Teams are gathering in Southern California for the 10th annual San Dimas Stage Race which runs from March 20 to 22. The precursor to the NRC opening race on the following weekend, the Redlands Bicycle Classic, the 3-day race held in the San Gabriel Foothills has become a hotly contested event.
Last year Canadian Cam Evans, then riding for the defunct Symmetrics team, outplayed leader Oscar Sevilla and his Rock Racing team in the final stage to win the overall general classification by one second.
Evans jumped away in a break in the final criterium, grabbed time bonus sprints and overcame a 37-second deficit to clain victory. Evans is back to defend his title with his new team, OUCH Pro Cycling Teamp/b Maxxis which also includes 2008 NRC winner Rory Sutherland.
Rock Racing is back, led by Chris Baldwin this time and brings US Crit Champ Rahsaan Bahati and U23 Crit Champ Justin Williams. Third place overall last year, Australian Ben Day is returning with his new, Fly V Australia p/b Successful Living Foundation. The Colavita/Sutter Home team includes the breakaway artist Luis Amaran, winner of the final stage in last year’s edition. Peter Stetina of the Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin team - the Vaughters development team – has been finishing cloese in many races, second at the Tour of Utah last year and could be on the cusp of a big result. Team Type 1 is bringing Darren Lill for the GC race and Matt Wilson and Ricardo Escuela for the bunch sprints update: Matt Wilson is still sidelined by a bug he apparently picked up while racing at the the Vuelta Mexico Telmex earlier this month. Team Type 1 will be counting on Aldo Ino Ilesic and Ken Hanson for the sprint finishes.
BMC will be led by Jeff Louder in his final preparations before flying to race the cobbles in Paris-Roubaix and seconded by strong time trialist Brent Bookwalter. Other riders to watch include Dan Ramsey (Mt Khakis), Justin England (California Giant/Specialized), Aaron Tuckerman (Land Rover-ORBEA), Will Routley (Jelly Belly), Burke Swindlehurst and Frank Pipp (Bissell) and Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefit Strategies).
On the women’s side, last year the race was dominated by the High Road now Columbia-High Road team who won every stage and the top 3 in general classification with Kim Anderson on the top step. Anderson is back to defend her title and brings with her a formidable team which includes 2009 Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium winner Emilia Fahlin, the ever-dangerous Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Canadian Road Champ Alex Wrubleski. Hoping to break the stranglehold are Leah Goldstein (ValueAct Capital) who finished fourt last year, Andrea Dvorak and Tina Pic of the Colavita/Sutter Home team, Olivia Dillon (Touchstone), Karla Kingsley (SugarCRM). And 16-year old Coryn Rivera, winner of 20 Junior National Titles, will be part of the mix with her Metro Volkswagen team led by Shannon Koch.
The stages. The race starts off with the twisty 3.8-mile (6.1 km) Glendora Chevrolet Mountain Time Trial. The climb poses a steady pitch between 4.5 – 5.5 percent and elevation gain of 1375 feet (419 meters). The first pro/1/2 woman is currently scheduled to go off at 1:40 pm PT and the first man pro/1/2 at 3;25 pm local time.
The second stage, the San Dimas Hospital Stage Race, features a rolling to hilly circuit on roads that surround and bisect the Frank G Bonelli Regional Park. The course is a 7-mile (11 km) loop and includes a climb up Cannon with a 13-percent kicker and finishes off with a flat 1-kilometer straight to the finish line. The women do 8 laps for a total pf 56 miles (90 km) and the men do 12 laps for 84 miles (135 km).
The final stage on Sunday March 30, is the Incycle/Cannondale Old Town San Dimas Classic, a crit raced on a six-corner 1.2-mile (1.9 km) course on the streets of historic Old Town San Dimas. The long slightly downhill section enables incredible speeds into the righthand corner and onto the finish straightaway. The women race 55 minutes and the men 90 minutes.