The Gurus of Cycling sent a strong squad to the always competitive San Dimas Stage Race which included Greg “Watts for Days” Kogut, Lee “The Hammer” Hodgin, Nate “The Nate Dawg” Hakken and Rob “The Crazy Canuck” Rigg.
The Swami’s Masters Team had seen some serious success at the flat Valley of the Sun Time Trial, but had realistic ambitions heading into the 4.25 mile uphill race against the clock on Glendora Mountain Road. After the mid-pack results came in it was obvious that any glory would be tied to a strong ride in the 49 mile Road Race and 45 minute Criterium.
At Saturday’s Road Race a three man break went up the road early in the first lap with representation from the experienced Surf City squad along with Ironfly and Go-Fast. The move was enhanced when eventual Stage Race winner Rob Alvarez (Stone House p/b Monster Media) took off on Heckler Hill on lap two and eventually bridged across. The Swami’s had been patrolling the front but, unfortunately, could not jump on the winning move. The Yellow (Davis Phinney Foundation) and Green (Chico Cycling) Jersey Teams failed to chase while the Polka Dot (Sonic Boom) efforts on the front helped bring the break back to within 30 seconds. The pack, however, could not get organized to shut the break down on lap 3 or 4 as the break stretched their lead out to two minutes again before Surf City and Monster shut the attacks down for good. Rob tried to get off the front the final time up Heckler Hill but could not snap the elastic and the race came back together heading into the sprint for minor placings. The team finished in the main group and vowed to animate the Crit on Sunday.
The SDSR Criterium Course is a epic screaming fast 6 corner clock wise loop with a long steady climb followed by a false flat and ripping decent back down to the final turn into the start/finish line. The race was full gas from the gun and the Swami’s mixed it up early with Rob going off the front for a couple trips around the circuit before getting hauled back in just ahead of the “sprint lap”. Greg and Lee were attentively patrolling the front and Greg managed to claim ALL 3 Primes. The elastic finally snapped on the rapidly reducing Masters field with 5 laps to go as a 3 man move got a gap on the decent which was solidified on the start/finish straightaway. Unfortunately, again, the Swami’s did not have anyone in the break which stayed away to the finish. Rob attacked on the penultimate climb in an attempt to bridge across but was swallowed up by the field a lap later. Greg and Lee were well positioned heading into the final descent but the race bottle necked into the final turn and the Swami’s were out of luck finishing mid-pack again. Surf City’s US Masters Criterium Champion Kayle Leogrande took the win out of the break with Monster Media’s Phil Tintsman coming across the line in second. As mentioned, overall victory went to former Jelly Belly Pro and new found Friend of Swami’s Rob Alvarez.
Overall, a really solid weekend of racing for a fit and ambitious Swami’s Masters Team but not much to show for it aside from Greg’s sweet Prime prizes. The season is young and if the form continues we expect some podiums in the near future. Next up for us is the Fiesta Island Time Trial this weekend followed by the Victorville Omnium the week after.