2017 San Dimas Stage Race, Stage Two Road Race

Race Face.

If we could judge a riders' future potential based on their race faces I would have to believe that Conor Martin (TaG Cycling/Norco), the Green Jersey wearer in the Junior 15/16 race following stage one, has much to look forward to. Conor crossed the line fifth in the road race.

The "is it a smile, or is it a grimace" face. Guaranteed to keep the competition guessing.

Then there is the face that a racer gets to make at the end of all the effort, as he crosses the finish line first. It is the face that Pat Caro (Go Fast / Incycle) got to make as he won ahead of four break-away companions in the Masters 40+ race. It is usually accompanied with an emphatic shout.

And lets not forget the face that says "this is just way too much fun."

Aris Sophocles. Besides sounding very Greek, Aris Sophocles, a Cat 4 racer with Bacala Racing Development, may very well have had the race of the day. After a dominant ride in the previous day's time trail, Aris rode into the second stage with the Yellow Jersey on his back and a fifty-six second advantage over his nearest competitor. Then things took an unexpected turn.

The first time he raced past me, Saturday morning, he was on his own, off the back of the Cat 4 group. The second time he raced past me he was on his own, off the back of the Cat 4 group. That second time past, a bit of excitement entered the voice of Demi Hechanova, who was announcing at the top of Heckler Hill - his words were something like "Can he do it? Can he catch back on after chasing all day? I think he will, I think he can do it!" At that point the story of Aris Sophocles's race began to form. Later, back at the start finish, the announcers there confirmed that Sophocles had been the unfortunate recipient of a first lap mechanical which forced him to lose contact with the Cat 4 bunch. On the road again, he chased, and chased, and chased, and you get the idea. A lot of chasing. By the end of the race Aris Sophocles crossed the line twenty-fourth, the last of the Cat 4s to finish with the same time as the stage winner. That, if you know your racing, means that he did indeed catch back up to his race. They say that is what the Yellow Jersey does to a person. However, lets not forget, the Yellow would not have that impact if the person wearing it did not also have the ability. Great race.

The photo album for stage two is now up, and contains a selection of ninety-three photos from the days' action. Consider those few to be representative of them all - another 740 or so were not selected for the album, so if you don't see who, or what, you were looking for let me know and I will see what I can find.