2014 Tour de Murrieta, Stage Two

Fast Freddy Rodriguez, US National Road Champion lined up next to Luis Lemus, Mexican National Road Champion at the start of the six-corner grand prix-style second stage. Both riders race with the Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis Cycling Team.


a funky little architecture shot in case you missed it as you raced on past


Israel Tapia (Bahati Foundation / Win Team Racing) rails corner #6 before going on to claim the win in the Masters 30+ 4/5 race


that donut place back there with the old west false-front makes a mighty fine apple fritter. oh, wait, this is supposed to be about the racing. scratch that. the Cat 3's led by [?] round turn #6


Leo Reyes (Southern California Velo) celebrates his win in the Cat 3 race


Julie Cutts (Velo Club La Grange) celebrates her win in the Women's Pro/1/2/ race...


as well as shortly afterward, on the podium, with Kendall Ryan (2nd) and Mary Elizabeth Maroon


the pro/1/2 men lined out behind Team Clif Bar, heading into turn #2

Danny Munson, Brian Hodes, Christy Nicholson - there must be something big happening here. A who's who of So Cal, and beyond, cycling media. If success is measured by the size of a camera lens, I may be doomed, or outgunned, from the whistle blow. Heck, that never stopped me before.

Murrieta, the first of Southern California's Spring stage races has grown to become quite a festivity for both the racing world and the local community. There are former and current district, national, and world champions here. The current Mexican National Champion, riding for Jelly Belly just rode past. I am sure I saw Freddy Rodriguez earlier, along with a full compliment of Jelly Belly teammates led by race leader after Stage One, Kirk Carlsen. They are one strong team and are going to be tough to beat.

No lack of talent over on the women's side either - Twenty16 Pro Cycling, the Monster Media Elite's, the young JET Cycling team, Incycle Racing p/b Full Circle and, of course, Velo Club  La Grange who have been ripping up the road everywhere they have been so far this year.

Attrition came fast, and it came furious in each of the races I saw. Racers began to be tailed off almost immediately; the combination of a twisting course, some headwind, and just a quick pace took their toll on those who were found wanting. And since each respective peloton was fragmenting at the back, they might as well do so at the front as well - it was a good day for break attempts. Some succeeded, while others were reabsorbed setting up some nice field sprints. If the racing is as good tomorrow as it was today, there should be a nice finale to the three day omnium. 

Here is your link to the Flickr set of 113 select images from the Masters 30+ 3/4, Cat 3, Women Pro/1/2/3, and the Men Pro/1/2 races.

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