Saturday, March 26, 2011

San Dimas Stage Race 2011, Stage 2 Road Race...

A post dedicated to our teammates - where would we be without them? We train together, warm-up together, and cool-down together. (By the way, Blogger really washes the color out of photos when they upload, but if you click on them it helps.)

During the race, they are never far away.

Below, notice the HTC women's team with Amber Neben in the race leaders yellow jersey. In the first photo she has three teammates controlling the front of the race. Again, in the second photo she has two teammates with her at the front of the race including, I believe, Amanda Miller, in the polka dot climbers jersey.

Moving on to the men's Pro / Cat 1 field. In the next couple photos you will notice Ben Day of the Kenda/Geargrinder team wearing the leaders yellow jersey and, like Amber Neben, surrounded by teammates - in the first photo, I count six fellow Kenda riders, and in the second, there are at least three immediately in front of him.

This trio, including two riders from the New Zealand team, Pure Black Racing (Roman Van Uden #114, and Michael Northey #110) got into an early break and built up a sizable gap.

Now, on to the inspiration for this post (if the above was not enough). It was late in the day, in fact so late, it was time to head home, but the Pro/Cat1, the Cat 2, and the Cat 3 races were still on the course, and would be for some time. Anyway, I was riding out through Bonelli Park, taking photos as the opportunity presented, when I stopped on the dam at a spot I though had some potential as it looked back to where the peloton came on to the dam. Soon enough the Cat 2 race came into view; they were in the process of being overtaken by the Pro/Cat 1 field right at a bottleneck. The cat 2 field was, naturally, neutralized, but it was already too late, and a few riders went down on the narrow road, virtually in front of the spot I had staked out.

One of the racers to go down, was from Team Rio Grande, who also happened to be wearing the white Under 25 Leader's Jersey. The crash resulted in his rear derailleur being snapped off, as you can see in the photo. There was no way he was going to be able to continue on his bike, and the jersey would be forfeit. Now if you know bike racing, you know that once you have a leaders jersey on your shoulders, you try to hang on to it with everything you have, and though he did not have a working bike anymore, he did have teammates. Within no time there were three or four at his side. One t'mate gave up his bike, another gave up his shoes of all things. A push off from the race official and there were one or two more teammates waiting to help pace him back up to the peloton. Teammates, and teamwork. It is how you win.

For the slideshow links below, if you click reverse order when the slideshow comes up they will show in correct chronologic order. 

Slideshow for the men Categories 3, 2, and Pro/1 are here

Slideshow for the women Pro/1/2/3, Masters men 35+, men Cat 4, and men Cat 5 races are here.

SDSR 2011 Stage 2 Road Race from Michael Wagner on Vimeo.


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