Following a block of intense training designed to dial the team’s TTT game to perfection, the women’s team should carry excellent form into their first stage race of the year with a full compliment of athletes. Eight riders will contest the three-stage Southern California classic, San Dimas Stage Race.
Performance Director Pat McCarty answers a few questions about how he thinks the team’s first race together could play out
San Dimas Stage Race Roster
How is the team feeling before the first real race of the season?
We are very excited to return to the SoCal racing scene. It is a great way to kick off the season, and is a perfect buildup to the Redlands Bicycle Classic next month. All of our riders are going strong at the moment, and we should come out of San Dimas with some good performances.
Are there any stages or jerseys that you are planning on specifically targeting or that stand out in San Dimas?
I think the uphill time trial will favor some of our riders, and potentially set us up for the overall. Mostly, though, I want to work on going for stage wins in the road race and criterium. We need to start “practicing” this for the rest of the season, so both days we will try something specifically to win. If we end up with a jersey in the process, that’s great, but there’s no pressure to do so.
Do you think TTT camp helped to build fitness for this race, or specifically the time trial?
The TTT camp certainly contributed to our rider’s race fitness. It was a very intense 5 days of training, and I’m certain our riders will be going well for these first few races.
Uphill time trial, rolling road race, and six corner crit. Three classic events to kick of the racing for the Orange & Black women. Courtesy of the race, here are some brief previews:
Stage 1: Chaffey Auto Body Mountain Time Trial | 4.25 miles
The San Gabriel Mountains feature many picturesque and challenging climbs. Glendora Mountain Road (GMR to locals) in the Angeles National Forest ranks among the most popular climbs in Southern California. GMR poses a varying pitch between 4.5 – 6.5 percent with a dizzying array of corners, as it twists and turns up the mountainside. The course is 4.25 Miles long with a total elevation gain of 1257 ft.
Stage 2: San Dimas Hospital Road Race
The race course terrain makes this course a challenge for all riders. The course, slightly changed from last year, is a rolling and twisting approximately 7 mile circuit which includes short climbs. The riders will make from 4 to 12 loops around the course depending upon category. The first group starts at 7:50 AM and the last (Pro men) at 1:15 PM. A special viewing area for the race is located on Heckler Hill. Free shuttle service from the registration area to Heckler Hill throughout all stage 2 races. Please see video below for view of Heclker Hill.
Stage 3: Incycle / Cannondale Old Town Grand Prix
The City of San Dimas has welcomed racers into their town for one of the hardest criteriums in Southern California. The Grand Prix course starts on the streets of historic Old Town San Dimas with its western themes before a right turn into the downtown neighborhood. The course careens racers through six corners and three long three long straight-aways. The long slightly downhill section enables incredible speeds into the righthand corner and onto the finish straightaway. Racers and spectators alike will enjoy one of the highest speed races in Southern California.
The race kicks off on Friday. Stay tuned for updates on the team’s progress in Southern California!