2015 San Dimas Stage Race, Stage One: Refund, Refund...

You remember that scene from everyone's favorite cycling movie, Dave had refunded a local college student for a lemon of a car sold by Mr. Stoller. A quick shift of scene to Mr. S lying in bed, delirious and only able to mutter "refund, refund."

Well, as riders returned back down the mountain from their run up Glendora Mountain Road for the opening stage time trial, I could swear I heard a rider repeating that single word like a mantra, a chant. It was not a rehearsal, different tones, different tempos - Refund, reeeefuuund, REFUND! No, it was a simple steady cadence, same tone, same syllabic emphasis - refund… refund… refund… The word was repeated as if from a deep trance, or state of delirium. My guess is, it came from a lower category racer, maybe someone with a little experience with flat criteriums, someone whose friends convinced him that a real road race would be fun. An experience. Someone who now realizes that even lower GMR can chew like a piece of old jerky, tough and hard to swallow. Well, you are in it now, there is no going back, and there are no refunds given for underestimating the endeavor.


Meet the women of SAS Mazda Macogep p/b Specialized. That is a mouthful of a team name, and I wonder if it is even more so in French. Why French? Well, the team hails from Montreal, Quebec, Canada (with a rider, or two, from Calgary to fill out the squad.) When I arrived at the race I had to park as far down along GMR as you could possibly get. It was so far down I could see the edge of the known world from where I sat. Fortunately there was just enough room for one more car between me and the Edge, and out of that car came a man and woman, both of whom were speaking Francaise, and one of whom may have been D.S. Gerard Penarroya (curses for not doing a more thorough job in finding out, but there is always tomorrow). I thought, "they must not be locals" but had a date with the start house and set off up the hill. Later in the afternoon, once I had my fill of time trial antics and had returned to l'auto I noticed a new easy-up between me and the Edge, under-which were the ladies of Sas Mazda etc. cooling down after their race. Cooling down being the optimal image you should take away from all this - if this SoCal native is unprepared for this 90º March, I am not sure how anyone from Montreal could be. Anyway, it is a testament to the dedication of SDSR staff that the race has grown to a point where it attracts, not just individual riders from across the continent, but entire teams. If you don't already have a favorite to root for on Saturday and Sunday, root for the gals in purple and blue.

You might call it 'coaching by example'. Patrick Caro.

It's Nick Humphrey. Did I ever tell you I knew Nick when, as a Jr. High School kid twenty or more years ago, his dad would drag him out to the Saturday morning rides. It all paid off, Doc.

I was, maybe a half mile up the road from the start house, and Greg Goodwine
was just about to catch the rider who started ahead of him. He was flying.

Not sure of the rider, but the team is Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing

Are we having fun yet? The look, right out of the start house, says yes.

Kirsti Lay Giroux (Sas Mazda Macogep p/b Specialized)

Of course the time trial, like stretching, is just a sort of prelude of the good stuff yet to come.
It all continues tomorrow with the stage two road race, in and around Bonelli Park.

Alright then, the Stage One Flickr album contains a selection of 113 photos from the Women's Cat 3 and Cat 4s, Masters 35+ and 40+, Cat 3s, and the Women Pro/1/2s; I'll get more of the categories during tomorrows road race. The photos are not a complete catalog, but are representative of all the others taken during the day, so if you don't see what, or who, you were looking for in the album, let me know with a race number and I will see what I can find. If you see a photo you like, feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). You can also contact me via email and I will gladly send a full size jpeg file of the image.

Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column, or under the title banner at the top of the page.

See you tomorrow.