Well Gabe, Mitch, Corey, and I had a great trip to Vegas for the Southern Nevada Stage Race. We avoided the crummy weather (mostly) and we got in some good early season racing....we even got some good results. Let's get right to the good stuff.
We started off with a TT on Friday afternoon. I managed a fourth place finish even though my aero bars broke at mile 2 of the 12 mile course. Gabe just missed the top ten, finishing 11th, and Mitch and Corey both rode well.
Saturday's Crit was a fast and exciting course and Gabe put on a great show finishing 3rd in the 4's field sprint. It came right down to the wire and he only missed the win by half a bike length! Corey and I basically rode around in circles for an hour 'cause there was an early break away of 5 riders in our race and we couldn't get an effective chase going. Two Platinum riders Gary Douville and Brian Cook took 1st and 2nd in the pro 1,2 race so Santa Barbara was well represented.
We'd had great weather for Friday and Saturday but on Sunday our luck ran out and we awoke to cold rainy skies. Gabe and Mitch raced first and it was dumping pretty good on them. Mitch had recently installed new brake pads and he learned the hard way that new brake pads and rain don't go well together and he abandoned the race on the first descent for safety reasons. Gabe hung in and finished strong in 11th giving him a top 10 GC finish. Nice job Gabe! Corey and I raced a little later in the day it was still raining at the start but not too bad. We were both hoping to gain some serious time in the GC 'cause the course had some serious climbing. Over 7,000ft in less than 60 miles. Unfortunately my race ended early as I flatted on the first descent. My front tire blew-out at 40mph in the rain and I walked away without a scratch so actually I feel pretty lucky. I got a replacement wheel from a support vehicle and I rode as hard as I could until I bonked, but I never caught the lead group again and finished 18th. Corey rode patiently in the lead group all day allowing some riders to get up the road but always keeping them within striking distance. Jason Hannon of the Platinum Team was off the front for awhile and rode well finishing 8th. But Corey is like Michael Jordan....you can't stop him.. you can only hope to contain him! He attacked on the last climb and rode away from everyone, riding the last 9 mile descent alone to a solo victory! The stage win catapulted him up to 2nd place in the overall! Local rider Steve Smith of Platinum finished a strong 4th. It was an impressive win. He passed quite a few of the Pro 1,2 's who had started in front of us!. So between the four of us we managed a 1st, a 2nd, a 3rd, and a 4th in various events....not too shabby for the first race of the year!
But most importantly we had fun and lived to race another day! We learned a few things about Vegas and the surrounding area in the process. Clearly people who live in that area have their priorities straight. They like to smoke, drink, gamble, cuss, get tattoos, and eat (poorly).....in that order. Luckily we found a great restaurant in the area called Sammy's Woodfired Pizza and Pasta. Great food and not a Casino in sight....almost felt like home! We went Friday and Saturday night. Actually only Gabe and I went Saturday night. Corey and Mitch went to some show called "Love" in Vegas and then went back to their hotel room to apply what they learned at the show. After seeing the way Corey rode on Sunday, I've asked Mitch to go see "Love" with me this Friday before Mothballs!
See ya out there!
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