The team ride strongly in Stage 2 of the Chico Stage Race to preserve Justin Mauch’s 3rd place overall going into the decisive time trial Sunday morning.
Crisp temperatures and blue skies greeted the riders for stage 2 of the Chico a stage race, the 90 mile Paskenta road race. The course featured 2 laps of 45 miles, with racers traversing the infamous Paskenta gravel each lap. A new location for the finish line a few miles from the end of the gravel made the 2nd pass through even more important.
Guys were bundled up at the start, and each rider began with one bottle of Prolong for easy calories in the first hour and one bottle of CR7 on their bike. Both times through the Feed zones they grabbed CR7 bottles too. These drinks couple with a few fig bars each gave them all the nutrition they needed for the stage.
The typical attacks launched on the first lap of the race, with nothing serious sticking for an extended period of time. Our guys were well represented in the front and always ready for serious moves. Going through the gravel the first lap saw a few riders shed off the back, but no real changes up front.
On the second lap, a 4 man break with our very own Sam Boardman got some separation, the first serious move of the day. When that came back, a group of 2 with a rider from Elevate (Hoen) and Rally (Oronte) launched off the front. Sensing the danger, the H24cycling boys lined it out for the 5 miles leading into the gravel to start bringing back the two escapes.
Once they hit the gravel it was game on. A furious pace cut into the leaders advantage and shed all but 30 riders in the race. We had protected Justin all day, and he was able to finish in the same time of the main pack, just 7 seconds in arrears of the 2 escapes.
Sunday morning is the all important time trial. We’re looking forward to seeing what Justin can do in the race against the clock!