March 10th-12th marked the 12th annual TdM three-day cycling race and Swami’s masters team were there to field each of the stages and to compete for the over-all team win.
Stage 1’s time-trial, presented by DCH Auto Group, was first up – the Swami’s masters field included racers: Greg Kogut, Lee Hodgin, Stephen Lavery, Brendon Zinke, Nate Hakkan, and Andy McClure. The stage although lasting just a dozen minutes, is actually quite challenging, featuring a European style terrain consisting primarily of paved roadway and a 1 mile portion of unpaved/hard compact dirt. All of our racers finished within the top 15 spots – and with Brandon, Greg, and Andy securing positions within the the top 10!
Next-up was Stage 2’s Grand Prix, presented by BOSCH, a lightning fast-1-mile course in Historic Downtown Murrieta, What that really means is 6-corners of torture for 50 minutes and unless you have very good positioning and energy conservation techniques you’ll likely find yourself off the back and pulled by a motorcycle official. In which case your only position is photographer….so enjoy the pic!!!
The team worked very well together and the two cobblestone corners through downtown proved to be very sketchy for the racers as many came close to sliding-out…but we’re masters – safe and sound on our bikes, right?!
The race featured many attacks and some brave souls taking flyers off the front, but with the region’s best sprinters participating this was Swamis best chance of success.
In the end, the race came down to a sprint finish. Swamis’ finished the day with racer Greg Kogut in 5th in omnium points!
The final Stage 3, Circuit Race presented by Cardenas Markets, is a total favorite as it occurs immediately following the previous night’s time change, so racers are extra groggy and ready for the series to be done. The stage, which we consider a pseudo road-race, is 14 laps of a rolling 3.5 mile course. The road conditions are very rough with plenty of shoulder rubbing and elbow bumping… There were a few “moments” in the race where we sent attacks up-the-road including an early move with Greg bridging up to a Helen’s racer only to be pulled back after a few laps. Also very aggressive riding by Rob Rigg helped to shake-up the group.
In the finale it was James, Greg, and Nate leading out Lee who contested the sprint and earning 8th spot!
Overall the team did very well with Greg and Lee getting top 10 finishes.
Congrats and huge thanks to our sponsors.