Oliva Dillon’s victory at Calaveras makes me think that despite an uneven start for Peanut Butter 2012′s (awesome at Merco, okay at Redlands) they are just getting warmed up and will be destroying the American field by the time the Nature Valley Grand Prix rolls around. Roman Kilun put in a big effort to distance himself from the second place finisher. A convincing display of power -which after Redlands, makes me think that Kenda pb GearGrinder is going to be one of the big powers on the domestic circuit this year.
Turlock Road Race
I’m hearing rave reviews from all corners on this race. Despite delays caused by some crashes, riders that participated feel this is one of the most beautiful and challenging courses on the NorCal docket. Frank Spiteri, Marc Pro-Strava, finally bagged a big one with a win at Turlock. Spiteri has been building up to this for a while with strong efforts in the build up categories and a stellar cross season. The Marc Pro-Strava team are on a role taking down all kinds of races this spring. No word on the women’s race yet. Lance Armstrong was a no show… bummer. Here is a quick Women’s update from RVH
Jane Despas won the sprint at Turlock. Emily Mathieu was second, edging out Jane Roberson in a (almost) too close to call photo finish.
The race was active from the start with Fremont Bank racing very, very aggressively. They had the largest team (4 riders) and repeatedly got off the front and forced the field to chase. Unfortunately, the whole team was taken out by the horrible crash in the middle of the race. [ED NOTE: Similar situation happened to Webcor at the 2009 NVGP] Two crashed, and the other two stayed to help their teammates who were both eventually air-lifted to the hospital.
In the last lap, Marley Smith put in a strong solo attack that was brought back after a hard chase of 10 miles or so. She managed to finish 4th (I think). Emily Thurston also raced very well, pulling back numerous little breaks and finishing 5th (I think).
Sierra Pacific stacked the field with a full team and Brian Bosch, riding under the Sierra Pacific Banner now, won in customary style. The women’s race looks small and while Rebecca Rising of Metromint took the win, the race saw a race appearance of former women’s Pro/DS/Coach Felicia Gomez.
Will post more findings as they roll in.
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