and I could just solo it for the rest of the race.
My plan worked and all I had to do was hold him off for the next 6 miles to win the title. With 5k to go, I caught 3 riders who had been in our group. At this point in the race, I only had one cadence and one level of power. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to respond to any attacks and rolled across the line in 7th place overall. Even though I was 7th, I was the first rider who qualified for the CA/NV Title. Winning this Title would never have been done without my team. Everyone executed tactics flawlessly and played an integral part of the result.
Congratulations to Ulises Castillo for winning the Chuck Pontius Omnium and Chris Barton finishing 2nd overall.
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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