Defending champion Ben Day (Fly V Australia) set the fastest time once again, stopping the clock at 12:53 on the 6km (3.74 mi) San Dimas opener, the Glendora Time Trial. The only other rider to come in under 13 minutes was BISSELL’s Paul Mach at 5 seconds back. 5 times Australian Mountain Bike Champion Sid Taberlay (California Giant/Specialized) was third at 8 seconds behind the winner.
Day was happy with his time even if it’s 9 seconds slower that his winning time in 2009.
Where the conditions different than last year? “Can I say it was a little bit slower because I did a slower time?” laughed Day. “Honestly I know that I’m not quite up to the mark that I was last year, I can see that in my figures and my weight but I’m only halfway through my preparation now whereas last year I already had California in my legs and that’s pretty much the worlds best training, you can’t training harder than that. So I’m happy to put this win on the board, this is a small step on some bigger focuses that I have and also that the team has for the rest of the season.”
Day kept an average speed of 27.83 km/h (17.29 mph) over the twisty climb that gained 419 meters (1375 feet).
“You just go hard and bloody try to hang on.” chuckled Day about finding his rhythm on the course. “I went out quite hard, I had a great guide to pace off with Chris Baldwin right in front of me. Chris is so consistent and I know if I was picking off some time on him that I’d be right up there amongst the leaders. I went after the rabbit pretty hard and halfway through, ‘bloody hell that rabbit it not getting any closer’ and tried to pick it up a little bit coming into the finish.”
“I found a pretty good rhythm. I don’t have a lot of races in yet, I did the Callville Bay Classic out in Las Vegas and that was pretty much the first intensity that I’ve done since October of last year. A little bit of a shock to the system, this certainly wasn’t an easy win.”
Coming in from a TT win at the Madera race in Northern California under his belt, Mach is also still honing his form. “I wasn’t really sure of my form coming in. I had a good ride [in Madera] but the training hasn’t been the same so I just wanted to make sure that I gave it one hundred percent and didn’t have anything left at the finish line which I had problems with before. And I did that so I felt really good about it and then the time turned out to be really good as well which is nice.
Mach gave himself a goal of breaking the 13-minute barrier. “Kind of an elite club of people that have broken 13, that was one of my goals going in. You should read my blog, I blogged about it.” he laughed.
No stranger to the course, Mach echoed Day on finding his rhythm. “I just hard and try to hang on. This is my fourth time doing it, I won it as a Cat 3 and a Cat 2 so I have a lot of experience on it, it’s a good course for me. That 15 minute range hard uphill has always been good for me.”
CalGiant’s directeur Anthony Gallino called Taberlay his “secret weapon”. His weapon delivered showing his great form acquired racing mountain bikes in Australia during the winter.
“It’s a little bit different for me coming from the mountain bike, I’m not used to a solid effort more on and off stuff. I had a little bit of period there where I was struggling about two thirds up.” said Taberlay. “I am happy.”
He followed a simple plan. “I just try to keep a pretty consistent pace and 28 k an hour that I needed to hold based on last year’s time.”
Not bad for someone that hasn’t been in a road race for years. “I wanted to do some road racing for cross training, get some more miles in my legs. Also I haven’t done any road racing for about three years and I kind of miss it as well, I had a burning desire to get back into it.” said Taberlay.
Luis Amaran (Jamis/Sutter Home) was fourth at 16 second down. CalGiant put two riders in the top 5, with Andrew Talansky slotting in up fifth spot at seventeen seconds down. With that result, Talansky takes over the lead in the U25 classification. Great results for the amateur team based in Northern California.
The battle continues tomorrow with the 135 km (84 mi) San Dimas Hospital Road Race. A circuit race on a a rolling to hilly 11.2 km (7 mile) loop on roads that surround and bisect the Bonelli Park. Each loop includes the climb up Cannon that has a 13-percent kicker followed by flat and fast roads for the next couple of miles. (More info on stage)
The race offers up lots of time bonuses with 40 seconds in intermediate sprints and 20 seconds on the line, for a total of 60 seconds. With only a 5 seconds lead, Day will be put under pressure and he knows it.
“Looking at the times, there are some good riders right behind me. Paul Mach isn’t too far back and Sid Taberlay, an Australian trying to chase me down.” laughed Australian Day. “It will be a good race the next couple of days and the boys are pretty excited about jumping in the fun again. I know that there are so much stronger than last year, this time last year we were all coming together and now we’re a completely different unit. Maybe I’ll be working for my boys on Sunday because they’re sprinting so well right now.”
But Day is ready for it. “We need to be attentive, control the race well. I don’t think there’s any reason to panic at all. It’s our race to win and we’re completely driven by success. I know that all the guys are going to deliver, the pressure is on my shoulders to make sure I finish it off. Excited, bring it on.”
Will Mach and his team throw everything at the Fly V team? “I would be dumb not to try.” he replied. “We’re going to race our bikes and see how it shakes out like always. No win is easy and it’s not going to be easy for Ben, let’s just say that.” laughed Mach.
Mach continued, “I feel confident that the guys will ride for me and they’ll help me out the best that they can. Two of our guys are actually sick, Andy and Rob so that leaves Cody, Kyle and David.”
It’s a great scenario for the CalGiant team. “We have a few options so that’s a good spot to be in. We’ll just see what happens, generally we’re not in this position. It’s actually good for us, most of the big teams are not around us much so it puts us in a pretty good position to do a few different things,” chuckled Gallino, “that’s how we’re going to play it. Really there is no pressure at all.”
“It’s close we’ll see how it comes.” said Taberlay about Saturday’s stage. “At the end of the day I’ve been given orders by the mountain bike team not to do anything silly or crash so we’ll just take it as it comes.”
“It will definitely split up, anything can happen tomorrow. It’s one of those courses where anything and everything will happen.” said Gallino about the upcoming road race.
And to make it even more fun, no race radios. “I’m such a noisy bastard in the race, I sometimes speak over the director anyway.” laughed Day about racing without radios. “I expect it’s going to help us in a certain regard. The one thing I’m a little bit concerned about is getting time checks from the officials. This is a big thing that is happening in cycling right now and next year it’s going to be across the board in all UCI races. I just hope that the officials need to step up in order to give us good time checks.”
Let’s do it.
On her first race with her new team, Mara Abbott (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12) flew up the course to set up a time of 14:31, 30 seconds that her winning time in 2009. And that makes it her third consecutive win on this stage with every year clocking a faster time.
Abbott set an average speed of 25.28 km/h (15.71 mph) on the steady climb up Glendora with beautiful vistas.
Coming in second was Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia) at 16 seconds back. In third spot, is Abbott’s teammate Alisha Welsh at 35 seconds.
Welsh was quite happy with her results. “I was really motivated to have a good race today for the team. I’m really excited to be in a position to support Mara and help out the team.” Colavita/Baci’s Carmen Small rounds off the top 5.
Robin Farina (Team VBF) sits in fourth place at 1:03 down. “That was a hard effort today,” stated Farina. “I guess I went hard enough, because I puked after it was over!”
Defending champion Ina Teutenberg finished in seventh spot, at 1:23 down from the winner.
Finishing ninth, Rebecca Much (TIBCO/To The Top) is the highest U25 rider and now leads the Best Young Rider Classification.
The race continues tomorrow with the grueling 90 km (56 mi) San Dimas Hospital Road Race around Bonelli Park. The women do 8 laps of the rolling 11.2 km (7 mile) loop. Each loop includes the climb up Cannon that has a 13-percent kicker followed by flat and fast roads for the next couple of miles.
With only 3 riders under the one minute line, the battle seems to be set between Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12 and HTC-Columbia but the other teams have not given up. Especially with a total of seconds in time bonuses available and with a breakaway often succeeding in the second stage in San Dimas.
“Tomorrow will be a totally different race,” said Alexi Rhodes (Team VBF). ”Lots of time bonuses on the line, so a lot can change. We’re going to make those changes happen!”
Top 10 Men Pro/1 Results (Full results here)
1. Ben Day (Fly V Australia) 12:53.79
2. Paul Mach (BISSELL) 12:58.81 @ 5.02
3. Sid Taberlay (California Giant/Specialized) 13:01.58 @ 7.79
4. Luis Amaran (Jamis/Sutter Home) 13:10.15 @ 16.36
5. Andrew Talansky (California Giant/Specialized) 13:11.03 @ 17.24
6. Chris Baldwin (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis) 13:12.51 @ 18.72
7. Jay Crawford (Fly V Australia) 13:17.31 @ 23.52
8. Cesar Grajales (Bahati Foundation) 13:22.54 @ 28.75
9. Tim Roe (Trek Livestrong) 13:24.22 @ 30.43
10. Taylor Shelden (Holowesko Partners) 13:24.42 @ 30.63
Top 10 Women Pro/1/2 Results (Full results here)
1. Mara Abbott (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12) 14:31.14
2. Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia) 14:47.49 @ 16.35
3. Alicia Welsh (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12) 15:06.76 @ 35.62
4. Robin Farina (Team VBF) 15:34.94 @ 1:03.80
5. Carmen Small (Colavita/Baci) 15:40.36 @ 1:09.22
6. Kathryn Donovan (InCycle/SCVelo) 15:47.04 @ 1:15.90
7. Ina Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) 15:54.67 @ 1:23.53
8. Kat Carroll (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12) 15:56.18 @ 1:25.04
9. Rebecca Much (TIBCO/To The Top) 16:06.81 @ 1:35.67
10. Courtney O’Donnell (Herbalife LaGrange) 16:08.03 @ 1:36.89
Women pro/1/2 Photo Gallery (Click for larger images)
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Men pro/1 Photo Gallery (Click for larger images)
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