The second stage of the San Dimas Stage Race was called a road race, but it felt like a crit. It took place on a sketchy 8 mile circuit with numerous obstacles throughout. Half of the course was on closed roads and the other half was through a city park. The park had two ticket-checking kiosks where the field would have to split and choose which side to go around. There were a lot of cars that found their way onto the course and nearly collided with our 150+ man field. As a result of all this, there were obviously a lot of crashes. There were two short climbs on the course, one led up to the feed zone, and one was short and steep where KOM points would be awarded.
Our Pro/1 crew for the race was Jesse Miller-Smith, Frank Spiteri, Keith Hillier, Kris Lunning, Art Rand, and Nate Freed. The goal was to mix it up with the impressive pro field, and hopefully have enough gas in the tank for the sprint finish. We would contest 12 laps of the 8 mile circuit, which totaled to about 6000 feet of climbing. The race was fast from the gun. Most of us had our hands full just trying to stay safe, and surviving the KOM climb following by a wicked cross-wind. By the 8th or 9th lap it had already become a race of attrition, and we lost a few guys out the back of the field. On the 10th lap, there was a big crash going up the KOM climb (the second of the day). It happened near the front of the field, and we all got caught behind it. I blew up trying to chase back on, and Jesse, Art, and Frank fought to get back in contention with the leaders. The race pretty much exploded at this point, and small groups of guys banded together to finish the last 2 laps of the race. Frank did his best to help Jesse and Art get back to the front, but the damage was done. They lost a little time, the rest of us lost a lot. It was a grueling road race with probably the best competition that we will face all season. Many of the larger domestic pro teams will go on to race the Tour of California in two months.