Zwizanski Victorious at Chico Stage Race

Men Defend 2014 Crown in Style With Overall Victory, Two Stage Wins, Five Podiums, and Best Overall Team, Tetrick Flies Solo to Stage Win

A five-man team delivered a complete and dominant performance at Chico Stage Race, a four stage, three day event in Northern California. Scott Zwizanski took home the overall victory, Brad Huff won two stages and helped fellow sprinter Pierrick Naud onto three podiums, and the quintet of Huff, Zwizanski, Naud, Bjorn Selander and Tom Soladay won best overall team.

Naud took third in the opening circuit race sprint, with help from a full Orange & Black leadout effort. The team helped turn the screws on the 168-man field in Saturday’s road race. Crosswinds and rolling gravel roads shattered the peloton, and all five teammates made a lead group of 14. Huff won the stage, donned the yellow jersey, and Naud took third once again. The following day’s individual time trial would likely determine the races overall winner, with an evening criterium finale making for a relatively simple jersey defense. Huff handed over yellow to time trial specialist Zwizanski, and the team was set up perfectly to defend it that evening.

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The team escorted Zwizanski home safely in the criterium, but another picture perfect leadout led Huff to his second stage win and Naud to his third podium in second. A 10-second time bonus at the line put Huff into 2nd overall behind Zwizanski.

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New women’s rider Alison Tetrick was flying solo in Chico this weekend after a very successful training camp in Borrego Springs, CA. Tetrick took victory in Saturday’s road race to grab yellow ahead of the time trial stage – her specialty. However a mechanical disrupted her chances to claim the overall prize. She hung onto 4th in the general classification, which was surely a disappointment, but her emphatic victory in the road race was confirmation that Tetrick’s form is on point.

Scott Zwizanski on the teamwork that helped him take home the team’s first stage race yellow jersey of 2015:

“Training at home in Philly this winter has been very cold, but there wasn’t much snow, and we had a hard, fun training camp in Southern California so I had good form coming into Chico.  My form may be good, but this was certainly a team win. We worked together well and took advantage of every opportunity that were given to us to win the race together. The behind-the scenes guys like Soladay and Selander might not be on the podium, but their hard work and tactical savvy made everything possible.”

Brad Huff on the team’s decisive win in the race’s tough road race stage:

“We all worked in unison towards winning the road race as we knew it would be decisive in taking home yellow. We all kept our heads up looking for opportunities. On the final four miles of the 8 miles gravel section, the wind was enough to create chaos in the field. All five of us made the selection of about 20. The whole group worked collectively to distance ourselves from the 141 riders behind. In the final few kilometers, we planned to lead out Pierrick and having all five of us on the front inside the final k was very motivating. With an uphill finish, I felt Pierrick would have our best chance. At 200 meters I was just getting the speed going and Pierrick wasn’t able to come around so I had to power all the way to the line. Lucky for me, everyone else was gassed from a long day in saddle and I was able to take the win.”

Women’s Performance Director Patrick McCarty on Tetrick’s form and subsequent win in her first road race in orange and black:

“All of our riders finished up a two week long training camp in Borrego Springs, CA very strongly. We ran the gamut with intensity, 100 mile training rides, and specific work in the various road disciplines. Alison was particularly strong and enthusiastic with her new teammates at camp. It is absolutely no surprise to me she smashed the competition at her first race after this camp. Unfortunately, she had some bad luck in the TT that derailed her chances at winning the overall, but that certainly won’t be happening at most races, so we are very happy with her result.”

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Photo © Alex Chiu

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