Posted by Editoress on 04/10/10
Dana Point Grand Prix
Brad White of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis led a sweep of the top four spots in the Killer Cove Time Trial today, marking a strong opening day to the Dana Point race weekend.
White was the only rider in the field to break the five-minute barrier on the 2.25-mile course, which featured more descending than climbing, but still served up a quarter-mile long climb at gradients north of 15% just after the mid-point.
“We previewed the course yesterday and it was pretty technical with that steep climb,” White said. “I was excited to race it today. You had to come in with a good plan and execute it.”
White did just that, beginning with a good warm-up ahead of his start. He hammered out of the start gate and then used the descent shortly after the start to recover a bit. From there it was a matter of managing his gears with every corner to ensure he wasn’t over-geared, in order to accelerate out of each turn. He left the waterfront section and drilled it up the climb.
“The key was to get back up to speed as quickly as possible over the top,” he said. “You have to give everything you’ve got to get back up to speed. And when I got my speed back quickly, I knew I was going to have a good time.”
As it turned out, he was racing his teammates for the win. With riders leaving in alphabetical order, Eric Barlevav of UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis was one of the first riders to go off, posting an early time of 5:05 that proved hard to top for quite some time, until teammate Morgan Schmitt shaved nearly a second off that time to take over the lead.
Just a short time later, another of the team’s sprinters, Andrew Pinfold, set the bar a little higher and the time a little lower with a strong 5:02. But White, starting second to last, used his combination of strong time trialing skills and climbing ability to crack the five-minute barrier and take the top step of the podium.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” White said. “We have a strong group of guys here and we all seem to be riding well. It was a good start to the weekend, and hopefully that will carry through to tomorrow.”
The weekend finishes Sunday with the NRC 1.4 Dana Point Grand Prix.
The day was not without its mishaps, including a crash by Tim Johnson. According to Team Directeur Sportif Gord Fraser, Johnson came screaming off the climb at 45 mph into a descending-radius right-hand turn and clipped a reflective dot at the apex of the turn along the center line of the road. The quick bump was enough to cause his wheel to lose contact with the road. This sent him into a sideways slide that caused damage to his ankle.
“That corner claimed a few riders today,” Fraser said. “Riders entered the turn with 2.5 lanes of width but exited with only 1.5 lanes, forcing the riders to estimate proper speed, line and lean angle to properly negotiate the corner. The bott’s dots just compounded the difficulty of negotiating the turn. Tim clipped on at speed and it was just enough to cause him to slide out.”
Fraser said Johnson is questionable for the start tomorrow.
The weekend of racing started under a cloud with news of the passing of Bahati Foundation rider Jorge Alvarado Thursday after being struck and killed by a car while out training in San Bernardino County. The entire UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis organization would like to pass along its deepest condolences to Alvarado’s family and members of the Bahati Foundation team. While our teams may be rivals on the bike, off the bike, we are all one community, and any death within the community affects all of us.
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis press release
Stage 1: Killer Kove ITT, 3.62 km
1 Brad White (USA) UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis, 4:56.31
2 Andrew Pinfold (Can) UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis, at 0:06
3 Morgan Schmitt (USA) UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis, 0:09
4 Eric Barlevav (USA) UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis, st
5 Quinn Keogh (USA) Rubicon-ORBEA, 0:12
1 Ruth Clemence (USA) Specialized Designs for Women, 5:51.71
2 Dotsie Bausch (USA) Incycle/SC Velo, 5:58.76
3 Bonnie Breeze (USA) Unattached, 6:16.24
4 Kristen King (USA) Home Depot Center Team, 6:23.48
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