Australian Ben Day did it again at San Dimas Stage Race. He and his new squad, the Kenda/5-Hour Energy team, reeled in every move in the 90-minute Incycle/Cannondale Old Town Grand Prix to bring it down to a bunch sprint. Day was never worried as his boys as he calls them had everything in control.
That makes it three years in a row for Day. “I got a point a prove. I’m just going to keep on winning races and hopefully end up where I want to end up.” he said after the race.
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No break went but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. Every lap, at least one rider tried his luck to escape the Kenda/5-Hour Energy stranglehold. RealCyclist.com, Jelly Belly, BISSELL were particularly active with CashCall, Team Exergy also giving it a go. Sometimes solo, sometimes in small group but nada.
“The combination was never really right.” explained Day. “This race is very well balanced, the time trial is just long enough to make the time bonuses in the stages and at the finish make the race really interesting. We always have to be very alert. The guys are really enthusiastic and learning as well, they didn’t want to let anything up the road.”
Then of course, the dash for the two HotSpot sprints and their time bonuses. Green jersey Mike Northey (Pure Black Racing) won both of them, sealing the deal to claim the sprint classification. Behind him, sprinting for time was Tyler Wren (Jamis/Sutter Home). Wren a sprinter? He did what he had to do to re-coup lost seconds and move back up to 3rd on GC.
What a difference a day makes. Sunday was the second time that Day’s teammates had to defend his jersey and they were noticeably better at it, very smooth and controlled. They kept the speed high and mowed everything down.
“We had a meeting last night, just talking about the stage yesterday. We’re getting to know each other, they’re getting to know me, they’re getting to know the Australian way which is a little bit different too. We spoke about the little things that we did wrong yesterday, we spoke about the things that we did right and I think today was a great improvement on even yesterday.” Day explained.
On Saturday’s road race, his team came to the front early but were somewhat ragged in the beginning. “Yeah,” Day agreed, “but on the second half they rode great. And then today they didn’t show a chink in the armor at all. They did really well.”
With six laps to go, the field was getting ready for the final sprint. Teams with sprinters massed at the front. With three to go, the Jamis/Sutter Home train was in full flight. Then right after the bell, on the first corner a huge crash took down a big portion of the field, including BISSELL, Jelly Belly and Jamis/Sutter Home riders. But the field kept on going.
Ricardo Escuela (Full Circle Sports), who had made his way behind and then into the Jamis/Sutter Home train, emerged and outsprinted everyone for the win. The Jamis/Sutter Home teammates and brothers, Alejandro and Anibal Borrajo took second and third.
Roman Van Uden (Pure Black Racing) won the KOM and Joseph Schmalz (ELBOWZ Racing) won the U24 classification.
Top 10 Stage Results
1.Ricardo Escuela (Full Circle Sports) 1:30:08
2.Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis-Sutter Home Pro Cycling)
3.Anibal Borrajo (Jamis-Sutter Home Pro Cycling)
4.Kenneth Hanson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda Cycling)
5.Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy)
6.Cole House (Realcyclist.com Pro Cycling Team)
7.Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com Pro Cycling Team)
8.Shawn Milne (Kenda/5-hour Energy p/b Geargrinder)
9.Jesse Goodrich (Team juwi solar/First Solar)
10.Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home Pro Cycling)
Top 5 Final GC
1.Ben Day (Kenda/5-hour Energy p/b Geargrinder)
2. Matt Cooke (Team Exergy)
3.Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home Pro Cycling)
4.Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com Pro Cycling Team)
5. Cesar Grajales (Realcyclist.com Pro Cycling Team)