|That's just my game face. (Photo credit: Phil Keoghan)|
In 2011 I won the title of Best Young Rider at this race, my first title on the American racing scene. This year, NOW and Novartis for MS came back for some more success. San Dimas is one of my favorite races, and the perfect event for the beginning part of the race season because it's not too long, and just tough enough... It makes for an excellent lead-up to Redlands Bicycle Classic as well, the first event on the National Race Calendar (NRC).
|A view of the hill-climb prologue road course. Not too shabby! (Photo: Lex Albrecht)|
|Sneaking up the side to score full QOM points on this lap of the SDSR race. Photo credit: Phil Keoghan|
On the first lap there was a major crash where race leader Mara Abbott went down hard with a whack of other girls. 2nd place GC rider Amber Neben made the call to neutralize the race and wait for Mara to get back on to the peloton. Taking advantage of a crash to win a race...just isn't cool. Luckily once she got back in the pack, she didn't look too mangled.
|First over the QOM line, and at the front of the pack going downhill. Photo credit: Phil Keoghan|
|Warming up on the Kinetic trainer, for the SDSR criterium. Sporting the QOM polka dots. (photo: K. Stockton)|
I wasn't on my A-game for this stage. Teammate Maura Kinsella was in several good moves, and Alexis Ryan scored extra sprint points but not enough to secure the jersey. It was a fun race...on the bright side of things...but not one of NOW's finest. Canadian Gillian Carleton won the stage.
Mara Abbott (Exergy-Twenty16) won the overall race, Tayler Wiles (Specialized-Lulu Lemon) was the Best Young Rider, Brianna Walle (Optum) the Best Sprinter, and I was proud to represent NOW and Novartis for MS in the Best Climber (Queen of the Mountains) polka dots.
NOW and Novartis for MS kept 4 riders in the top 10. I sat in 7th place overall.
|Lex Albrecht (QOM), Mara Abbott (Leader), Tayler Wiles (BYR), Brianna Wale (Sprinter) (Photo: R. Heal)|
I'll hang out and train with Alexis Ryan in California for 1.5 weeks before heading to the next race: REDLANDS BICYCLE CLASSIC in Redlands, CA. And I'll make sure to go back to In-N-Out ;).