The Chico Stage Race is still in its infancy, but it is remarkably well organized. Each stage is action-packed for the racers and spectators alike. With the departure of the Merco Stage Race this season, it was up to the Chico SR to pick up the slack… and they did.
Thunderhill Circuit Race
The course was pretty cool – with a short power climb and a slightly longer drag. The day was for the sprinters though, as nothing was allowed to get more than a few seconds up the road. Jon Teeter and Jared Kessler were instrumental in putting our sprinters in good position at the end. Josh Carling and Matt Chatlaong got severely boxed in down the final stretch, but still managed a respectable 4th and 5th.
Paskenta Hills Road Race
This wasn’t a good day for Marc Pro – Strava as a team. A few of us were a little complacent during the first kilometers of the race, and when the wind picked up there was immediate echelons and crashes. The only one of us not affected by the crash seemed to be Max Jenkins. He found himself in a break of five, with three of them being from Optum. Max had a choice: work with the other four, or sit on and potentially get guttered and blown out of the break by the Optum guys. He chose to work, his break-mate Switters chose to sit on. Switters was eventually dropped on the gravel. Max cruised in for a hard earned third place. The rest of us weren’t so lucky. We all lost huge chunks of time by the time the day was through. This would eventually lock up the top spots on the GC.
River Road Time Trial
Not much to say about this one – flat and fast. 10 miles and a few turns. Justin Rossi powered to 4th and Jon Teeter 6th. Max dropped one spot on the GC because Zirbel crushed it.
This is a fast and very technical course which can sometimes favor a breakaway. While Max tried to safely hold his position near the front, the rest of us tried to stay active. Nearly everyone was involved in a move off the front at one time or another. Teeter got into the most successful move, which looked like it had potential to stay away. Unfortunately, it didn’t, and another field sprint was on tap. Matt Chat and Josh Carling both pulled off top 10 performances again. Max held onto his 4th place GC spot.