Posted by Editoress on 03/24/14
Kris Dahl (Team SmartStop) competed solo in the four-stage Chico Stage Race in California over the weekend, finishing ninth in the overall GC competition and second in the U25 competition. Here is Kris' report on his weekend of racing.
The weekend of racing started off with stage one of four, a 75 minute circuit race on a car racing track in Chico. It featured a couple of short power climbs and a bunch of tight corners on a three mile course. The race favourited sprinters, with sprints for points periodically throughout the race. I was able to take a first and a second in two of the sprints as well as finishing third overall in the closely contested final sprint. This allowed me to put on the green Sprinters jersey for the following day's road race.
Stage two, a 144 kilometre road race, inflicted a total of 14 kilometres of gravel roads as well as grueling cross winds all day. This resulted in the race completely shattering into small groups. I was able to bridge the gap to a chase group of eight, just behind the lead group of six riders. The chase group almost succeeded in bringing back the break, but in the end it was not meant to be. Will Routley of Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies took the win, with me finishing in seventh place. Following this stage I took the lead in the Young Riders classification and the white jersey that goes with it.
Stage three was a pancake flat 16 kilometre time trial. I had a strong ride on my road bike, but I was also at a disadvantage because I was not on a time trial bike. Because of this I had to settle for second on the Young Rider classification, giving up my lead after the time trial.
The final stage, a downtown criterium, was fast paced and very aggressive. In the end it came down to a hectic sprint where I was nearly taken out by another rider with half a lap to go. This resulted in me being boxed in for the sprint. In the end I finished seventh in the criterium and ninth in the overall GC. I was second in the Young Rider classification and third in the Sprint classification.
The Chico Stage Race was dominated by Mike Freidman, Tom Zirbal and Will Routley of Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, who took three stages plus the overall and team classifications.
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