Monday, March 30, 2009

Playin for keeps down at Redlands!

The boys getting ready for the Prologue

Webor women on the attak (racing on the 19's)

Look at those sweet 19's

The great Amy D.

Ted warming up on the TT course

Rand warming up on the TT course

Fabrice warming up on the TT course

Serious racing going on in SoCal last weekend. The best American teams showed up with all guns blazing.

I went down to direct the Webcor Men's team and display my wheels to the SoCal market. Unfortunately, I got a nice case of the flu on Friday which sidelined my wheel display plans. I focused what energy I had on the Webcor boys helping them dance through a very difficult 4 days of racing. Stage racing is like war. I compare it to getting up every morning, mounting your armor, collecting your platoon mates and walking into a 20-way battle zone. There are no prisoners and no place to hide. It's a wide upon battle zone.

First, I want to say how proud I am of the Webcor boys. We had 8 great guys led by the legend Ted Huang. Actually, we had to beg Ted to come out of retirement to lead the boys. Thank goodness he agreed to ride with us. Just having Ted with us was a huge benefit to the riders...and me.

I could write a book about how difficult stage each stage was. Well, I will give you the mini version.

First, uphill TT. Hard, steep and easy to completely time your efforts wrong and blow up on the course.

Stage 2: Wind blowing at 40 mph. Cross wind, climbs, peleton blowing into pieces from the gun mayhem. I remember watching one of our guys, James Badia rolling at 50 mph on a flat section with the wind at his back spun out in his 11. At that speed, things get a little scary.

Stage 3: 1.5 hour downtown technical crit. This spelled for 90 minutes of single file suffer fest. VERY HARD CRIT.

Stage 4: The legend...the Sunset loop. Imagine a 5 k climb, a 5 k over 12 times. Nasty, Nasty, Nasty. Our GC rider Fabrice Dubois crushed it here moving himself up to a top 30 on GC. A super effort from a the nicest and most mellow Frenchie you will ever meet.

All in all, we finished 18th on team GC ahead of a handful of division 3 US Pro teams. Not bad for a bunch of 9 to 5 guys and a couple college kids. I am very proud of their performance, attitude and willingness to put themselves out there with the best American Pro teams.