Mar 25, 2013

San Dimas Stage Race 2013

That's just my game face.  (Photo credit: Phil Keoghan)
San Dimas Stage Race: Three days of racing. 
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)
Stage 1 Uphill prologue on Glendora Mountain Road.  A grind up just over 4 miles of twisty climbing roads and beautiful scenery. One of my favorite hill climbs all year.  I like the gradient, I like the distance, I like the scenery...I like lots of things about it.  I finished in the top-10 with a 7th place, and three of my NOW and Novartis for MS teammates rounded out the remaining places.  If there was a Team General Classification here, we would be rocking it at this point.  (Mara Abbott won this stage, with Amber Neben and Tayler Wiles not far behind.)
Sneaking up the side to score full QOM points on this lap of the SDSR race.  Photo credit: Phil Keoghan
Stage 2 Road Race.  8 laps of 7 miles with lots of turns, ups-and-downs, Queen of the Mountain points and Sprint points on alternating laps.  This is a fun course with a lot of turns, a few obstacles (park-entrance barriers, cones on the road, potholes, elevated manhole covers, narrowing roads, a fast chicane.)  The best part is the punchy 13% gradient hill that leads up to the Queen of the Mountain sprint line.

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
I felt good, and I managed to beat the rest of the peloton up to the top on 2 of the 3 QOM sprints.  I crossed the line in 3rd place on the other one.  My teammate Katie Donovan was on a solo-breakaway for 4 of the 8 laps, and Alexis Ryan scooped up oodles of intermediate sprint points.  Katie and Alexis were sitting 2nd and 3rd respectively in the sprint competition by the end of the day.  I had managed to lead the QOM competition, and secured the polka-dot jersey for NOW and Novartis for MS for the rest of the race.
Warming up on the Kinetic trainer, for the SDSR criterium.  Sporting the QOM polka dots.   (photo: K. Stockton)
Stage 3 Criterium in downtown San Dimas, with tons of spectators, and more intermediate sprint points to be won.  6 corners, none overly technical, but tight enough to make it fun and challenging course. 

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)
After the race, I lost my In-N-Out Burger virginity (as we so eloquently put it), with my teammates Alexis and Katie.  This is how I like it: Protein Style, no cheese, no special sauce.  It's delicious.

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 ;).

1 comment:

  1. QOM!! Great race and results for you and your whole team !!