by Adam Switters I started making the trip down to the San Dimas stage race when I was 16, but I haven’t been back since 2010. I’ve been very busy lately with work and planning a trans-continental wedding, so I was using this race as preparation for Redlands. Joining me in the Pro/1 race would be Daniel Holloway, Eric Riggs, and Shawn Rosenthal.
Stage 1 was a 4.25mi uphill TT. I’ve done well here in the past, but today was not my day. Phil Gaimon crushed all-comers with a blazing 14:03 and I just barely managed to finish in the top half of the field. We were hoping for a better day in tomorrow's road race.
With 165 riders in the field, the RR was always going to be hectic. The race is 12 laps of a 7mi course with lots of road furniture, tight turns and roads, and a steep 800m climb. The race started off fast from the gun and it took 5 laps for the first break to establish. Eric was doing an excellent job of placing Daniel in the front before the climb every lap. With 4 laps to go, there was a fast crash down the start finish stretch that required race leader Phil Gaimon to be air-lifted off after crashing on his face (He’s ok now). With 3 laps to go I took over the job of positioning Daniel into the climb after Eric rode his legs off. With 1 lap to go, maybe 70 of the original 165 riders were left in the pack, and after fighting for position, the wheels came off the final time up the climb for Daniel and myself and we rolled in a few minutes down on the decimated field. Eric would finish a few minutes later, sneaking inside the time cut, while Shawn had a hard day with the majority of the field and unfortunately got time cut. In the end, only 80 of the original 165 riders would be classified finishers.
The criterium the final day has a 300m gradual climb on it every lap that wears down everybody. I was feeling pretty terrible and surfed the back of the pack with Eric for the first 70 minutes of the 90 minute race while Daniel surfed the front. With 20 minutes to go, Eric and I moved up to the front with Daniel, but with 4 laps to go I came detached from the front part of the group and just rolled in toward the back of the field. Daniel and Eric did a great job to finish 6th and 11th respectively.